Judging by the reaction of everyone from players to coaches to the media, Mark Hatley was exactly that.

"> Judging by the reaction of everyone from players to coaches to the media, Mark Hatley was exactly that.


NFL has highest praise for Hatley

Former Packers coach Mike Holmgren, when trying to conjure up the highest praise for a player or fellow coach, would often call them "one of the good people in football" or "one of the really special people in this game."<P> Judging by the reaction of everyone from players to coaches to the media, Mark Hatley was exactly that.<P>

As NFL personnel received the news of Hatley's untimely death at age 54, they had many kind words for the Packers vice president of football operations. Here's a sampling of the reaction from around the league.

Packers president Bob Harlan: "For a man that young and vigorous . . . it's a terrible, terrible shock," Harlan told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "I guess when God's ready, God's ready."

Atlanta defensive coordinator Ed Donatell:

"Mark is really well-respected around the league. There's a lot of heavy hearts here with the Atlanta Falcons." Donatell, who held the DC position with the Packers for the four previous seasons, spoke shortly after hearing the news as his team opened training camp Tuesday in Greenville, S.C.

Chicago Bears President and CEO Ted Phillips released the following statement about his former employee:

"Mark loved football and excelled in evaluating the game and the people who play it. But as talented as he was in his professional career, it was Mark's personal qualities that made him a special individual. Mark made life fun with his endless energy and quick wit. He was dedicated to his job and his family. We were fortunate to have Mark as a part of our team. The Bears, and the rest of the NFL, have lost a wonderful friend. The Hatley family is in our thoughts and prayers."

Kansas City Chiefs President Carl Peterson released the following upon learning of the death of Hatley who served with the Chiefs for a decade:

"The Kansas City Chiefs were shocked and saddened by the news of the passing of Mark Hatley. Mark was here for 10 years and it was my good fortune to work with him for eight. The Green Bay Packers and the National Football League have lost a wonderful, talented, and devoted person. Mark always had an upbeat attitude about everything and, I've said this many times to other people in our profession, I believe Mark Hatley to be one of the most talented evaluators of player personnel that I've ever encountered. The successes of the teams he's been with bear that out. But more than a fine evaluator of football talent, Mark was a good person who had friends throughout the NFL and the college ranks. Everyone who came in contact with Mark liked him. He will be sorely missed and our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Claudia, and his lovely family. This is truly a difficult loss for everybody who knew him." Pat Kirwan, NFL senior analyst, in his league website column:

"Mark was a team player in a world full of individuals. What makes the NFL so successful is not the marketing plans, the television contracts and all the glitz. It's people like Mark who care about the game, the competitive spirit, the search for talent for players who play it well. He was not a guy hanging around the cameras and the press..." "Mark Hatley may never be recognized as a star of the NFL, but he never tried be a star. He was a worker, a film grader, went to college campuses to discover talent, a guy who studied personalities and found ways to best contribute to the team he was with. Mark never really campaigned for jobs or promotions. Smart people found him because of his reputation."

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