Boomer Esiason Remembers Sam Wyche

Former Bengals Coach Died Thursday At 74

Boomer and Gio
January 03, 2020 - 10:11 am

"He was my coach, my mentor."

On Friday, Boomer Esiason opened the "Boomer and Gio" show by remembering Sam Wyche, his coach with the Cincinnati Bengals who died Thursday.

Wyche, who had a history of blood clots in his lungs and had a heart transplant in 2016, died of melanoma, Bengals officials confirmed. He was 74.

"He was somebody who was different," Esiason said. "They broke the mold for him, I could tell you that. ... There will never be another head coach like him. There will never be another head coach that was pushing the envelope as much as him."

Wyche had an innovative offensive mind and pioneered the no-huddle offense that helped the Bengals reach the Super Bowl after the 1988 season. It also forced the NFL to change its rules.

A former Bengals quarterback himself, Wyche coached Cincinnati from 1984-91 and then the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1992-95. 

"He entrusted his brain child -- the no-huddle offense -- to me because he thought I could handle it," Boomer said. "And he said to me, he goes: 'You know, you're the quarterback. You're the guy that has to be able to be an extension of our coaching staff. And you have to learn everything there is to learn about our offense, and you need to talk to us as coaches as we talk to ourselves.' And that was the demanding part of all of it.

"And then he was gutsy play-caller. He would call plays that I could never have expected that he was going to call in certain parts of the game. And that's how quarterbacks end up having great careers and great moments is because the coach has the trust in him to call certain plays in certain situations. And very rarely did he ever sit on the ball. He was always forward-thinking, always moving it, always telling me to go downfield with it."

Esiason also called Wyche "a better human being than he was a coach," adding that the coach was an advocate for the homeless who would volunteer at soup kitchens after leaving Bengals practices.

To listen to the open, click on the audio player above.