Chuck Cecil

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Chuck Cecil
No. 26
Position: Safety
Personal information
Born: (1964-11-08) November 8, 1964 (age 53)
Red Bluff, California
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 185 lb (84 kg)
Career information
High school: La Mesa (CA) Helix
College: Arizona
NFL Draft: 1988 / Round: 4 / Pick: 89
Career history
As player:
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Tackles: 461
Interceptions: 16
Touchdowns: 1
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR
College Football Hall of Fame

Charles Douglas "Chuck" Cecil (born November 8, 1964) is an American football coach and former player who last served as defensive secondary coach of the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League (NFL). He is also a former NFL Pro Bowl safety. He currently serves in a non-coaching position as senior defensive analyst at the University of Arizona in Tucson, his alma mater.[1]

Early years

Born in Red Bluff, California, Cecil grew up in Hanford and La Mesa; he graduated from Helix High School in La Mesa, where he was a standout player on a defense which set a school record for fewest points allowed per game and won a state title.[2] At 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) and 150 lb (68 kg) as a senior, Cecil was considered too small to be a collegiate star and thus was not offered a scholarship out of high school.

Playing career

College

Cecil attended the University of Arizona, where he walked-on for the Wildcats. He proved the recruiters wrong by eventually earning consensus All-America and Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year honors after his nine-interception senior season in 1987. He held the Pac-10 record for career interceptions, with 21 (Lamont Thompson later broke the mark with 24), and set the Wildcats' school single-game record (and tied the Pac-10 record) with four interceptions against Stanford in 1987.[2]

In the 1986 rivalry game against fourth-ranked Arizona State (9–0–1), Cecil returned an interception 100 yards to notch a 34–17 Wildcats victory in Tucson. This play has been voted the greatest play in Wildcat football history.[2] Despite the loss, ASU won the Pac-10 title and the Rose Bowl.

Cecil was inducted into the Wildcats' Sports Hall of Fame in 1993 and into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009. He also spent two seasons (1999–2000) as a television analyst for University of Arizona football games.

Professional

Selected by the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round of the 1988 NFL Draft (89th overall), Cecil was known for his thunderous tackling and aggressive style during his time as a safety for the Packers (1988–1992), Cardinals (1993), and Oilers (1995). He earned a trip to the Pro Bowl and garnered All-Madden status in 1992 when he recorded four interceptions and 102 tackles on the season. In 95 career games he totaled 400 tackles and 16 interceptions. During his years with the Packers, he earned the nickname "Scud" Cecil due to his hit-or-miss approach to tackling opponents. He often left his feet and led with his helmet, and much like the infamous missiles launched during the Gulf War – would occasionally miss completely or arrive late.

Cecil is regarded as among the most vicious hitters in National Football League history. He was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1993 (October 11 issue) with the question: "Is Chuck Cecil Too Vicious for the NFL?"[3] Many photos taken of Cecil during games showed him with a bloodied nose.[4]

During much of his career, Cecil was forced to wear a "Gazoo Helmet"; a helmet so named because it resembled the head of The Great Gazoo, a recurring character in The Flintstones animated series. The "Gazoo helmet" is actually a thick padding that fits on a helmet's shell to reduce the risk of receiving a concussion and reducing the risk of injury to opponents due to helmet-first hits, for which Cecil was fined numerous times. Despite the additional protection, recurring concussions forced him into retirement.

Coaching career

In 2001, Cecil accepted a coaching position for the Tennessee Titans under Jeff Fisher, for whom he had played in his final season (when the team was the Houston Oilers). Cecil served as a defensive quality control assistant for three seasons. He was promoted in 2004, to work with the safeties and nickel backs. His responsibilities expanded in 2007 to cover all of the defensive backs.

On February 12, 2009, Cecil was named the Titans' defensive coordinator, replacing the departed Jim Schwartz, who had taken the position of Head Coach for the Detroit Lions.[5]

On October 3, 2010, during a game against the Denver Broncos, Cecil gave NFL officials the middle-finger gesture in an attempt to protest a neutral zone infraction call against one of his players. Live close-up video of Cecil was being aired at the time, and the gesture was broadcast without editing. For his inappropriate action, he was fined $40,000 by the league.

On January 20, 2011, it was announced that Cecil would not be retained as the Titans' defensive coordinator. He was informed of this decision on January 18. The Titans ranked 26th in total yards allowed and 29th against the pass in the 2010 season.[6]

On February 16, 2011, ESPN.com reported that Cecil will interview with the Pittsburgh Steelers to be their next secondary coach. He would fill the void left by Ray Horton when he departed to become the defensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals.[7] On February 13, 2012, he was hired as the St. Louis Rams defensive secondary coach.[8]

Personal life

Cecil is married to author, columnist and television producer, Carrie Gerlach Cecil. The two have one daughter, Charli.

Coaching tree

NFL head coaches under whom Chuck Cecil has served:
Head Coach Team Capacity Year(s)
Jeff Fisher Tennessee Titans defensive asst./quality control 20012003
safeties and nickel backs coach 20042006
defensive backs coach 20072008
defensive coordinator 20092010
St. Louis Rams defensive secondary coach 20122016

References

  1. ^ "Chuck Cecil". University of Arizona Athletics. Retrieved December 29, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c La Jolla Star Chamber Chuck Cecil bio, LJStarChamber.com (accessed online 2009-02-12)
  3. ^ "Is Chuck Cecil too vicious for the NFL?". Sports Illustrated. October 11, 1993. 
  4. ^ Telander, Rick (October 11, 1993). "Headlong and headstrong". Sports Illustrated. p. 43. 
  5. ^ Titans name Cecil Defensive Coordinator Archived March 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine., Titans press release, February 12, 2009 (accessed online 2009-02-13)
  6. ^ http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/football/nfl/01/20/titans.cecil.ap/index.html#ixzz1Bd7qb0dK
  7. ^ http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/features/rumors/_/date/20110216#8104
  8. ^ http://www.stltoday.com/sports/football/professional/no-nonsense-cecil-to-coach-rams-secondary/article_c76cbbf8-3b63-5943-bfdd-60b30dec8aa8.html

External links

  • University of Arizona Athletics – Chuck Cecil
  • Chuck Cecil at the College Football Hall of Fame
  • Career statistics and player information from NFL.com • Pro-Football-Reference
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