SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— John Madden talked about his longtime relationship with newly retired St. Louis Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa.

KCBS’ Stan Bunger made the point that not a lot of people go out on top, but La Russa is an exception.

“Tony Deserves that opportunity,” said Madden, who complimented the coach on his thorough approach. “I remember one year after one of his first World Series he interviewed a bunch of coaches about how they would approach the next year…He even interviewed me…That was the depth that he went into.”

Daily Madden: 

Madden said La Russa could have gone into any sport and been a successful coach.

“He just knew how to coach,” Madden said.

Also of note was the fact that La Russa had a comparatively unsuccessful career in baseball. Madden, who suffered a similar fate, said that kind of beginning just gets you started in coaching or managing early on.

“I had a pathetic career, so therefore I started coaching sooner. So therefore I became a head coach sooner,” Madden said.

In football news, Coach Madden agreed that the 49ers had a lackluster second half in their victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. He said it’s an indicator of how far the team has come that they are now being criticized for “not winning pretty.”

Madden noted the bye-week factor in the NFL and how it means a time of rest and healing for the players.

(Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM.)

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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