Pittsburgh • The lessons Chuck Noll passed down to his players — maxims that often applied as much to life as to football — are tacked on the wall in Mike Mularkey’s office.
They say things like "Stress is when you don’t know what you’re doing" and "I wasn’t hired to motivate players. I was hired to coach motivated players." They ring as true now as they did when Mularkey heard them the first time playing tight end for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Hall of Fame coach 25 years ago.
It’s why Mularkey made sure he had a chance to say goodbye, joining Steelers past and present, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and several hundred friends and family on Tuesday for a funeral mass honoring Noll, who passed away last week at age 82.
"I’ve gotten more from Chuck off the field as much as I got on the field about how to do things the right way," said Mularkey, now a tight ends coach with Tennessee. "Family was important. Balance in life was important."
And that, as much as the record four Super Bowls Noll won while transforming the Steelers from an NFL afterthought into a dynasty during the 1970s, is what will resonate for the city he championed and the team he built from scratch.
The men he molded embraced at Saint Paul Cathedral. They clutched programs featuring a picture of a vibrant Noll wearing a polo shirt, shorts and the closest he ever came to a smile while at work. Each vowed to carry on the lessons Noll imparted from his first day of coaching to his waning days.
Steelers President Art Rooney II and Hall of Fame defensive tackle Joe Greene were among the pallbearers, a responsibility Greene wished he could have avoided but one he ultimately welcomed as a final gift from the coach who changed his life.
"It meant Chuck was thinking of me," Greene said, "and that’s special."
Around the league
Browns • Johnny Manziel agreed to a contract Tuesday, becoming the fourth of the team’s six draft picks to do so. Terms were not immediately available. The former Heisman Trophy winner will enter training camp next month as Cleveland’s No. 2 quarterback behind veteran Brian Hoyer, who has been limited during offseason practices while recovering from offseason knee surgery
Cowboys • Backup quarterback Kyle Orton is a no-show for the first mandatory offseason practice. Orton missed all the voluntary workouts amid reports that he is contemplating retirement. Dallas coach Jason Garrett has said he expected Orton to show up for the mandatory three-day minicamp that started Tuesday.
Jets • New York has signed third-round draft pick Dexter McDougle to a four-year deal. McDougle missed the final nine games at Maryland last season with a shoulder injury. The speedy defensive back was cleared by Jets team doctors last week to participate fully in practice.
Titans • Tennessee has agreed to terms with their second-round draft pick, running back Bishop Sankey. The Titans did not disclose terms. Sankey started his last two seasons at Washington, where he rushed for 3,496 yards in his career with 37 touchdowns.
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