Friends remember former Titans coordinator Heimerdinger

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Mike Heimerdinger was praised by friends and NFL colleagues for being not only a good coach but a great person.

NFL coaches Mike Shanahan of the Washington Redskins, Jim Schwartz of the Detroit Lions and Gary Kubiak of the Houston Texans, and former coaches Jeff Fisher and Dave McGinnis were among those at the private funeral for the former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator at the Cathedral of the Incarnation on Friday.

Many former players and assistant coaches who worked with and played for Heimerdinger during his 16-year NFL career also attended, including Denver BroncosHall of Fame quarterback and current team president John Elway and former Tennessee TitansPro Bowl tackle Brad Hopkins.

Fisher and Shanahan served as two of the eight pallbearers, joining Heimerdinger's father Robert, his brother Jeff and son Brian. Other pallbearers included longtime NFL offensive line coach Alex Gibbs, Oklahoma State assistant coach Joe DeForest and Michael LeMay.

Heimerdinger died Sept. 30 of a rare form of cancer that had been diagnosed in November 2010. He was 58.

"It seemed like I knew 'Dinger' for a very long time, and that's the way Mike Heimerdinger was," said McGinnis, who was on Fisher's staff with Heimerdinger in Tennessee. "If you knew him for a day or for your entire life, you knew him exactly the same way. He was a very, very special guy. He was a guy that you always wanted with you on the sideline, the office, on the golf course."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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