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Steelers, NFL pay final tribute to Noll at funeral

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.

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 while playing tight end for the Steelers' Hall of Fame coach 25 years ago.

It's why Mularkey made sure he said 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 died Friday at 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."

The men Noll molded as he transformed the sad-sack Steelers into a dynasty during the 1970s embraced at Saint Paul Cathedral. Each vowed to carry on lessons Noll imparted from his start in 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 avoid but one he ultimately welcomed.

"It meant Chuck was thinking of me," Greene said, "and that's special."

Bucs sign WR Gettis

TAMPA — The Bucs signed former Panthers receiver David Gettis, who turned heads as a tryout player at minicamp last week. Gettis, 26, caught 37 passes for 508 yards and three touchdowns as a rookie with Carolina in 2010, but hasn't caught a pass in three seasons because of injuries. Tampa Bay also waived rookie linebacker Steven Jenkins and tackle Emmett Cleary. Jenkins, an undrafted rookie, was Texas A&M's leading tackler last season, while Boston College's Cleary was signed to the Bucs' practice squad in October, then to a contract in January.

Around the league

McMahon on worst times: Former Super Bowl-winning Bears quarterback Jim McMahon, struggling with early onset dementia and depression, said he thought about killing himself in his darkest times. "I am glad I don't have any weapons in my house or else I am pretty sure I wouldn't be here," McMahon said. He opened up to a small group of reporters, saying he believes his issues were brought on by the beatings he absorbed playing football. He is scheduled to be honored today in Chicago by the Sports Legacy Institute, a Boston University-based group that has been studying the effects of brain trauma in athletes and others. McMahon said suicidal thoughts are in the past thanks to treatment that drains spinal fluid from his brain.

Manziel signs: Johnny Football has NFL money to rub between his fingers now. Johnny Manziel, the former Heisman Trophy winner at Texas A&M drafted 22nd overall last month, agreed to a four-year contract. The Plain Dealer in Cleveland reported the deal was worth about $8.25 million, including a $4.3 million signing bonus and about $6.7 million guaranteed.

Dolphins: The team got final approval on a stadium renovation plan. The Miami-Dade County Commission, which approved the deal, will pay incentives to the Dolphins. In exchange, team owner Steve Ross will pay for $350 million in renovations, which will begin this summer.

Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report.

Steelers, NFL pay final tribute to Noll at funeral 06/17/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 9:53pm]
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