ATLANTA (AP) — Dan Reeves, who gained a Tremendous Bowl as a participant with the Dallas Cowboys however was once absolute best identified for a protracted training occupation that integrated 4 blowout losses within the identify recreation with the Denver Broncos and the Atlanta Falcons, died Saturday. He was once 77.
A observation launched by means of his circle of relatives thru former Falcons media members of the family director Aaron Salkin stated Reeves died of headaches from dementia. The observation stated he died “peacefully and surrounded by means of his loving circle of relatives at his house in Atlanta.”
“His legacy will proceed thru his many pals, avid gamers and fanatics in addition to the remainder of the NFL neighborhood,” the circle of relatives stated.
Reeves was once a flexible participant who performed a key position within the Cowboys changing into an NFL powerhouse within the Nineteen Sixties below Tom Landry, however his personal training occupation — stretching over 3 groups and 23 seasons — is the place he in reality left his mark at the league.
Together with a stint with the New York Giants, Reeves totaled 190 training victories — the ninth-most in NFL historical past. However he was once by no means ready to win the most important recreation of all, going 0-4 within the Tremendous Bowl, each and every of them by means of double-digit margins.
Reeves, Marv Levy and Bud Grant are the one coaches to lose 4 occasions within the Tremendous Bowl.
“Dan Reeves leaves a long-lasting legacy in our recreation as a participant and trainer,” stated Falcons proprietor Arthur Clean, who fired Reeves from his ultimate activity in 2003. “His observe report of good fortune in Dallas, Denver, New York and Atlanta over a number of a long time speaks for itself, marking a protracted and a success existence and occupation in soccer.”
Simply 37 when he took over as trainer of the Broncos in 1981, Reeves obtained quarterback John Elway in a business and constructed a crew that made 3 Tremendous Bowl appearances, earned six journeys to the playoffs and gained 5 AFC West titles over his 12-year tenure.
However Denver by no means gained an NFL identify below Reeves, dropping 39-20 to the Giants within the 1987 Tremendous Bowl, 42-10 to Washington in 1988 and 55-10 to the San Francisco 49ers in 1990 — nonetheless essentially the most lopsided loss within the recreation’s historical past.
Regardless of the ones defeats and a sour parting after the 1992 season, Reeves is remembered fondly in Denver, the place the Broncos inducted him into their Ring of Honor in 2014.
“Trainer Reeves set the basis for the Broncos’ decade of dominance within the Eighties and championship custom for future years,” the crew stated in a observation. “Reeves coached the Broncos with integrity, persona and toughness together with trustworthy appreciation for his avid gamers and coaches.”
After a falling out with Elway and allegations that the famous person quarterback had colluded with then-offensive coordinator (and eventual head trainer) Mike Shanahan to drive a transformation, Reeves was once fired by means of the Broncos.
He took over the Giants in 1993 and led the crew to the playoffs in his first season, however that might be his best postseason look in New York. He was once fired after 4 seasons however briefly stuck on in 1997 with the Falcons, a homecoming of varieties for the Georgia local.
In simply his moment season with a franchise that had skilled little good fortune, Reeves guided a crew referred to as the “Grimy Birds” to a 14-2 report within the common season and their first go back and forth to the Tremendous Bowl.
After Reeves underwent emergency middle surgical operation, the Falcons beat the closely appreciated Minnesota Vikings in an time beyond regulation mystery on the Metrodome to assert the NFC championship, prompting the trainer to try the arm-flapping dance that famous person working again Jamal Anderson and different avid gamers had made the crew’s trademark.
“My man!” Anderson wrote on Twitter. “I’m going to leave out DR, a firstclass human, and a maximum superb trainer. My ideas and prayers are with (his spouse) Pam, his circle of relatives. A circle of relatives guy first. Admire & love, RIP Trainer Reeves!”
Reeves once more got here up wanting a championship, dropping to Shanahan, Elway and the Broncos 34-19.
Reeves engineered a business that introduced Michael Vick to the Falcons and made his ultimate playoff look in 2002, when Atlanta become the primary street crew to win a playoff recreation in Inexperienced Bay.
However Vick was once injured right through the 2003 preseason, and Reeves was once fired after the crew gained simply 3 of its first 13 video games.
He ended his training occupation — and 39 uninterrupted years within the NFL — with a report of 190-165-2.
Reeves remained in Atlanta after his retirement, maximum particularly serving as an adviser to Georgia State when it introduced a soccer program that now performs within the Solar Belt Convention.
Daniel Edward Reeves was once born in Rome, Georgia, however grew up within the Americus, within the southwestern a part of the state, the place he performed soccer, basketball and baseball in highschool.
Reeves attended faculty at South Carolina, the place he was once a three-year starter at quarterback from 1962-64 and likewise performed baseball for the Gamecocks.
Higher referred to as a runner than a passer, Reeves was once no longer drafted after faculty. He signed a free-agent care for the Cowboys, who to begin with sought after him to play protection however wound up shifting him to working again.
Reeves emerged as one of the most crew’s key avid gamers simply because the Cowboys had been organising themselves because the a success franchise that might transform referred to as “The usa’s Workforce.”
He began all 14 video games at halfback in 1966, main the Cowboys in speeding with 757 yards and 8 touchdowns. Dallas made its first playoff look however misplaced to the Inexperienced Bay Packers in a 34-27 shootout for the NFL championship, lacking a possibility to play within the first Tremendous Bowl.
The next season, Reeves rushed for 603 yards and 5 TDs, once more beginning each recreation, because the Cowboys made every other run to the playoffs. Once more, they had been thwarted by means of Inexperienced Bay one win shy of the Tremendous Bowl, dropping to the Packers on a landing within the ultimate seconds of the famed “Ice Bowl” recreation at frigid Lambeau Box.
A knee damage in 1968 restricted his effectiveness, and Reeves performed just a restricted position the remainder of his occupation. However Landry known his skills off the sector, asking Reeves to function a player-coach whilst runner reminiscent of Duane Thomas and Calvin Hill took on extra distinguished backfield roles.
The Cowboys made their first Tremendous Bowl right through the 1970 season, dropping to the Baltimore Colts on a last-second box objective, however in any case gained the championship the next yr with a 24-3 victory over the Miami Dolphins.
Reeves retired as a participant after the 1972 season, changing into a full-time assistant on Landry’s workforce.
As a head trainer, Reeves was once identified for his gruff, no-nonsense way and an offensive philosophy that appreciated a bodily working recreation. However he additionally coached two of the sport’s maximum dynamic offensive avid gamers, Vick and Elway, defying those that classified him as outdated.
Along with his unique Southern drawl, Reeves might be fair to a fault, reminiscent of when he spoke brazenly of the rift that ended in his departure in Denver — and spread out a large number of outdated wounds — right through the lead-up to the Falcons dealing with the Broncos within the 1999 Tremendous Bowl.
“There’s nonetheless a large number of harm that gained’t ever pass away,” Reeves stated. “You by no means will omit the ones issues.”
However Reeves hardly held grudges, even with contributors of the media that he had clashed with.
In his later years, he would gladly take telephone calls to talk about the problems of the day, as soon as joking when a reporter known himself, “OK, what did I do fallacious now?”
Reeves is survived by means of spouse Pam, his highschool sweetheart; youngsters Dana, Lee and Laura; in addition to grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Funeral preparations haven’t begun to be introduced.
Apply Paul Newberry on Twitter at https://twitter.com/pnewberry1963
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