Top Coach-Player "Almost" Fights in the NFL

Aaron LiebmanAnalyst INovember 13, 2009

This past Sunday saw Falcons coach Mike Smith get in the face of former Falcons player and current Redskin Deangelo Hall on the sidelines after a play. After the game, Hall seemed ready for round two, saying that Smith was talking (bleep) and if he was ready to continue, he knew where to find Hall.

Not to take sides in any of this, but since Smith's team was the winner, I need to name Deangleo Hall as this week's nappy-headed-ho of the week.

As embarrassing this is for a white haired coach to get into a scuffle with a player (also entertaining), it's not the first time it's happened and won't be the last. Perhaps it's the fact that the coaches simply coach and most of if not all of them used to play, but are now out of the action.

Below are just some of the more memorable feuds between players and opposing coaches in backwards chronological order.

Ladanian Tomlinson vs. Bill Belichick: Following a home playoff loss to the New England Patriots, league MVP and record setting touchdown holder (seems so long ago doesn't it) Ladanian Tomlinson witnessed Patriots players imitating teammate Shawn Merriman's "lights out" sack dance on their field.

Tomlinson claimed that the team had "no class" and that it came "from their head coach (Belichick)." A few weeks later, the two apparently buried the hatchet as Belichick, being the losing coach in that year's AFC championship game, coached the Pro Bowl team.

With all the hatred towards Belichick, I'm sure he figured that this feud was small potatoes and focus his attention on bigger things (like shopping for at Radio Shack's home recording department.)

Warren Sapp vs. Mike Sherman:
In a game between then very much rivals Tampa Bay and Green Bay, Warren Sapp was criticized by Packers coach Mike Sherman for throwing a huge block on a defenseless player on a defensive interception return.

Sapp being Sapp, he was ready to throw down right on the field in response to Sherman's snide remarks, telling Sherman that if he was so tough to strap on a helmet. I guess Sherman must have seen Sapp up close and suddenly his desire to for conflict disappeared.

Jerry Glanville vs. Every Player He Went Against:
Before there was Bill Belichick, there was Jerry Glanville. For those of us who watched him as an analyst with bad puns on Fox (Charles "show me the" Way), it's pretty shocking to learn that he used to have snow balls thrown at him when trying to get to the tunnel. He instigated fights with officials ("N.F.L. stands for Not For Long") and even drew flags from them.

Buddy Ryan vs. Luis Zendejas:
A lot of people didn't like Buddy Ryan and vice versa. But of all the players to have a feud with, for it to be a kicker earns him a place on this list.

Known now as the Bounty Bowl, Cowboys kicker Zendejas claimed that when he was playing for Ryan in Philadelphia, Ryan would offer bonuses to players who would knock out opposing kickers and punters. Zendejas was knocked out of the game with a concussion, and although this precipitated a feud more with coach Jimmy Johnson, it still was kicker Zendejas that kicked it off (no pun intended).

Chuck Noll vs. George Atkinson:
Following a clothesline on a defenseless Lynn Swann that would make any WWE performer proud in back to back consecutive playoff games, Noll took the Raiders and Atkinson to court for assault. Swann was knocked on conscience both times and Noll labeled the Raiders as a whole as a "criminal element."

Atkinson countersued for defamation, but neither side ever received any compensation and as well all know, the Raiders never eased up on any opponent (except for on their own coaches that is.)

I'm sure there are some that I'm forgetting so please feel free to list them.