PITTSBURGH -- Legendary Pittsburgh Steelers coach Chuck Noll was buried Tuesday, and the franchise was well-represented by past and present coaches, players and front office personnel.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, offensive coordinator Todd Haley and players Ike Taylor, Ben Roethlisberger, Cameron Heyward and Maurkice Pouncey were among those in attendance. Haley's father, Dick, played college football at Pitt and was a Steelers cornerback from 1961-63.
The elder Haley also was the Director of Player Personnel for the Steelers from 1971-1990, nearly Noll's entire tenure as the club's head coach. So, Todd spent a lot of time with the Steelers during his youth.
"Coach T. allowed me to slip over there for the service, which I was grateful for, especially with my father unable to make it down here,'' Haley said after the club's Tuesday morning walk-through.
"I sat in Three Rivers during halftime of games and before games and got to hear a lot of Coach Noll talks and see a lot of him coaching at training camp. So, in a secondary way, he had had a great influence on me becoming a coach in the NFL.''
Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak grew up in eastern Pennsylvania, so he was well aware of what Noll and the Steelers had accomplished during the 1970s. Then, Munchak was selected by the Houston Oilers in the first round (eighth overall) during the 1982 NFL Draft. The Oilers were division rivals of the Steelers.
"Obviously, growing up in Pennsylvania and watching the great success that he had and what he built here in Pittsburgh,'' Munchak said. "For me as a player, I went to Houston (Oilers), and we played them twice a year in the '80s. After they won their four championships, I had the privilege (that) he coached me in the Pro Bowl, which was awesome for me.
"I think that's probably the biggest plus about the Pro Bowl. You get the chance to be around a lot of great coaches. So, I got a chance to be around him and his staff. And Mike Webster was the center then. So, what a great thing for a young player like myself to be part of that.''
Pouncey never met Noll, but he is well aware of what he accomplished and what he meant to the Steelers franchise. And Noll's legacy is still felt every day.
"Four championships, you've got to feel that,'' Pouncey said. "We walk by those Super Bowl trophies every day here, and it all started with Coach Noll. ... He was a legendary coach, man, and I think he's been talked about a lot here.
"And everybody appreciated all the things that he's done for the Pittsburgh Steelers. (So), for us to go over there (to the funeral) and give a little bit of our time ... it was pretty cool to see that.''
As a player, Munchak enjoyed watching how Noll's players responded to him.
"Obviously, he was a great coach and great man, and obviously he's done some great things for Pittsburgh,'' Munchak said. "So, I'm sure he'll be very fondly remembered.''
Haley has even tried to emulate Noll.
"Well, I try to stay as calm as he did, but I'm rarely successful,'' Haley said.