John Teerlinck

John Teerlinck
Date of birth (1951-04-09) April 9, 1951
Place of birth Rochester, New York
Career information
Position(s) Defensive end
College Western Illinois
NFL draft 1974 / Round: 5 / Pick 105
Career history
As player
1974–1977 San Diego Chargers
Career stats

John Teerlinck (born 1951) is a former American football player and coach.

Teerlinck coached 32 National Football League playoff games, including six Championship games and four Super Bowls. Teerlinck earned three Super Bowl rings with two teams (Denver Broncos 1998, 1999 and Indianapolis Colts 2006).

Regarded by some as the greatest defensive line coach of all time, Teerlinck established an NFL presence in the early 1990s. "John Teerlinck is kind of like Mr. Miyagi", John Randle said. "He's very unorthodox. A different breed. Rough around the edges. He tells you things that are funny, but they register if you just listen. That's why he's the guru."[1]

As a pass-rush specialist, Teerlinck coached 31 Pro Bowl players including four defensive MVPs: Michael Dean Perry, Chris Doleman, John Randle, and Dwight Freeney. Both Doleman and Randle have been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In 2010, Teerlinck became only the nth assistant coach selected to present a player at a Hall of Fame Induction when he presented Randle.[2]

With four different teams, Teerlinck either set the record or came in second in total sacks, historically (Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts).

In his tenure, Teerlinck coached seven players (Doleman, Kevin Greene, Randle, Bubba Baker, Neil Smith, Freeney and Robert Mathis) to reach 100 career sacks, the ultimate benchmark for a defensive lineman.

While in college at Western Illinois, he studied Fred Dryer and employed those moves in his play, "We used to get New York Giants games at Western and I`d watch No. 89, Fred Dryer, and copy his moves", Teerlinck said.[3]

Coaching career


Teerlinck came under fire in 1996 amid allegations that he taught his players to aim for opposing quarterbacks' knees; the allegations were substantial enough that then-NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue summoned him to a meeting for a warning.[4]


Teerlinck has coached on three Super Bowl winners:
Denver Broncos: Super Bowl XXXII, Super Bowl XXXIII
Indianapolis Colts: Super Bowl XLI


  1. startribune
  2. stampedeblue
  3. Chicago
  4. Reiss, Mike (February 3, 2007). "Colts Coach Teerlinck Defends Reputation". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-07-14.

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