NFL reacts to passing of longtime assistant coach Heimerdinger

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Players, coaches and executives from around the NFL reacted to the Friday passing of Mike Heimerdinger, a former assistant coach with the Denver Broncos, New York Jets and Tennessee Titans.

Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt
"Mike was a good man that brought a great level of dedication and professionalism to his job. He was brave in his fight over the last year and showed such a commitment to the game. Nothing was going to stop him last season from being a part of the team and having his stamp on the games."

Redskins and ex-Broncos coach Mike Shanahan
"We lost a very special person and my best friend in Mike Heimerdinger. I know the man upstairs needed a superstar so he took him earlier than we all wanted. His love for his family was unprecedented and I will forever miss him."

Eagles QB Vince Young, a former Titan (via Twitter)
"It's a terrible feeling to know he's gone but I will never forget a teacher to me and I learned alot from Coach Heimerdinger."

Colts QB Kerry Collins, a former Titan
"Those of us that were fortunate enough to know Dinger will always remember his passion for life and love of the game."

Kirby Lee / US Presswire
Mike Heimerdinger spent 16 seasons coaching in the NFL for the Denver Broncos, Tennessee Titans and New York Jets.

Jets WR Derrick Mason, a former Titan (via Twitter)
"Dinger gave me a opportunity and I will forever thank him for that! Great teacher!!"

Titans RB Chris Johnson
"He was a great coach and a tough coach. I know I wouldn't have become the player I am without his confidence and the trust that he showed in me. My thoughts go out to his family."

NFLPA president and former Titans center Kevin Mawae
" 'Dinger,' as many people knew him, was a great coach and a good man. For those who knew him and played for him, they knew Dinger was a man who loved his family, enjoyed his players and loved the game of football. Dinger's fight with cancer was indicative of the type of person he was; determined and courageous. ... I am better for having known and played for him."

Titans OT Michael Roos
"You don't expect these types of things to happen, and they shouldn't happen. I felt confident that he was going to beat this after seeing his resolve last season in dealing with it. He was such a competitor and a fighter -- the things that made him such a good coach were also the traits that I thought would lead him to beat the cancer."

Bears QB Jay Cutler, a former Bronco
"Anyone that crossed paths with Mike grew to love him. I gained so much respect 4 Mike during my time (with him). ... I loved the way Mike approached life and how he attacked cancer in that same manner."

Colts QB Peyton Manning
"He was a man's man. I appreciated his friendship (after being coached by him at the Pro Bowl). I am sorry and sad about his passing. He will be missed, and my prayers are with his family."

Broncos executive vice president of football operations John Elway
"The world lost a great coach and a great man in the passing of Mike Heimerdinger. He was a big part of our championship years. My heartfelt prayers go out to Mike's wife Kathy and his family and friends. 'Dinger,' we will miss you!!"

Former Titans RB Eddie George
"Any time you lose a friend, you feel it. My heart goes out to his family, it is a terrible loss. Mike was a highly competitive coach and person who expected and demanded nothing but the best from you. He was a good guy to be around and he will surely be missed in this world."

Former Broncos WR Rod Smith
"If you didn't take time with me when you did, there would be no Real Rod Smith. I appreciate your family for treating me like family. You will always be one of the reasons I work as hard as I do and instill that will and desire into others. You taught me how to become a professional athlete. Forever grateful."



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