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a lineman who spent 14 years as an NFL

Dick Modzelewski , player and another 22 years as an NFL coach, has died at the age of 87.At six feet tall and 260 pounds, Modzelewski was small by the standards of today’s defensive tackles, but a giant in his day. Gay Talese wrote in the New York Times that Modzelewski was “260 pounds of tough tenderloin with shoulders so broad that he often has to pass through doors sideways.” Talese added, however, that “When he is not playing tackle for the New York Giants, Modzelewski is a warm-hearted, gentle soul who loves to babysit for his 108-pound wife, Dorothy. But when he is playing football he is thoroughly bellicose. He wants to win more than any man since Machiavelli, Dillinger or Leo Durocher.”In 1949 Modzelewski enrolled at Maryland, joining his older brother, Ed Modzelewski, on a Terrapins team that was one of the best in the country. Dick Modzelewski was a two-time All-American and winner of the Outland Trophy, awarded to the best lineman in college football. He was later voted to the College Football Hall of Fame.Washington drafted Modzelewski in 1953, but he didn’t get along with coach Joe Kuharich and after two years in the NFL signed a contract to leave for the Canadian Football League and a Calgary Stampeders team that was coached by one of his former Maryland coaches. But a lawsuit voided that contract and kept Modzelewski in the NFL, where he was traded to Pittsburgh. After just one year with the Steelers, Modzelewski once again was traded, this time to the Giants. That was where he found his greatest success.During Modzelewski’s eight years with the Giants, they went to the NFL championship game six times, and his presence in the middle of the line helped make the Giants’ defense among the best in football. Modzelewski also got to line up several times against his brother in the NFL, and he didn’t hold back when facing family.“Ed is my brother and I love him,” Modzelewski said. “But on the field he wears a white shirt and I wear a blue shirt and we don’t know each other.”But Ed Modzelewski wasn’t the toughest opponent Dick Modzelewski faced. That would be Browns running back Jim Brown. After a brutal 1961 game between the Giants and the Browns at Yankee Stadium ended in a 7-7 tie , Modzelewski proudly showed off his scratches and bruises and told reporters, “Look what I got from Jimmy Brown.”In 1964 Modzelewski was traded once more, to the Browns, where he became Jim Brown’s teammate and played his last three NFL seasons. After retiring as a player, Modzelewski was immediately hired by the Browns as a scout, and then made defensive line coach. He was later promoted to defensive coordinator, and he was the Browns’ interim head coach for one game at the end of the 1977 season. Modzelewski would later have spots on the staffs of the Giants, Bengals, Packers and Lions.In 1989 Modzelewski announced that he thought he had coached long enough, and he felt that it was time to step aside for a younger generation of coaches. He spent retirement with Dorothy, his wife of 64 years, and is survived by her and their four children.Giants news, 9/28: Evan Engram on low hits, Rhett Ellison, more Good morning, New York Giants fans! Let’s see what’s happening with your favorite team today.Engram: Low hits “part of the game”Evan Engram suffered a sprained MCL that will keep him out of action for the next few weeks on a play where a Houston Texans defender tackled him by diving at his legs.“I’ve always been the type of guy I’d rather defenders go high rather than low, but it’s a part of the game. It’s hard to kind of control your body. If you can kind of see it coming, you can lower your shoulder or adjust. It’s the times when you don’t see them coming, or they’re coming from the side, or coming off of a block or something,” Engram said. “So, it’s definitely tough , but there’s things that it’s hard for us to do on the offensive side of the ball and there’s things that are hard for them on their side of the ball. It’s a part of the game, especially with the new rules and stuff. A lot of defenders are changing things up. I don’t have any ill feeling towards that style. I’d rather guys go high, definitely, but I know it’s a part of the game.”Mailbag Questions?Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty ImagesHave questions about the Giants? E-mail them to, and the best ones will be answered in an upcoming mailbag. Thanks!Rhett Ellison on the Mark Bavaro comparisonEarlier this week Giants coach Pat Shurmur compared tight end Rhett Ellison to legendary Giants tight end Mark Bavaro. Ellison said Wednesday he saw that as “mostly a mentality thing.”Told jokingly that Shurmur was going to break out the film of Bavaro carrying 10 San Francisco 49ers defenders down the field, Ellison said:“One of which was my dad [Riki]. So, I’m sure my dad is not happy about this comparison.”Shula: Offense “good enough to win” vs. TexansOffensive coordinator Mike Shula said Thursday he saw good things Sunday vs. the Houston Texans, but that the offense still needs to get better.“Overall offensively, including the offensive line, I think we played more consistently last week. Still made some mistakes, have to continue to improve on our communication,” Shula said. “That’s probably one of the biggest areas of improvement we need to continue with, but there was some good. Good enough to win, but there were some other things that we have to get better at.’ Around the Inter-GoogleGiants know they probably will have to light it up this weekDrew Brees and the Saints’ fleur-de-lis logos can be a scary sight. A crisp, explosive offense that carves through opposing defenses, breezing up and down the...Rhett Ellison brings his own skill set to Giants at tight end | NewsdayEllison, who will replace injured speedster Evan Engram in the starting lineup, has been compared to former franchise favorite Mark Bavaro by coach Pat Shurmur.It's Eli Manning vs. Drew Brees in a battle of ageless wonders | NewsdayEli Manning and Drew Brees have combined to play 471 NFL games. The two meet again Sunday when the Giants host the Saints.What’s changed and what’s missing in Odell BeckhamIt was a wide-open Odell Beckham Jr. who beat Casey Hayward with a double-move and caught a 48-yard touchdown from Eli Manning early in the fourth quarter...Giants revamped offensive line now must prove it wasn’t a flukeIt was just one week, but the results were telling.The Giants’ reconstructed offensive line gave Eli Manning more time to pass Sunday and the veteran...[E-mail Ed at or via the Big Blue View Contact Page | Follow Big Blue View on Twitter | ‘Like’ Big Blue View on Facebook | Follow Big Blue View on Instagram]

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