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Terry Bradshaw opens up about his relationship with Chuck Noll: 'He scared me to death'

(Photo by Heinz Kluetmeier/Getty Images)

Terry Bradshaw's "Going Deep” documentary premiered on HBO at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, and the show received a lot of positive reviews. If you missed the premiere, you can watch the documentary on HBO Max.

A good portion of the documentary centered around Bradshaw's career as an entertainer, but his rocky relationship with Chuck Noll was discussed, as well.

After all these years, Bradshaw is still scarred by how Noll treated him. The two just didn't see eye-to-eye.

"I never got really comfortable with my relationship with Chuck. Never was comfortable with him, me and him," Bradshaw said in the documentary. "Just uncomfortable. I was scared s*itless of him. He scared me to death."

Noll didn't show a lot of emotion, not many people did from that generation. That's just the way it was. Bradshaw was looking for a coach who would pat him on the back when things weren't going well, and Noll wasn't that.

"I wasn’t his kind of quarterback, and he wasn’t my kind of coach," Bradshaw said. "Taking me out of the game, putting me back in a game would devastate me. Grab me, yell at me, devastated. Made me stand up in a chair while he chewed my ass out in front of the team. Destroyed me."

Bradshaw took a safety in each of his first three games of his career and was benched in 1974.

"He wanted players that were committed, that would work hard, that hated losing. He didn’t want to fall in love," Bradshaw said. "He didn’t want to have you over for dinner ... He didn’t want to get like this. And once I realized that, you know, then you just go 'F*ck it.'”

Even though he didn't like his approach, Noll got the best out of Bradshaw, and he led the Steelers to four Super Bowl titles and was named league MVP in 1978. Bradshaw was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989.

“I wasn’t his kind of quarterback, and he wasn’t my kind of coach,” Bradshaw said via Rob Owen of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I’m a tough guy, but I do get my feelings hurt. All this (stuff) I had to go through to win his favor. He won because he made me tough. He made me a real (jerk). I got hateful in my spirit on the inside.”

For a long time, Bradshaw held a grudge against Steelers fans and the city of Pittsburgh for how he was treated during his tenure as the Steelers' quarterback. Bradshaw felt he wasn't praised like he should have been.

"If there’s one thing in my life I do wish I had ... I wish I was loved ... and respected," Bradshaw said. "And I understand, I know I don’t deserve this. I just wish I had it, like (Tom) Brady and like Peyton (Manning), Roger Staubach.

"But when I sit back in my life as a football player, I never had that kind of respect. And I wish I did. I really do wish I did. When I left Pittsburgh, I was angry. I was pissed. I didn’t have a relationship with the city. I didn’t have a relationship with the ownership.

I didn’t want to face those people, Pittsburgh fans, The Pittsburgh Press."

The film's director Keith Cossrow joined Dave Dameshek on the Minus Three Podcast recently and Cossrow felt that Bradshaw's relationship with Noll was not much different than Bill Belichick-Tom Brady, Roger Staubach-Tom Landry and Joe Montana-Bill Walsh. Cossrow doesn't think Bradshaw was blowing smoke, but there have been rough relationships with other great head coach/quarterback duos, as well.

Bradshaw was under a lot of pressure with being the No. 1 overall pick in 1970. And the criticism from Noll, the media and fans really got to him. It also hurt that people looked at him as "dumb." It should be noted that Bradshaw suffers from depression and has ADHD. Bradshaw's challenges never stopped him from having a Hall of Fame career and being incredibly successful off the field, however.

“That became an albatross that hung on his neck his whole career,” Cossrow told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review about the perception that he was dumb. “And to his credit, he turned that image into a character that he gets to play every week on Fox (during NFL coverage). He may have ADHD and depression and always struggled, but he’s this brilliant person who is obviously a gifted storyteller, a gifted entertainer and one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century.”

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