Ed Reed grabs a coach's whistle but Willie Gault's still on the run



(Willie Gault photo courtesy of Oakland Raiders)

(Ed Reed photo courtesy of Baltimore Ravens)

Talk of Fame Network

This was a big week for Willie Gault, who proved not everyone loses their speed, and a bigger one for the Talk of Fame Network, which did the near impossible. It caught up to the former Chicago Bears’ Super Bowl-winning receiver as he was stepping off the track at UCLA to ask him about being named USA Track and Field’s Athlete of the Week at 55.

Willie recently set world records in the 100- and 200-meter dashes for his age group, running 11.3 and 23.24 seconds, and explained how he’s retained world class speed decades after the conclusion of his NFL career.

“Because I never stopped running,’’ Gault said. “It’s something I can do, hypothetically, until I die. I don’t have to rely on anyone to throw me the ball.’’

Although the Bears and, later, the Raiders didn’t throw it to him as much as they should have or would have today, Gault averaged 19.9 yards per reception during his 11-year career. With that speed you can see why.

Our hosts, Rick Gosselin, Ron Borges and Clark Judge, realized if you’ve got someone like Willie Gault coming to visit you need more than one man to cover him. So they brought in two: Hall-of-Fame cornerback Mel Blount and future Hall-of-Fame safety Ed Reed.

Blount made news last week when the Black College Football Hall of Fame (BCFHOF) announced it found a permanent home in Canton, Ohio, at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Blount is a member of the BCFHOF’s Board of Trustees credited Pro Football Hall-of-Fame president David Baker for creating a place for the past stars of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), which produced 10 per cent of the Hall's players.

“Something special is happening at the Pro Football Hall of Fame,’’ Blount said of the planned $500 million renovation project called Hall of Fame Village. “They have a tremendous leader with David Baker. He can get things done.’’

So could Ed Reed. A nine-time Pro Bowler, eight-time All-Pro and NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Reed is beginning his first season as an assistant coach with the Buffalo Bills, making the transition from the field to the sidelines he always seemed destined for.

“There ain’t nothing like playing, but coaching ain’t too bad,’’ Reed joked. “I considered myself a coach not just on the field but also in the locker room and the meeting room. I knew it would happen (one day).’’

It only took one phone call from Rex Ryan to begin writing the latest chapter in Reed’s football career, one that will continue to allow him to match wits with his long-time nemesis, Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady.

“Those games were awesome,’’ Reed recalled. “It was just as much mental as physical against those guys.’’

Long-time Broncos’ cornerback Louis Wright played both the mental and physical game during his storied career in Denver, a career so brilliant Clark believes Wright deserves a place in Canton. He makes the case for Wright this week and also tries to answer the curious question of why the Broncos have only four former players in the Hall despite having been a Super Bowl contender for four decades.

Ron’s "Borges or Bogus" segment asks if presently unemployed Greg Hardy will find a job this season after his agent announced he’s undergoing anger management therapy for past domestic violence issues that led to his suspension last season. Is the league going to take a stand or will, as Rick suggests, someone decide by mid-season it’s a pass rusher away from the Super Bowl?

There’s all that as well as high praise from our HOF guys for the Atlanta Falcons for doing something low down: Dropping concession prices in their new stadium to sticker-shock levels.

Hear all that and more on 80 radio stations around the country, on the TOF podcast at iTunes or by downloading the TuneIn app. The show can also be heard on our website, talkoffamenetwork.com.

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