11.11 (make a wish) - Greatest NFL Coach - Category 24
Founder of 2 NFL teams
Won 7 league championships
Greatest Innovator in the history of the NFL
Brown was more than just a coach. He was a student of the game who had much to do with making professional football the attraction it is today. He made coaching a full-time job for himself and all his assistants. Others had to follow suit or fall behind. So they did the logical thing—they copied his methods, both as a coach and innovator. ..."Paul Brown didn't invent the game of football. He was just the first to take it seriously", declared Sport Magazine in a December 1986 story ... Sid Gillman, Brown's coaching contemporary for many years in the NFL, told the magazine he always felt that "before Paul Brown pro football was a 'daisy chain.' He brought a system into pro football. He brought a practice routine. He broke down practice into individual areas. He had position coaches. He was an organizational genius. Before Paul Brown, coaches just rolled the ball out on the practice field."
One factor in Brown's success was his decision to hire a full-time staff of dedicated position coaches, a break from the norm in an era when most assistants took second jobs in the offseason to make ends meet. Brown also invented the "taxi squad", a group of promising players who did not make the roster but were kept on reserve. Team owner Mickey McBride put them on the payroll of his taxi company, although they did not drive cabs.
Brown sat his players down in classrooms and relentlessly tested them on their knowledge of the playbook, requiring them to copy down every play in a separate notebook for better retention.
Classroom teaching was a fixture of Paul Brown's strict approach to coaching. Players were not allowed to drink, smoke in public or have sex after Tuesday night during the regular season.
He was the first coach to use intelligence tests to evaluate players, scout opponents using game films and call plays for his quarterback using guards as messengers. He invented the draw play and helped develop the modern face mask after Len Ford and Otto Graham suffered facial injuries. Although critical of Brown's coaching, Jim Brown said he integrated football in the right way:
Paul Brown integrated pro football without uttering a single word about integration. He just went out, signed a bunch of great black athletes, and started kicking butt. That's how you do it. You don't talk about it. Paul never said one word about race. But this was a time in sports when you'd play in some cities and the white players could stay at the nice hotel, but the blacks had to stay in the homes of some black families in town. But not with Paul. We always stayed in hotels that took the entire team. Again, he never said a word. But in his own way, the man integrated football the right way – and no one was going to stop him.
Coaching tree includes Bill Walsh and several others who will likely be selected.