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Former Seahawks LB Dave Wyman: Chuck Knox ‘helped me grow up’

Chuck Knox led the Seahawks to their first playoff appearance in 1983. (AP)

710 ESPN Seattle’s Dave Wyman spent five years of his career with the Seahawks playing for former head coach Chuck Knox, who passed away Sunday at the age of 86. Knox, a member of the Seahawks Ring of Honor, will be remembered as the first head coach in NFL history to win division titles with three different teams and the first coach to take Seattle to the postseason. Wyman, though, will remember him as something more – a mentor and friend.

Former Seahawks coach Chuck Knox dies at 86

“I was kind of prepared for it, but it’s never easy,” Wyman, a former NFL linebacker, said of Knox’s passing during an interview with Brock and Salk monday morning. “Really with Chuck, all I can think about are the good things. I’ve talked to a few people about Chuck and done more laughing than anything, just remembering him. Mostly it was about a guy who I respected so much. I was never wanting for a father figure – my dad was just the strongest man and just a geat example – but I think Chuck helped me become a pro. He helped me become a professional and just grow up. Because sometimes in football you don’t really grow up; you’re playing a game. And when I got to the NFL, I wasn’t sure whether I really liked Chuck in the beginning, because I was friends with my coaches in college. But man, the more my career progressed in the NFL the more I appreciated Chuck and everything that he taught me and how he treated me.”

Wyman said Knox commanded respected and was one of toughest people he’d been around – but he also had a playful side.

In November 1990, the Seahawks faced a tough road game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Seattle hadn’t beat Kansas City at Arrowhead in 10 years, a trend that looked to continue late into the fourth quarter. Down 16-10 with seconds left in regulation, Seahawks quarterback Dave Krieg narrowly avoided a tackle and threw a 25-yard touchdown to wide receiver Paul Skansi as time expired. Seattle won 17-16.

“We went through the airport and were going to the plane and there’s a little bar off to the side, a couple guys went in there, then a few more, then a few more, pretty soon the whole damn team’s in there,” Wyman said, recalling the trip back from Arrowhead. “All the sudden the plane’s delayed. And then Chuck comes walking in and we all thought, ‘Oh no, we’re going to get in trouble here.’

“And Chuck peels off two or three hundred-dollar bills and buys everybody drinks,” Wyman said with a laugh, “and we sat there and had a little party in the airport and delayed the flight home by about an hour.”