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Walt Michaels dead at 89

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Sorry to hear about that 

peace to his family 

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I was just a kid when he was the HC but I remember my father bringing me home a Jets hat that Walt Michaels had autographed on the brim.  Apparently my father had met him at an event near where he worked in the city and Walt was signing autographs.  I don't remember much about him and would love to hear from some of our fans about that 1982 transition, the reason for his firing, etc.  The Jets did rebound and were competing in the playoffs just a few years later with Ken O'Brien, etc. but did it seem like Walt got a raw deal?

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31 minutes ago, Jetster said:

Walt Michaels was a great coach. So strange we were all discussing the 82 Mud Bowl in Miami. 

I love that story about him trying to get to Shula after the game. I guess he got trashed on the Jet home & was eventually fired. How badly do you think Walt wanted to punch Don Shula right in his broken nose?

Thanks for clarifying how he got let go.  I always wondered what happened.

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1 hour ago, Jetster said:

Walt Michaels was a great coach. So strange we were all discussing the 82 Mud Bowl in Miami. 

I love that story about him trying to get to Shula after the game. I guess he got trashed on the Jet home & was eventually fired. How badly do you think Walt wanted to punch Don Shula right in his broken nose?

This is partly true. It was a culmination of events at the end of the season that led to Michaels' demise:

-In the conference semi-final, the Jets had received a call in the lockerroom during halftime. Michaels believed it was the shenanigans of Al Davis. To disrupt them. Michaels seethed about Davis. (It was actually a bartender from his bar in Ny that called).

-In the final, Michaels was pissed about the field conditions. The Dolphins did not have a tarp, although rules said they should. He also complained about the Dolphins quality of tape that they sent. He and Shula were old teammates with I believe the Browns. Michaels went off on Shula. Yes, reports are he got drunk on the flight back.

-He did not show up for the teams final year end meeting.

Those together signaled the end for Michaels. The Jets intimated privately through the press that Michaels had an alcohol problem. Michaels, years later, claimed that it was medication that he was on, for a debilitating back condition that he had.

Enter, Joe Walton.

 

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Just now, Hackenberg said:

Wasn't  that  an announcers name?

No. The jets and Dolphins did have an announcerless game, but it was an end of regular season game, when both teams stunk.

They would NEVER do a conference final without announcers.

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Was my favorite Jet Head coach up to Parcells. A hard nosed Ditka like field general who's teams took no $hit from anyone, went out and kicked the crap out of anyone who got in their way.

 

RIP Coach.

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1 hour ago, JetsFanatic said:

One of the most underrated HCs.  He took over a sh*tshow in 1977 and without benefit of free agency he methodically improved the Jets to the AFC Championship game in 1982.  His firing after the 1982 season was an unfortunate crossroad for this franchise. 

RIP, coach.

Right. I was a brand new Jets fan when he was our coach. I watched the Mud Bowl at the Ground Round in Bellville NJ as a 10 year old and could not have told you who our coach was then. The first coach I really remember was Joe Walton. But it seemed weird that Michales was fired right after that game.  I bet he could have had something going here. I'm sad to hear of his passing.  Then again, I could only hope to make it to 89 years.  

He was a prominent member of our Jets family and this is a sad day. 

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1 hour ago, JetsFanatic said:

One of the most underrated HCs.  He took over a sh*tshow in 1977 and without benefit of free agency he methodically improved the Jets to the AFC Championship game in 1982.  His firing after the 1982 season was an unfortunate crossroad for this franchise. 

RIP, coach.

So Jetsy!  We had a REAL man as a coach. A take no prisoners guy and Leon cans him for what?   Replaces him with Joe friggin Walton the buffoon.

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2 minutes ago, southparkcpa said:

So Jetsy!  We had a REAL man as a coach. A take no prisoners guy and Leon cans him for what?   Replaces him with Joe friggin Walton the buffoon.

