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The Most Beloved Coach in History?

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Old 03-24-2005, 10:11 AM   #1
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The Most Beloved Coach in History?

When you think of the great coaches in NFL history, the names Vince Lombardi, Chuck Noll, Don Schula, Tom Landry, Bill Parcells, Joe Gibbs, and Bill Belichick all have to come to mind. But when you think of which coach is loved the most by his former players and fans, the answer just has to be Gibbs.

Parcells, Landry and Lombardi command respect more than anything. They were appreciated. Belichick is a great strategic coach, but a loaf of white bread is more exciting. Don Schula and Chuck Noll were both loved dearly by their teams and cities, but I think Gibbs takes the cake when it comes to love. Nowhere else do you hear players saying things like "It's like you're playing for your grandfather. You just want to go out there and fight for him."

And what has ever generated such a buzz within the Beltway as much as his return did? The fans love this guy, how can you not? And I think the best part about him, is you can truly see that he loves us all right back. I mean he turned down a coaching opportunity with the Falcons several years ago. The only team he ever could have come back to was here, fighting for old D.C.

That's love right there. There's not a coach in all of history who'd I'd rather have.
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Old 03-24-2005, 10:42 AM   #2
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Re: The Most Beloved Coach in History?

nice post, I agree 100%
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Old 03-24-2005, 10:52 AM   #3
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Re: The Most Beloved Coach in History?

How could you omit Bill Walsh from that list?

Seems as though Walsh would also fall into Gibbs category, of being a players coach. Can't say which one I'd rather have, since I don't know the inside scoop on him.
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Old 03-24-2005, 10:58 AM   #4
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Re: The Most Beloved Coach in History?

Schneed, that was a great post man. I agree with everything you said.
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Old 03-24-2005, 11:08 AM   #5
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Re: The Most Beloved Coach in History?

I think Gibbs coming back has upped his "beloved" factor. This is different than when a new coach comes in and turns a franchise into a perennial contender. That coach becomes respected and valued. When a guy sits out 10 years and comes back to the team he made great just to turn it back around that is a whole different story. There is no other coach in the history of the league that has done such a thing. If he is able to win us a Superbowl he becomes the greatest coach in professinal sports history I think and his "beloved" factor goes through the roof.
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Old 03-24-2005, 11:40 AM   #6
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Re: The Most Beloved Coach in History?

When it comes to fans, Gibbs probably takes the cake... however if you're talking about being beloved by players, i wonder if Dick Vermiel wouldnt elbow his way onto your list... i mean as much as he cries, you cant help but want to hold him in your arms and wipe away his tears... kiss him on the cheek and tell him its going to be okay...
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Old 03-24-2005, 11:51 AM   #7
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Re: The Most Beloved Coach in History?

If they said that Schula was going back to Miami there would be a lot of buzz generated. Not as much as DC though, but thats only because in general peopel in Miami arent sports fans.
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Old 03-24-2005, 11:51 AM   #8
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Re: The Most Beloved Coach in History?

I'm sure other fans would disagree with us. Steelers fans would go Noll, 49ers fans would say Walsh, etc. Every city loves their great coaches. Gibbs is a great guy and commands a lot of respect but let's not get ahead of ourselves. He came back because Coy wanted to coach. Though he missed it (like every coach) it is also a huge burden and I bet it took come convincing to get the wife to let him come back! Not that any of these are bad things, but I'm pretty sure the reason he came back didn't completely stem from wanting to turn Washington into a winner again (though that was a part of the thought process I'm sure.)

Quote:
Belichick is a great strategic coach, but a loaf of white bread is more exciting.
True enough, if he gets into Canton they're just going to toss a ratty Pats sweatshirt onto his bust!

Gibbs is probably the best leader of that elite group. It's rare to find someone who can have players play hard for them day in and day out no matter the standings, record, or consequences.
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Old 03-24-2005, 11:54 AM   #9
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Re: The Most Beloved Coach in History?

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Originally Posted by canthetuna
When it comes to fans, Gibbs probably takes the cake... however if you're talking about being beloved by players, i wonder if Dick Vermiel wouldnt elbow his way onto your list... i mean as much as he cries, you cant help but want to hold him in your arms and wipe away his tears... kiss him on the cheek and tell him its going to be okay...
Vermeil is absolutely beloved in Philly, but I think once you are coaching your third team, you work your way off of the list.
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Old 03-24-2005, 11:57 AM   #10
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Re: The Most Beloved Coach in History?

