Top 10 NFL Player-Coach Feuds
Joe Montana and Bill Walsh
The quiet feud between Montana and Walsh seemed to start when the 49ers brought in Steve Young in 1987 and grew when Walsh benched Montana for Young during an '87 playoff loss to the Vikings. The bitterness continued in 1988, when Montana was dealing with health issues and Walsh was using both Montana and Young in games.
Kevin Butler and Mike Ditka
Ditka turned his wrath toward the kicker after a 1992 loss to the Bucs, when Butler booted a kickoff out-of-bounds and missed a game-tying field goal attempt. Butler said Ditka told him he was "the worst kicker in the league" and that he was "gutless" and "mentally weak." Never mind that the two had won a Super Bowl together and that Butler had passed Walter Payton's mark to become the Bears' all-time leading scorer in that very game.
Tom Landry and Duane Thomas
Thomas was the T.O. of the early 1970s, only there wasn't as much media around to cover him. Thomas, a star running back for a short time, called the straitlaced Landry a "plastic man ... actually no man at all." Thomas reportedly decided not to speak to his coaches during the 1971 season, but the Cowboys won the Super Bowl that year anyway.
Don Shula and Mercury Morris
Sports Illustrated's Dr. Z reported that Morris put a voodoo curse on Shula when the coach allegedly benched Morris for a game in 1974. Morris said the curse worked when Shula made a critical mistake that cost the Dolphins a playoff game.
Troy Aikman and Barry Switzer
Aikman pretended to be OK with head coach Switzer in Dallas from 1994 to '97. But there was clearly bad blood that went back to Aikman's and Switzer's days at Oklahoma, when Aikman came to play for Switzer under the impression that the Sooners would switch from the option attack to the I-formation. That never happened. Aikman got hurt and Switzer helped the quarterback transfer to UCLA. The two won a Super Bowl together, but it wasn't hard to see the underlying tension.
Marcus Allen and Art Shell
Allen had a bitter feud with Raiders owner Al Davis, and Shell got caught in the middle. Shell, a longtime warrior for Davis, sided with the owner and cut the future Hall of Famer's playing time.
Terrell Owens and Andy Reid
Reid and Owens seemed to get along fine when the Eagles were in the midst of their 2004 run to the Super Bowl, but when Owens became dissatisfied with his contract the following season, he began acting out. Reid eventually suspended T.O. for a week, and later for the whole season.
Terry Bradshaw and Chuck Noll
Bradshaw was the No. 1 overall pick in 1970 but didn't become a full-time starter until midway through the 1974 season. Noll thought Bradshaw would never grasp the offense and made life difficult for his talented quarterback. Of course, they went on to win their first of four Super Bowls in '74.
Keyshawn Johnson and Jon Gruden
Gruden deactivated Johnson with six games left in the 2003 season because he felt the wide receiver had become a disruption to the team with his negative attitude. The Bucs had won a Super Bowl the year before, but the good feelings dissipated quickly and Gruden made the controversial move of sitting Johnson even though Tampa Bay was still in contention for the playoffs.
Steve Mariucci and Terrell Owens
Owens consistently ripped Mariucci while they were in San Francisco. The gist of the problem for T.O. was Mariucci's play-calling and the coach's reluctance to run up the score on opponents. As soon as the 49ers started to lose, the relationship got worse. Eventually they both found their way out of San Francisco.