ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Jerry Smith, whose 26-year NFL coaching career included a stint as the Denver Broncos interim head coach in 1971, has died at age 80.
Smith had been in declining health since suffering a heart attack four years ago. He died Saturday, said his son, Jeffrey Smith, of Dallas.
Smith coached the offensive and defensive lines for 10 AFL/NFL teams from 1960-85 before serving six seasons as a scout for the Kansas City Chiefs.
He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 1952 out of the University of Wisconsin and played three seasons for the Niners and one for the Green Bay Packers.
Smith took over the Broncos after Lou Saban resigned in 1971 and went 2-3 before being replaced the following season by John Ralston.
"I think he really wanted the opportunity to take over the team the following year," his son said. "But what was always important to him was coaching and teaching...He valued assistant coaching as much as he did head coaching."
Smith coached with the Boston Patriots, Buffalo Bills, New Orleans Saints, Houston Oilers, Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Colts, San Diego Chargers and St. Louis Cardinals in addition to his one year in Denver during his 26-year pro coaching career.
He was best known for coaching the "Sack Pack" in Baltimore in the mid-1970s and the Chargers' dominating defensive line for several seasons after that.Comment on this story
WILLIAMS SIGNS WITH RAVENS: The Baltimore Ravens have agreed to terms with veteran running back Ricky Williams. The Ravens announced the deal on Monday, pending Williams passing a physical today.
Williams played for the Miami Dolphins last season. The 34-year-old split time with Ronnie Brown in Miami and averaged 4.2 yards per carry. He rushed for 673 yards and scored two touchdowns. With the Ravens, Williams will play behind starter Ray Rice.
Williams has rushed for 9,569 career yards and 68 touchdowns, recording 325 receptions for 2,523 yards and eight touchdowns.