On March 21st 2012, Ron Erhardt passed away. He was a great offensive genius that coached more than 3 decades in the NFL and left his mark with several teams. Rather than have me tell you of his impact on the game, pro football scout Ken Robinson, who knew him, shared his thoughts:
A MOMENT OF SILENCE IN ORDER AS WE LEARN ONE OF THE TRULY GREAT FOOTBALL MEN HAS PASSED AWAY…. RON ERHARDT A True Offensive Genius whose run/pass balanced game plans as led two different NFL teams , one AFC and one NFC to THREE SUPER BOWL APPEARANCES and TWO SUPER BOWL TROPHIES as Offensive Coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants has died at age 80….
I had the pleasure to get to know Coach Erhardt over the past 6 years and he was ever so gracious in taking my calls and speaking with me all the while not knowing me personally but yet taking me at my word would on several occasions personally conduct private workouts for free agent players based solely on my recommendation……
WR Jason Geathers and QB Aaron Leak are two who come to mind – all the while knowing that I was quite possibly evaluating these players for CFL recommendation from him and not even NFL….. He is truly one of the throwback coaches of the game – a coach who will be dearly missed but never forgotten …. I for one believe he is strongly deserving of a place in Canton, Ohio as a Pro Football Hall of Fame member…. GOD BLESS YOU Coach Erhardt and the entire Erhardt family … Our prayers and condolences to you all….
Erhardt served as head coach of the New England Patriots for three seasons, from 1979 through 1981, compiling a record of 21-27, and was with the team for a total of eight seasons.His 1980 Patriots team scored 441 points, which was a record that stood until the 2007 team scored 589 points.
During Erhardt’s eight seasons as offensive coordinator, the Giants reached the playoffs five times, won three NFC East titles and two Super Bowls. Phil Simms was the quarterback for the first one over Denver after the 1986 season, and Jeff Hostetler ran the team en route to the second title after Simms broke his left foot late in the 1990 season.
Erhardt won three divisional championships in four seasons with Pittsburgh, including an AFC championship in 1995.He was named offensive coordinator under first-year coach Bill Cowher and newly appointed Player Personnel Director Tom Donahoe. The Steelers bounced back from a 7-9 finish to 11-5 with the first of those three divisional titles
Erhardt’s offense developed Neil O’Donnell from a third round pick in 1991 to one of the better passers in the league by 1995. Under his guidance, the Steelers flourished with a new offensive identity. With running backs Barry Foster and Erric Pegram, the Steelers were a solid running team, but O’Donnell and WR Yancey Thigpen, the team threw the ball as frequently as at any point in Cowher’s regime.
Ron Erhardt… R.I.P.
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