The NFL community is still very much in mourning for the loss of linebacker Junior Seau, one of the all-time greats who played 20 years in the league with the Chargers, Dolphins and Patriots.
No players, coaches and league contributors are affected more by his death than those who knew him. One of those people is Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, who crossed paths with Seau during a two-year stint in Miami.
On Friday, Garrett spoke at length about the kind of person Seau was and the impact he had on teammates. Here are his comments, in full:
"I'm, obviously like everyone else who is a fan of football, really saddened by this news," Garrett said. "My last year of playing was in Miami in 2004, and Junior was a player on that team. He was on Injured Reserve, so I never was around him in the locker room as a player, but I was coaching there the next year and he was a player on our team.
"He just was a rare, rare individual, obviously a great player. He played for 20 years in this league. But he was so much more than that. I consider myself so fortunate to have been around him and see how he just went about his day as a football player and as a person. He had such a tremendous spirit, just the way he practiced, the way he conducted himself; he made some of the most amazing speeches to the team that I've ever heard. I was really mezmorized by him.
"Oftentimes the coach would speak to the team before practice or before the game, and he would say 'Coach, do you mind if I say something?' And he would stand up in the middle of the team meeting, and he would give the most unbelievable talk that I've ever heard in my life. I would sit there and I was just absolutely amazed by it. And then two days later the same kind of thing would happen. He would stand up and do the same thing, give the most unbelievable talk.
"And then he lived it. The way he practiced, the way he played, he loved it. He loved people, he was such a generous person, he had such a great spirit about him. And I didn't know Junior well. I was only around him for a short period of time. Obviously, like everyone else, we were really, really saddened by this news because he really made a big difference for a lot of people that he came across in his life."