There were some problems there. I loved Michaels. but he played a large part in his own demise.

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Just now, Scott Dierking said:

There were some problems there. I loved Michaels. but he played a large part in his own demise.

Perhaps but canning him led to a LONG LONG period of crappy coaching by Walton.

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You guys are referring to his coaching days. But more significant is his Cleveland  Browns days as player, from 1952 to 61.

 

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8 minutes ago, slats said:

I remember the drinking rumors, and also seem to recall a rebuttal to them that he was actually on pain pills from his playing days and that's what had him out of sorts. Probably some sort of combination, I guess, in the end. Was disappointed that he was fired, even though I remember thinking at the time that I was glad they held onto Walton. Yeah, that worked out. 

He made the post season two years in a row with the Generals after leaving the Jets, so he still had something going on. That's when the regret really set in. He was probably a top 3 all-time Jets head coach. What might've been? Would he've drafted Marino over O'Brien? 

The Jets were never, never going to draft Marino. 2 main reasons:

-The Jets were very straight laced and wanted to be aligned with the NFL office ideal of players (Jim Kensil influence). There were drug rumors (well founded) about Marino at Pitt.

-The Jets were very leery of players with knee injuries (they were spooked by the Namath situation), and stayed clear of medical red flags. Team Doctor James Nicholas had a large voice as to what players should be cleared to draft.

 

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In hindsight pp

46 minutes ago, southparkcpa said:

So Jetsy!  We had a REAL man as a coach. A take no prisoners guy and Leon cans him for what?   Replaces him with Joe friggin Walton the buffoon

It wasn't viewed that way back then.  Walton was the OC people were afraid would be signed away from the Jets. 

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Walt Michaels was a breath of fresh air after the Charlie Winner Lou Holtz Debacles. He was the guy who actually built a defense after 7 years of Horrid Defense.

He knew exactly what Shula was up too and it probably enraged him along with many others. Shula was the original cheat scum bag who ruined our chance at a SB possibly multiple SB's . The team he helped build was just stacked with talent and depth . 

RIP Walt Michaels my favorite Jets coach who really got a sh*tty deal :(

 

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Walt Michaels would have been given a chance to get sober before getting fired if he was coaching today. Good coach, should have been helped and kept on. Oh and the mud had nothing to do with Todd throwing passes to A.J. Duhe.

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Walt was the coach when I started watching as a little kid.  The first full season I can remember was 1981, is a shame the way his Jets career ended.  Sorry to hear of his passing.

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1 hour ago, Scott Dierking said:

This is partly true. It was a culmination of events at the end of the season that led to Michaels' demise:

-In the conference semi-final, the Jets had received a call in the lockerroom during halftime. Michaels believed it was the shenanigans of Al Davis. To disrupt them. Michaels seethed about Davis. (It was actually a bartender from his bar in Ny that called).

-In the final, Michaels was pissed about the field conditions. The Dolphins did not have a tarp, although rules said they should. He also complained about the Dolphins quality of tape that they sent. He and Shula were old teammates with I believe the Browns. Michaels went off on Shula. Yes, reports are he got drunk on the flight back.

-He did not show up for the teams final year end meeting.

Those together signaled the end for Michaels. The Jets intimated privately through the press that Michaels had an alcohol problem. Michaels, years later, claimed that it was medication that he was on, for a debilitating back condition that he had.

Enter, Joe Walton.

 

The clip below is from the NFL today that weekend, they show highlights of the win over the raiders (his last win as Jets coach) then discuss the Al Davis stuff.  Skip ahead to 21:06 mark

 

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26 minutes ago, Kleckineau said:

Walt Michaels would have been given a chance to get sober before getting fired if he was coaching today. Good coach, should have been helped and kept on. Oh and the mud had nothing to do with Todd throwing passes to A.J. Duhe.

Couldn't run in the mud so they were forced to pass.

The mud had everything to do with it.

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