In this week’s edition of Where are they now Wednesday, we travel to Hurricane, WV to Sports Fanz to catch up with Mountaineer great, Darryl Talley.
Talley played with the Mountaineers from 1979-1982. While at WVU, Talley appeared in multiple bowl games. His career stats at WVU are extraordinary, finishing off his career off with 282 unassisted tackles, 202 assisted tackles, and 19 sacks. Talley earned a plethora of honors as a Mountaineer with All-American status, WVU Hall of Fame, and the College Football Hall of Fame. Talley was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 1983 NFL draft in the second round.
Talley made many memories at WVU, but his most memorable?
“Playing in the snake pit. When I first got to Morgantown, I had never seen a college stadium where fans could reach over and touch you on top of your head
“There was an older gentleman that would be sitting down on the bench [moving coins back and forth] and[we] would be like, “Mountaineers going to win today?” and he would say “yep, yep,” and push these coins up and down the bench all day long”
Talley also got to play under WVU Don Nehlen.
“Interesting [experience],” Talley said. “What Don Nehlen did is he had assistant coaches that he allowed to coach, once they coached and got what they wanted out of each player, that was it. He allowed his coaches to coach.”
“You don’t have enough tape nor enough time,” Talley says on the current state of the Buffalo Bills and the West Virginia Mountaineers. “I thought West Virginia has a great offensive mindset. I like Tony [Gibson]’s defensive scheme what he does sometimes. I just think that you got to stop recruiting specialty type players and start recruiting players who can play all four downs.
“You got to crawl before you can walk,” he continued, “and my thing is you got smaller guys that can play spread defense but they keep playing it. I think they need to recruit bigger guys to play against the tight ends, and the slot receiver which is now your most dangerous guy because he is now running routes a fullback or halfback used to run.”
He paused for a moment, and thought back to his playing days in Morgantown and compared them to modern football.
“During my era,” he said, “there were a lot of guys like me–there was baskets full of us–guys that could run, cover people and everything, they don’t have that now. You have to be a specialist doing one thing or the other. West Virginia needs to get bigger guys who can do that. Buffalo [Bills] needs to essentially do much of the same. They need to get guys who can cover”
Talley is now recovering from the end results of concussions from the sport. You can check out Talley’s interview with us on his take on the current concussion issue here.