So you cross Parcells off? If Bellichek coaches another team he's done? Didn't Lombardi coach three teams? Or was it just two?

What about Ditka? Wonder how the Bears would like that (Or maybe he'd return to New Orleans! )
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Old 03-24-2005, 11:59 AM   #11
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Re: The Most Beloved Coach in History?

I think Coy's interest is what got Gibbs thinking, but I think his primary reason for coming back is the challenge of it all.

If he came back just for Coy, he came back for the wrong reason, and that's just not his style to jump into something without considering the big picture.
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Old 03-24-2005, 12:10 PM   #12
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Re: The Most Beloved Coach in History?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daseal
So you cross Parcells off? If Bellichek coaches another team he's done? Didn't Lombardi coach three teams? Or was it just two?

What about Ditka? Wonder how the Bears would like that (Or maybe he'd return to New Orleans! )
I guess I think the difference is that Gibbs had several opportunities to go back into coaching but didn't want to b/c he put family first.

And, although his son's interest in coaching may have been the catalyst, I think, based on his statements, Gibbs came back to Washington for two main reasons: 1) The challenge; 2) He loves the Washington Redskins. Remember, this is the man who said he couldn't see himself coaching for another team.

Of all the other coaches you've mentioned Daseal, only Noll and Walsh fit into the one team coach category. But to that extent I agree with you, if Walsh or Noll came back to "save" the 49'ers or Steelers they would probably get a similar reaction.

It's not just the previous winning records that separate these coaches from the rest, it's their dedication to the team and its fans.
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Old 03-24-2005, 01:02 PM   #13
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Re: The Most Beloved Coach in History?

Yeah Bill Walsh definitely should be mentioned.

When it comes to love and respect from the players, I think Gibbs is a little different than Parcells and Lombardi because those guys tend to berate players and scare them into doing their jobs. They tended to be taskmasters. Then you have a guy like Vermeil who just tends to lead the players through raw emotion. Gibbs is kind of a hybrid; he's a big disciplinarian and yet he finds a way to provide just the right amount of encouragement when players need to hear it most. He's really good at knowing when you need a kick in the ass and when you need a slap on the back. You don't see players throwing towels in his face like Antonio Bryant did to Parcells, because Gibbs treats his players with respect and a touch of love mixed in as well.

The other thing, you never see nasty disputes come out in public when Gibbs is involved. During the Coles saga over the last few weeks, Gibbs would say "LC and I have had conversations and we understand each other." And that's all he would say. You just know those disputes got nasty too. When you keep the fights behind closed doors you are handling it with dignity and respect. Coles moves on, Gibbs moves on, and all the while the players left on the team realize that whatever differences Coles had with the coach, they were discussed in private. No backbiting in the media. No he said, she said. Just men being men. Dan Snyder handled it differently with that flatscreen TV comment, which was dumb, but on Gibbs' end it was all class.

It's the little things about a head coach sometimes.
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Old 03-24-2005, 01:09 PM   #14
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Re: The Most Beloved Coach in History?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daseal
So you cross Parcells off? If Bellichek coaches another team he's done? Didn't Lombardi coach three teams? Or was it just two?

What about Ditka? Wonder how the Bears would like that (Or maybe he'd return to New Orleans! )
Fair point. What I was trying to say is that Vermeil was forever associated with Philly... until he won a Super Bowl with St. Louis. I'd say Parcells is not beloved. Respected, certainly, but do you think Patriots fans love Parcells? He went to the friggin' Jets! Giants fans may still love him, but it's only because they haven't had a decent coach since - and he's coaching an in-division rival!

Lombardi is inexorably linked with the Packers. It's almost a good thing he didn't coach long for Washington - I think it would have changed his mystique.

As for Ditka - he is da Bears. New Orleans? Never happened.
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Old 03-24-2005, 01:47 PM   #15
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Re: The Most Beloved Coach in History?

Gibbs is a natural leader who understands how to motivate people. That's why he was able to make a successful transition to NASCAR.

He would probably be very successful in whatever he chooses to do, simply because of his leadership abilities, his understanding of people, and his incredible work ethic.
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