Posted on June 22, 2012 - by ChuckFinder
By the time you read “The Steelers Encyclopedia starting in roughly 10 weeks), Dan Radakovich hopefully has published his memoirs, entitled “Bad Rad.”
But he was kind enough to share some stories for this book.
If Bad Rad has anything, it is a deep and entertaining supply of stories.
“I was a linebackers coach. I called [Chuck Noll] on the phone. I was at the University of Cincinnati. I was the defensive coordinator going to law school,” Radakovich began, reliving his 1971 arrival. And the Steelers, his hometown team, suddenly needed a defensive line coach.
“I couldn’t live on my salary at Cincinnati. I got him right on the phone, and he didn’t know me from Adam. I hung up the phone, ‘There’s no job there.’ The next day, he called me back. He’s all wired up. I’m talking to a different guy.”
Noll told him of already lining up five interviews the next week. . . ., but Rad drove to Pittsburgh and interviewed the next day, a Friday, prior to the other five guys. “I’m sure Perles was one of them,” Bad Rad recalled. Noll called him back the following Friday: the job was Rad’s.
How much defensive-line coaching had he done in his career to that point? “Only two weeks of spring practice at the University of Cincinnati. I went to Cincy to be the defensive coordinator and coach the defensive line, and I couldn’t do both. After two weeks, I gave it to another coach.”
The Steelers’ d-line he inherited? They would become known as the Steel Curtain that very year: L.C. Greenwood, Joe Greene and Dwight White (Ernie Holmes was on the taxi squad, as it was called then.)
When Bad Rad returned to the Steelers in 1974 — he went back to college, coaching at Colorado, in 1972-73) — he coached the offensive line and won a couple of Super Bowl rings. Then, when he joined Bud Carson with the Los Angeles Rams, he coached against the Steelers in Super Bowl XIV.
More on those stories in both his and my book.
Next “The Steelers Encyclopedia” blog: Friday, June 29