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Remembering Bill Walsh

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"This is just a tremendous loss for all of us, especially to the Bay Area because of what he meant to the 49ers. For me personally, outside of my dad he was probably the most influential person in my life. I am going to miss him." — Joe Montana

"I always said that he was an artist and all the rest of us were blacksmiths pounding the anvil, while he was painting the picture. There is always more than one way to win games, but that was how he chose to do it." — Mike Holmgren

"What really made Bill special is that he understood that the game was bigger than him. His genius was not centered around Xs and Os; it was centered around his ability to create a platform that made the game inclusive to others. He will forever be cemented with the likes of George Halas, Paul Brown and Vince Lombardi as the best ever." — Ronnie Lott

"He was one of the most creative people in the sport. Everywhere he went he was a winner. He was one of those unusual people who could say, 'Here's a play, it's going to work, and here's what's going to happen.' That's one of the hardest things in football." — Joe Gibbs

"I played for him for one year, and I learned a lot. But more important was that he was so supportive of me and my career and African-American coaches. It's one of those things that really touches you." — Tony Dungy

"Beyond being a great offensive coach, Bill mastered running an entire pro football organization. He figured out everything from the big picture down to the smallest detail and documented it in his book, "Finding The Winning Edge," which was groundbreaking. It remains easily the most comprehensive and best modern-day football book and is required reading for every coach." — Bill Belichick

"He was one of our fiercest rivals, and we had some very memorable games in the '80s. He was an innovative guy who brought his philosophy to the NFL, and he integrated the right people into it and allowed it to flourish. He is one of the very few people who really helped make the NFL what it is today, and his coaching tree is evidence of that." — Bill Parcells

"The essence of Bill Walsh was that he was an extraordinary teacher. If you gave him a blackboard and a piece of chalk, he would become a whirlwind of wisdom. He taught all of us not only about football but also about life and how it takes teamwork for any of us to succeed as individuals." — Roger Goodell

"Great coaches are great teachers, people who enjoy teaching. It doesn't matter what level it was on. I don't care if he was teaching high school kids, quarterbacks, three- to five-step drops, college kids, pro kids, he enjoyed it. He was very good at it, very smart. I guess the best way to describe it is he just had passion for everything he did. And that's one of the reasons he was so successful." — Mike Shanahan

"Bill was an innovator, a motivator and ultimately one of the most dynamic coaches in NFL history. From my earliest days of involvement in the NFL, he was a friend who always had time to offer his counsel and advice. His leadership defined the 49ers as the team of the 1980s, and his legacy will be as one of the best we have ever seen." — Jerry Jones

"Everyone who loves football will miss one of the game's great icons. He was an extraordinary mentor to so many coaches who are still in the game today. We all owe him greatly for his kindness and gifts." — Pete Carroll

"He had great vision on what the league was going to become and how to forge opportunities for players. What he did for that organization, the Super Bowls he won, is a testament to what kind of coach he was. But he was also a good man who gave guys an opportunity." — Herm Edwards

"He was a very demanding head coach. His presence put pressure on you. I mean, when he walked out of that locker room, it was all about football, getting your minds right. But that's just the personality he had and the impact he had on a team." — Tom Rathman

"The thing he did, is he really went about putting the game in players' hands, and saying 'you got to make plays. I may throw you a five yard slant, but I expect you to turn it into a 30-40 yard play,' and he knew how to get the ball in his players hands." — Gary Kubiak