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Woodson: Noll in conversation as NFL's greatest coach

Chuck Noll passed away Friday at the age of 82, leaving in his wake a masterful football legacy. Rod Woodson was there for the end.

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Chuck Noll Through the Years

Take a look back at the Hall of Fame career of long time Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Chuck Noll

The Hall of Fame defensive back played five seasons under Noll, whose coaching run with the Steelers spanned from 1969 to 1991. Woodson remembers Noll as a leader who challenged him to win football's considerable mental battle while giving players a way to look at the game from different perspectives.

"He was a huge catalyst for teaching football life," Woodson told Desmond Purnell on Friday on NFL Network. "He loved to read, he would take different scriptures from different literature that he would read and then he would apply it back to the team in some form or fashion to motivate us to win football games. He was an amazing man. I caught the tail-end of his career, and I just couldn't imagine what he was like when they were winning all the Super Bowls."

Woodson was asked if Noll -- who won an unprecedented four Super Bowls -- is in the conversation as the greatest coach in NFL history.

"Well, I think you definitely have to put him there," Woodson said. "Just the way he looked at the draft, the way he wanted to form his team, he was a catalyst of putting that team together, along with all the other ones in the front office for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"But when you talk about somebody who put his thumb print on a football team and they played their way, the Steeler way, it's Chuck Noll," Woodson continued. "Chuck Noll made it the Steeler way, and they've been playing that way ever since."

A compelling case, no doubt.

In the latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast," the heroes talk "Hard Knocks" before delving into a new batch of rookie whispers.

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