Tony Siragusa, the charismatic defensive tackle who was part of one of the most celebrated defenses in NFL history with the Baltimore Ravens, died Wednesday. He was 55 years old.
Siragusa broadcast agent Jim Ornstein confirmed the death. The cause of death was not immediately available.
“This is a really sad day,” he said. “Tony was so much more than my client, he was my family. My heart goes out to Tony’s loved ones.”
Siragusa was popular with fans due to his fun-loving attitude, which also helped him make a quick transition to streaming after his playing career.
“There was no one quite like Goose: a warrior on the field and team unifier with a generous and giving heart who helped his teammates and the community more than most people know,” said Brian Billick, head coach from that 2000 team. “We wouldn’t have won the Super Bowl without him. This is such impressive and sad news.”
Siragusa came to Baltimore as a free agent in 1997 and teamed up with Adams to form an imposing defensive tackle duo. He finished his career with 22 sacks.
“I love Goose like a brother. From the first day we met, I knew life was different. I knew he was someone who would change my life forever,” Lewis said. “He was a unique person who made you feel important and special. You can never replace a man like that.”
News of Siragusa’s death came on what was already a tragic day for the Ravens. The death of 26-year-old Baltimore linebacker Jaylon Ferguson was announced earlier in the day.
“This is a tremendously sad day for the Baltimore Ravens,” owner Steve Bisciotti said. “We appreciate everyone who has expressed an outpouring of support for our players, coaches and staff.”
‘Unparalleled passion for football’
Siragusa was a star football player and wrestler at David Brearley High School in New Jersey. He then played college in Pittsburgh, where he had a reputation for pranksters long before his NFL career.
“If I wanted to learn a school song, I would have gone to Notre Dame or Penn State,” he once said. “I want to kill people on the football field. That’s why I came to Pitt.”
Siragusa went undrafted before signing with Indianapolis, but he turned out to be a championship-winning force in the NFL. He later took his personality to the airwaves, working for Fox’s NFL coverage.
“His unparalleled passion for soccer established him as one of the most charismatic personalities to ever step foot on the gridiron or in front of a camera,” Fox Sports said in a statement. “Goose was a natural in his ability to connect the sport and its players with fans everywhere.”
Siragusa also had a role on HBO’s “The Sopranos” and hosted shows on the Discovery Channel and the DIY Network.
“Tony really was larger than life, on and off the field,” said Pat Narduzzi, Pitt’s current football coach. “He played passionately and relentlessly. Despite being undrafted, he thrived in the NFL for 12 years. His post-football life took him to so many places, but he never forgot Pitt. We could always count on him to submit the best recorded video “. Pep talks to our guys before our biggest games.”