Commentary

Marchibroda returns to coaching

Ted Marchibroda will coach for the first time since 1998, on Saturday in the UA game

Originally Published: December 28, 2009
By Jc Shurburtt | Scouts Inc.

Throughout his long and distinguished career as a player and coach in the NFL, Ted Marchibroda has learned one very important thing -- you have to have players to make big plays.

He will have plenty at his disposal when he coaches the White squad in the 2010 Under Armour All-American game at 11 a.m. Saturday at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. (ESPN).

[+] EnlargeTed Marchibroda
Doug Pensinger/Allsport/Getty ImagesTed Marchibroda coached for 12 seasons in the NFL.

"Sometimes good football isn't good enough," Marchibroda said. "You need to have outstanding football players that can make big plays. In this game, one of the things I am looking forward to is that there are going to be a lot of good football players in this game."

Marchibroda was the offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills from 1989-91 under Marv Levy (who coached in last season's Under Armour All-American game). In 1990, the Bills had the league's top offense and quarterback Jim Kelly was the league's top-rated passer. The Bills also advanced to Super Bowl XXV -- their first of four consecutive Super Bowl appearances -- and fell to the New York Giants 20-19. That game was played at the old Tampa Stadium, 22 miles from Saturday's game.

"We really had a lot of good football players on that team," Marchibroda said. "We ran a no-huddle attack. We had a good quarterback in [Kelly], two good receivers in Andre Reed and James Lofton and another good receiver in running back Thurman Thomas. We really had a good ballclub."

Marchibroda will square off in the Under Armour All-American game against the first coach to run a no-huddle offense in the NFL, former Cincinnati Bengals head coach Sam Wyche. The pair have a history that predates their time with the Bengals and Bills. When Marchibroda was the quarterbacks coach for the Washington Redskins under George Allen, Wyche was a backup quarterback.

"Sam is an outstanding football coach," Marchibroda said. "He is one of the most high-character coaches out there. I have a lot of respect for him."

Marchibroda, who is in the Indianapolis Colts' Hall of Fame, had two stints as the head coach of the franchise. He coached the Baltimore Colts from 1975-79, leading the team to three straight AFC East titles (1975-77), and was rehired by the franchise in 1992 and stayed for four seasons. In 1995, the "Cardiac Colts," led by current Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh at quarterback, advanced to the AFC Championship Game before falling to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 20-16, when a last-second pass was knocked down. Marchibroda resigned following that season.

He returned to Baltimore and coached the Ravens from 1996-98, making him the only person to serve as the head coach for both Baltimore teams.

For nine seasons prior to that, Marchibroda was part of the Indianapolis Colts' broadcast crew, where he got the chance to witness a Super Bowl run and the play of quarterback Peyton Manning.

After being away from football this year, Marchibroda is looking forward to getting back after it in Orlando.

"It really starts to get the blood flowing again," he said. "Especially as we get closer to game time."

JC Shurburtt covers recruiting for ESPN.com. He can be reached at jcsespn@aol.com.