The NFL community is mourning the loss of John Madden, the legendary coach and broadcaster who died Tuesday at age 85.
Madden had an enormous impact on the success and growth of pro football, and he did that through many different avenues.
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick opened his Wednesday press conference talking about Madden's great legacy and all he did for the sport.
“Our condolences to the Madden family. It’s a huge loss for the NFL and professional football,” Belichick said. “John was just a tremendous person to be around. I think we all set out to try to have a good professional career, and John had about five of them.
"He set the standard for coaching in his era. He had the best record, the best team, championships and all of that. The Raiders had a style of play that was very captivating and certainly did a lot for the league and the competitiveness of the league. He was a great champion for minorities and minority scouting and some of the great Raiders players from the smaller Black colleges that they brought into the organization. He moved into broadcasting and certainly increased the popularity of the game singlehandedly quite a bit.”
Madden's last game in the broadcast booth was Super Bowl XLIII in 2009.
He is best known by the younger generations from EA Sports' "Madden NFL" video games, which have played a key role in increasing the popularity of pro football for almost 30 years.
“The Madden game was one of the most popular things going and most of the current players in this generation know Madden though that," Belichick said. "The popularity of football through the Madden game is pretty outstanding as well.
"He put it all together. He was a great person with multiple great careers, and a great influence on the game of professional football.”