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Reactions To The Death Of Andy Robustelli

Here are reactions from several members of the New York Giants organization or former players to the passing today of Hall of Fame defensive end Andy Robustelli.

Frank Gifford

"Andy was a great leader. When he came to us from the Rams, it turned everything around defensively," said Frank Gifford, a former Giants teammate and fellow Hall of Famer. "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," Gifford said. "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."

Giants co-owner John Mara

"He was one of the greatest players in franchise history, and one of the finest, most dignified gentlemen you could ever meet. Andy was a man's man in every respect."

George Martin

"Andy is someone I looked up to fiercely," said Martin, who played for the Giants from 1975-88 and is now the Executive Director and President of the NFL Alumni Association. "I think he was legendary among all ballplayers, but especially within the illustrious Giants history. He was the G.M. when I came aboard and I was amazed at his intelligence. Andy had such a regal presence about him and people looked upon him with great admiration for his accomplishments. There were many, many times when I tried to emulate Andy, both on and off the field, which is extremely rare. ...

"There was no pretense about Andy. He was the same whether you were talking to him as a G.M. or a former ballplayer or whether he was one of those great icons. He was just Andy. When he was general manager, everyone called him ‘Andy,' not ‘Mr. Robustelli.' To see how people - I don't want to say, ‘worship,' but I don't think I'm far off the mark - how they looked up to him and how they were in awe when they were in his presence, you looked at him and said, ‘Man, I wish I could have that kind of impact on people.' Andy had that magical aura about him. I'm so sorry to hear of his passing and he will really, truly be missed."