Gerald Riggs Sr. on Marion Campbell (1929-2016)

Gerald Riggs, Atlanta Falcons

Top 50 Falcons: No. 8, Gerald Riggs

Marion Campbell, the only man to serve two stints as the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, died last week in Plano, Texas, it was announced late Sunday. He was 87.

Campbell was a three-time All-SEC pick at Georgia from 1949-51 and played eight seasons in the NFL as one of the last two-way players before beginning his coaching career. Campbell served as Falcons head coach (1974-76, 1987-89) and returned to Georgia as defensive coordinator for one season under Ray Goff in 1993.

Here’s what his former running back, Gerald Riggs Sr., had to say about him:

GERALD RIGGS SR., Ring of Honor running back

“He was affectionately known as the Swamp Fox. I had two go-arounds with him. He was one of the defensive coaches when I first got there under Leeman Bennett. I always remember him having that tough, no-nonsense type of attitude. He reminded me of the old coach at Green Bay, Forest Gregg. They were similar type coaches.

“He was always a very tough-minded defensive coach. He knew how to put those guys together. I think he was around when they had the Grits Blitz in Atlanta, if I’m not mistaken. He part of that whole scheme when they did that with (Jerry) Glanville and all those guys who were there at the time.

“He was influential in my career because he was the coach who traded me from Atlanta to Washington. As players say, that’s part of the game. That’s business. I respected him as a coach…I always thought very highly of him as a pretty sound and solid defensive coach. It’s really sad about a really great defensive coach that we’ve lost right now.

“He was right up there with the likes of Buddy Ryan. He just didn’t quite have the players overall, but I think he always had the defensive scheme to do those type of things….

“He was a hoot. I still remember once incident where we were out practicing on the field, and I’ve never forgotten this. We were up in old Suwanee where we had those three football fields and we had one all the way at the back by the river. I remember he made us practice that day and inclement weather was coming.

“We went out there on the field and during warmups, all of sudden it starts to rumbling a little bit. Coach was like ‘tough it out. It’s just a little bit of rain.’ Well, about three minutes later a big crack of thunder came around and hit one of the goal posts. After that lightning hit, everybody dropped to the ground. We looked up and he was running across the fields and there was a rooster tail coming off of him. It was time for everybody to go. He looked liked Herman Munster trying to run across the field with those bad knees. It was the funniest thing, because everybody was running and passing him up.

“He was a good guy.”

2016 TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE

Here’s a closer look at the training camp schedule:

July

27 – Wednesday, team reports for camp.

28 – Thursday, practice open to public, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

29 – Friday, public practice, 10:00 a.m. – 12 p.m.

30 – Saturday, public practice, 10:00 a.m. – 12 p.m.

31 – Sunday, public practice, 10:00 a.m. – 12 p.m.

August

1 – Monday, no practice.

2 – Tuesday, public practice, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

3 – Wednesday, public practice, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

4 – Thursday, public practice, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

5 – Friday, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Grayson High School

6 – Saturday, players off.

7 – Sunday, public practice, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

8- Monday, public practice, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

9 – Tuesday, public practice, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

10 – Wednesday, public practice 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

11 – Thursday vs. Washington 7 p.m. (Georgia Dome).

12 – Friday, closed practice.

13 – Saturday, players off.

14 – Sunday, public practice, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

15 – Monday, public practice, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

16 – Tuesday, public practice: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

PROJECT PASS RUSH

Dan Quinn pressing all buttons to create a pass rush

How does drafting Keanu Neal help the pass rush?

DL line coach Bryan Cox: Hageman needs to improve his play

LB coach Jeff Ulbrich: ‘Cream will rise’ at linebacker for Falcons

Defensive coordinator Richard Smith pleased with early progress of the defense

Falcons still have a spot for DT Jonathan Babineaux

Dwight Freeney 95 percent certain that he will play in 2016

Falcons working 80 percent of time on pass rush

Weatherspoon on Freeney: ‘He still has it’

90-MAN ROSTER ANALYSIS — POSITION BY POSITION

OFFENSE

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Quarterbacks

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Running backs

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Wide receivers

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Tight ends

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Offensive line

DEFENSE

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Defensive line

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Linebackers

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Defensive backs

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Specialists

 

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