By Tim Graham
Darryl Talley is such a prolific talker that I'm still trotting out blogs six days after I interviewed him for a story that ran in Sunday's paper.
In this week's final installment of "NFL Sunday Outtakes," a series of blogs to share quality leftovers from my Sunday morning features, Talley recalls his pro debut and the lesson he learned about keeping his mouth shut during a game.
The Buffalo Bills opened the 1983 preseason schedule against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Talley, a second-round draft choice, was across the line of scrimmage from Walter Payton.
"Payton slips out of the backfield," Talley said of the play that brought his first contact with the iconic running back. "I made the tackle. He caught the ball outside the numbers, and I just pushed him out of bounds.
"Ben Williams came over to me and said, 'I know that's Sweetness out there. But you want to play in this league, son? You've got to make that play!' This is during the game. So I got pissed off. I said, 'Fine.'
"A little later, I hit Payton hard and he fumbles the ball. Payton gets up off the ground, pats me on the ass and says, 'Good play, young fella. I'll be right back.' I said, 'You'll be right back?' He said, 'Yeah, our defense is going to give me the ball back.' The Bears got him the ball back and he gashed us for about 40 yards.
"He said, 'I told you so.' I was, like, 'OK, so you know when you can talk s--- and when you can't.' "
Talley laughed hard at the memory.
"I got excited because I hit the great Walter Payton and the ball came out," Talley said. "That excitement didn't last very long. He came back out and gashed us.
"That's when I learned you don't say a lot to anybody when you're playing. If you're beating somebody's ass, you just keep kicking their ass and kicking their ass. Don't talk to them. Because the minute you open your mouth, they can come back and spank you."
(Photo: Associated Press)