In part two of our four-part blog visiting with some of the Jets’ assistant coaches on their training camp memories, I chatted with Karl Dunbar recently. And before Dunbar was a top-notch defensive line coach, he was a decent defensive lineman himself — a standout DT at LSU and a three-year pro with one season in New Orleans and two in Arizona.
But his first NFL exposure was as an eighth-round pick by Pittsburgh, and Dunbar remembers that first training camp experience at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., like it was yesterday.
“Mean Joe Greene was my defensive line coach and Chuck Noll was my head coach,” Dunbar recalled. “At camp, we’d have to run the hills in the morning, and the strength and position coaches would be out there along the trail.
“You always knew where Mean Joe was, even if he was behind a tree, because he’d always smoke a cigar. As you were running steep hills, through trees and brush, you’d suddenly smell the cigar smoke coming from the trees and you’d say, ‘Mean Joe’s right around the corner.’ “
Even though Dunbar didn’t stay with the Steelers, he said he had no doubt that summer was an important one for him as a player and then as an NFL coach.
“I’ll never forget that first year coming out,” he said. “Running the hills, working your quads and glutes, no question that got us ready. And I’ll never forget my first year coming out of college, playing defensive line under Mean Joe. That all made us better players.”
Tags: Karl Dunbar, Mean Joe Greene, PIttsburgh Steelers
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