Graig" Ironhead" Heyward died today,Rest In Peace!

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Graig" Ironhead" Heyward died today,Rest In Peace!

Postby thescout » Sat May 27, 2006 11:02 pm

Ironhead' Heyward loses battle with recurring tumorBy Len Pasquarelli
ESPN.com


ATLANTA -- Former NFL fullback Craig "Ironhead" Heyward, who played 11 seasons in the league with five different franchises, died here Saturday after a seven-year battle with a recurring brain tumor.

Heyward, who retired from the league following the 1998 season, was 39.



Jed Jacobsohn/Allsport
Craig Heyward played for five different NFL teams, including the Colts in 1998. Given the severity and aggressiveness of Heyward's tumor, known as a chordoma, and the inability of surgeons to completely remove it during two operations, his death was not unexpected. Heyward also suffered a stroke a few years ago that left him partially paralyzed.

But friends who had visited recently with Heyward, including one-time NFL quarterback Bobby Hebert, a former teammate in both New Orleans and Atlanta, certainly did not expect his death to come so quickly.

Hebert told ESPN.com two weeks ago that he was apprised that the tumor had wrapped itself around Heyward's brain, that further surgical attempts were not planned, and that the once-mighty fullback would likely survive another three to five years.

"The one thing he's still got and that hasn't changed a bit," Hebert said at the time, "is that devilish sense of humor of his. Hopefully, that will keep him going for a while."

In a statement released by the University of Pittsburgh, coach Dave Wannstedt, who helped direct Heyward to the school and also coached him with the Chicago Bears, said: "I will always remember him as a tremendous player who had an irrepressible attitude on and off the field. We spoke just a few weeks ago and I was struck by the typical upbeat 'Ironhead' attitude he displayed despite his health. The thoughts and prayers of the entire Pitt family are with Craig's loved ones during this time of sorrow."

Heyward departed Pitt as an underclassman to enter the NFL draft and was the first-round selection of the New Orleans Saints in 1988. He played from 1988-92 for the Saints and then had stints with Chicago (1993), Atlanta (1994-96), St. Louis (1997) and Indianapolis (1998).

In 149 games, Heyward registered 1,031 carries for 4,301 yards and 30 touchdowns. He also posted 177 receptions for 1,559 yards and four touchdowns. His finest season came with the Falcons in 1995, when he rushed for 1,083 yards and six touchdowns and earned his lone Pro Bowl berth.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.
Sometimes running the Mularkey offense makes me feel like I'm in a prison.

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Rest in peace Ironhead!

Postby thescout » Sat May 27, 2006 11:06 pm

Sad news today Graig Heyward died today at 39 yrs old losing his battle with a brain tumor. I remember Heyward being a bulldozer who other teams feared. Very good blocker and he always had alot of heart in playing the game. Alot of people got on him because of his weight but Ironhead always gave it 100% and did the job.Rest in peace Ironhead!
Sometimes running the Mularkey offense makes me feel like I'm in a prison.

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Postby backnblack » Sun May 28, 2006 1:16 am

Sorry to hear this. He was one of the few bright spots on some bad teams back then in ATL. One of the all time great NFL nicknames.

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Postby BirdBrain » Sun May 28, 2006 1:34 am

Another person WAY too young passing on. Hard, tough football player, great personality as well.....sad.

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Postby DToews » Sun May 28, 2006 1:54 am

I'll never forget the way our D-Line bent backward when he rammed forward against us.

I was happy when we signed him so that I wouldn't have to hear Madden commenting on him smashing through our line anymore.

I'm saddened to hear this, as he was a great Falcon, and he taught Jamal everything he knew about power running. If only he'd been onhand to teach Duckett as well.

He was a fine player, and from what I've read, a fine man as well.

Rest in Peace Ironhead.

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Postby Pudge » Sun May 28, 2006 2:05 am

I've heard only great things about Craig Heyward the person, and I remember great things about Ironhead the player. A man after my heart since he was a Falcon and a Pitt alum.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.

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Postby PB21 » Mon May 29, 2006 12:33 pm

Say a little prayer for Ironhead's son. To lose a parent that young has to be hard,...as some of us have experienced it.

Rest well Ironhead,...rest well my brother Man.


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