Speaking volumes

NFL playoff races were in full swing but the talk of the league Sunday was the death of the legendary Reggie White. Here are what others are saying about White, who is a lock to be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame when his name hits the ballot for February 2006 voting.

Former Packers general manager Ron Wolf, who signed White: "Since free agency has been in force in the NFL, there have been two great free agents in my opinion.

"One was Reggie White, and the other was Deion Sanders. I don't know if Reggie had a weakness as a player. It's like Bum Phillips once said about Earl Campbell, ‘I don't know if he's the best, but it won't take long to call the roll.'

"He had everything — his size, his speed, he was amazingly strong, unbelievably quick. He'd give you that club move he had where he'd get by (linemen) in a heartbeat and head right for the quarterback. I remember sitting in my office and telling him, ‘If you come to Green Bay, you'll become a legend.' I believe that's exactly what happened."

Packers coach Mike Sherman: "I don't think there ever will be another player like Reggie White. I hear his name thrown around sometimes, when you're comparing players or watching tape of college guys. I don't think there ever will be another guy like him, that put the fear in offensive linemen like he did.

"I think he won some plays just out of fear alone. Not that his ability didn't help in many ways, but there's not many people who wanted to line up against Reggie White, even at the end of his career."

Packers quarterback Brett Favre: "I had the utmost respect for Reggie White as a player. He may have been best player I've ever seen and certainly was the best I've ever played with or against."

Packers fullback William Henderson: "Brett is the icon here but this is still the house that Reggie helped build."

Former Packers and current Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren: "He was just a wonderful player, first of all. Then as a person, he was just the best. He was one of the leaders, along with Brett Favre, of our football team in Green Bay. I'm a better person for having been around Reggie White."

Packers president Bob Harlan: "He's a very warm person — every time he'd see me, he'd give me a big bear hug."

Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy: "(His death) makes you understand that as great as this game is, it's not as big a deal as we think. Reggie always said you have to live one day at a time. Reggie was younger than I am, and it puts everything in perspective. He always said the Lord only gives you one day, and you better make the most of it."

Former NFL offensive tackle Lincoln Kennedy, now an NFL Network commentator: "You think about the things we go through, the stuff we put in our bodies just to stay on the field. You just wonder about that. We as athletes were warriors. We'd do whatever it took. It's very alarming to see someone so young pass away."

White, in Inside Sports magazine in 1993, on how he reconciled being a Christian playing but playing such a rough-and-tumble game: "One of the things you've got to realize is that football is aggressive, not violent. Violence is what's happening in our streets, where our kids are dying. ... I get a little fit when the game is labeled violent, because the game is not violent. We're not killing each other. I don't think too many guys go out with the intention to end anybody's career."

NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue: "Reggie White was a gentle warrior who will be remembered as one of the greatest defensive players in NFL history. Equally as impressive as his achievements on the field was the positive impact he made off the field and the way he served as a positive influence on so many young people."

Keith Johnson, a pastor who is serving as the White family's spokesman: "A 43-year-old is not supposed to die in his sleep. It was not only unexpected, but it was also a complete surprise. Reggie wasn't a sick man ... he was vibrant. He had lots and lots of energy, lots of passion."

Former Carolina coach George Seifert, White's final NFL coach: "Reggie's records and accomplishments say it all. He is a Hall of Fame player and possibly the best defensive lineman ever to play the game."

ESPN's Mike Golic, who played with White in Philadelphia: "I had the pleasure to play with Reggie from 1987-1992, and those were five wonderful years because he was there. He was a man who led wherever he went whether it was on the football field or off it. When he chose a path, he stuck to it, and that's part of the reason why he was great on and off the field."

Detroit Lions CEO Matt Millen: "As great a player as Reggie was, he was a better person, and it isn't close. Every life that Reggie touched is better for it. This is a very depressing day."

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie: "We are deeply saddened by the passing of one of the greatest men ever to play the game of football. On behalf of the entire Eagles family, our condolences go out to his wife, Sara, to his children, and to all those who have been touched by Reggie throughout his life. His legacy on and off the football field will never be forgotten."


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