NOBLESVILLE, Ind. -- Paul Zimmerman, the longtime Sports Illustrated NFL writer known as "Dr. Z" for his analytical approach, died Thursday. He was 86.

NBC Sports football writer Peter King confirmed Zimmerman's death. King worked with Zimmerman at Sports Illustrated, and completed Zimmerman's autobiography, "Dr. Z: The Lost Memoirs of an Irreverent Football Writer."

Zimmerman had three strokes in 2008 that ended his writing career after 29 years as Sports Illustrated's lead pro football writer.

Here's a link to Sports Illustrated's web site wherein they have culled some of Dr. Z's best stuff from their archives: https://www.si.com/nfl/2018/11/01/pa...d-best-stories

If you're my vintage and enjoyed an SI subscription in the 70's and 80's, Zimmerman was one of their best long-form writers, along with Dan Jenkins, Frank Deford, Roy Blount, Jr, William Nack. . .

The profile of Howie Long is particularly good.