Pro Football Hall of Famer Andy Robustelli, whose arrival in New York in 1956 ushered in one of the great eras of Giants football, died Tuesday at age 85.
Tom Landry was the Giants defensive coordinator in the 1950s before joining the startup Dallas Cowboys franchise in 1960. The Giants offensive coordinator in the late '50s: Vince Lombardi.
Frank Gifford, around whom the Giants offense was built, recalled Tuesday for The Associated Press the relationship between Robustelli and Landry.
“Andy was a great leader. When he came to us from the Rams [in 1956], it turned everything around defensively. He fit perfectly into Tom Landry’s defense. Tom Landry was such a leader in putting defense into pro football and Andy was one of the key components of that.
“He was far and away above the other defensive ends of his era. Andy was not all that big, but he was very quick. With Andy and Tom Landry, it was almost scary the anticipation that they had of what was going to be run.
"He and Tom were very, very close. Whereas Tom was the overall defensive coach, Andy basically ran the defensive line along with the linebackers. He was the leader. Everyone knew that. He was the leader in the clubhouse. He was quiet. But when Andy talked, everyone listened.”
Read the AP obituary on Andy Robustelli.