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Where Are They Now? – Keith O’Neil


Nov. 3, 2014 NFL Player Engagement

An undrafted linebacker, you signed with Dallas in 2003, which was also Bill Parcells’ first year as the head coach of the Cowboys. You made an impressions on him to make the team. What was your impression of Parcells?

“He was tough, but fair. He was going to give every player a chance to make the team. I don’t think he really cared too much what round you were drafted in or whatnot. He was going to keep the best 52 players on the team.”

After two seasons, you joined the Indianapolis Colts and discovered that Tony Dungy was more than a head coach when you had a battle with anxiety before the season opener. What did he do for you?

“Well, just one-on-one, he was there for me. He was more like a father figure than a coach. He was just very open and very sincere. I felt very comfortable speaking with him about some issues that I was going through mentally.

“I have bipolar disorder. I was diagnosed after my playing years. But I believe I was going through a manic episode at the time before our first game. I’d only been there for about a week, not even, and I went into his office and told him I wasn’t doing well and that I couldn’t travel for the game. And what he did next really blew me away.

“He brought in [team president] Bill Polian, the head trainer, the team doctor, my position coach, and he brought in my wife, who was actually sitting out in the car. And we sat there for a good half an hour to 45 minutes just talking about my symptoms and what was going on.”

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