Despite glowing words regarding 53-year-old Herschel Walker, Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn clarified Friday that his admiration for the former star running back was not an invitation to the team's training camp.
"Look, what I said about Herschel being one of my all-time favorite players is true, but nobody should take seriously what I said about having room on the team for him," said Quinn. "I love him, yes, but some of that was in jest. I love the running backs we have on our roster. We had a great offseason, and I'm excited about going into training camp with that group."
During an appearance last week on the "Boomer & Carton" CBS Sports radio show hosted by Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton, Walker expressed confidence that he can still play, in part because today's NFL uses running backs in more of a rotation package, so he would not be subject to the same demands he experienced in his playing career from 1986-97. He also said he ran 4.3 seconds in the 40-yard dash a year ago.
"There is no doubt in my mind if I played today, I [could] contribute to a team," said Walker.
Based on the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner's remarks, Quinn answered affirmatively to a question on whether the team could use Walker when the coach spoke at an Atlanta businessmen's meeting Tuesday.
"He's one of my all-time favorite players. ... Yeah, we'd have room for him. ... He'd definitely fit in great," said Quinn, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Quinn laughingly said he was not misquoted, just misinterpreted by "a few people ... not to say I don't love Herschel and his legacy."