In my humble opinion, Hall of Fame defensive lineman, Art Still, is the most underrated KC Chiefs player in team history.
There have been many great defensive players in team history and even though its tough to compare players from different eras, no defensive lineman this side of Buck Buchanan was as great as Art Still and that includes Mr. Neil Smith.
Going over the tape of some of Still’s games, what jumps out at you is his combination of power and speed.
Standing at 6’7 and weighing in at a trim 260 lbs, Art was the complete package. In an era where teams primarily featured power rushing attacks, Art excelled not only as a pass rusher but also against the run.
His stats speak for themselves, in his 12 year career he had 1128 tackles*, 78.5 sacks*, 12 fumbles recovers and 1 interception according to GOARROWHEAD.com .
Most remarkable of all is the number of tackles Art Still was able to rack up while facing double and even triple teams. Art Still was the main focus of opposing blocking schemes and despite that fact, he was still able to routinely split double teams and make the tackle by either chasing down the runner from behind or shedding the block and meeting the runner head on.
I recently had the opportunity to talk to KC Chiefs Hall of Famer Art Still and get his comments with regards to several questions. When asked who his favorite Coach was he mention Marv Levy.
He fondly remembers Coach Levy as constantly telling his players to “visualize” the plays before they actually happened and to play with “tenacity”.
Still also credits Marv with teaching him how to play smart football. Furthermore what Art appreciated most was how Marv tailored his schemes to his players and never tried o force players into schemes they were not suited for.
As far as which coach taught him the most he credits Chiefs defensive coach Walt Corey. Walt taught his players the importance of weight lifting to increase strength and durability.
He was a trail blazer in this area, as back then it was still believed that lifting made you too bulky and slow. Coach Corey also taught him proper technique which he then perfected to become one of the most feared defensive ends in all the NFL
When asked who the toughest offensive lineman he ever faced was, Art Still responded that the one lineman he hated playing against was Denver Bronco Claude Minor.
Art said Claude had the biggest
“noggin in the whole NFL”
and one of his go to moves was the head-butt. Art remembers having had a head-ache for days after playing Claude. Another linemen he mentioned was Joe Devlin from the Buffalo Bills.
Art remembers Joe for his tenacity and ability to play till the whistle each down. He said that Joe was the type of player that
“blocked you all the way down field.”
Finally his most memorable match-up was his very first. It was a pre-season game against none other than hall of famer Dan Dierdorf of the St.Louis Cardinals who Art said was as mean as they come during the game but who off the field was
“one of the nicest guys you could ever meet”.
Interestingly enough I also asked him if he ever remembers tackling running back Bo Jackson to which Art jokingly replied
” only Bo knows”…
Stay tuned for more Blasts from the Past’s exclusives as we will be talking to many KC Chiefs greats.
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