Rest in Peace, Joe Avezzano
The sad news today was that former Cowboys special teams coach Joe Avezzano died at the age of 68. He was coaching in Italy at the time.
He served as special teams coach from 1990 to 2002. He also served as head coach of the now-defunct Dallas Desperados of the Arena Football League.
He appeared as an analyst on the Cowboys post-game show last season. He offered unfiltered insights about the team, and his comments were typically a highlight after both wins and losses.
In honor of Avezzano, here are three quotes as part of the Dallas Cowboys history in quotes series.
“He’ll get blamed for things he can’t control, like injuries. But as far as decisions? He came in and said, ‘You guys have been very successful. Go to work.’ That’s a helluva decision right there. The correct one.”
Avezzano about former head coach Barry Switzer, who joined the Cowboys in 1994 after Jimmy Johnson resigned. Switzer and Avezzano had known each other for years.
Source: Sports Illustrated, Aug. 1, 1994
“They are legislating mediocrity. The attempt, in my mind, is to devalue the kicking game. I marvel at the amount of time that’s spent trying to mess with the kicking game. You’re going to be penalized for having a strong kicker.”
Avezzano about a proposal to move the ball to the 25-yard line after touchbacks. The proposal fell through.
Source: Sports Illustrated, March 14, 1999
“What kind of [expletive] question is that? Can you show me the [expletive] stats that show punt returners get hurt more frequently than any other [expletive] player?
“This is [expletive] pro football. Players get hurt all the [expletive] time no matter what they’re doing.”
Avezzano to reporter Jean-Jacques Taylor, who had asked the coach in 1995 why the team was using receiver Kevin Williams as a punt returner.
Source: ESPN, April 5, 2012
Did You Know?
Avezzano was a three-year letterman at Florida State, where he played guard. The website Nolefan.org included this comment:
Offensive Guard from Miami…big, tough and capable…an excellent pass blocker with good speed…good at pulling to trap and lead sweeps…along with tackle Del Williams, provided tremendous pass protection for Steve Tensi for three years…played one year in the AFL for the Boston Patriots in 1966.
The site also includes a picture of Avezzano during his college playing days. Great stuff: