If you ask anyone who has followed the NFL for more than 30 years, they’ll tell you that Alex Gibbs was one of, if not the best, offensive line minds in league history. Widely considered one of the premier coaches of his era and an architect of some of the best zone blocking lines ever, Gibbs made a career in the NFL has an offensive line and assistant coach from 1984 with the Denver Broncos until his retirement in 2013 with his first team, the Broncos. From 2004 to 2006, the Falcons were fortunate enough to have Gibbs serve as an assistant head coach and offensive line coach.
On Monday morning, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that Coach Gibbs passed away at age 80 due to complications from a stroke.
This man helped prolong my career and got the most out of me. Made me find a gear I did not know I had. Taught me about reading the backend of a defense to tell what the guys upfront were doing. #Legend #Cheif #Asshole https://t.co/JSIctdI2a3— Todd Mcclure (@ToddMcclure62) July 12, 2021
In an interview with The Falcoholic, former Falcons offensive lineman Kynan Forney shared his thoughts on his former offensive line coach.
Alex Gibbs brought a certain mentality and mindset to that group. The offensive line room, or any position, is going to take on the mentality of their coach. Alex was an old school, hard-nosed coach. He could be tough about certain things, but he had a tough personality. He taught us a bunch of tricks of the trade which I still teach guys to this day. Some of the stuff you can’t use because they’ve outlawed it, but most of the stuff is still good to go. He had years of coaching experience that he brought and taught us.
Unfortunately, with the passage of time comes losses like this, and it is a major loss for the NFL community. As you can see from the comments from a couple of his former players, Gibbs was an all-time great who helped mold great linemen.
In Atlanta, Gibbs brought his zone blocking scheme, and combined it with the mobile quarterback Michael Vick creating one of the best rushing attacks in franchise history. From 2004-2005, the Falcons led the NFL on the ground with over 8,100 yards, and Gibbs’ work with the offensive line and the offense more generally helped make one of the most enjoyable eras in Falcons history a reality.
All of us at The Falcoholic express our condolences to Alex Gibbs’ family.