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Top five coaches who shaped pro football

Football, as with any other game, may become stagnant, and not only what’s on the field. Also, as a whole industry. In-game strategy, roster reconfiguration and marketing of the product are among the huge overhauls football has seen since the early 1940s.

We’re going to take a look at legendary coaches that were also revolutionary catalysts regarding how the industry works, on and off the field.

Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots
Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots | Ethan miller/getty images/afp

Let’s check the latest Super Bowl picks, stats, injury reports, and Super Bowl odds. We’ve got plenty of Super Bowl lines for you to consider.

5. Bill Parcells (Two Super Bowl Wins)

Bill Parcells‘ case is quite peculiar. He’s the guy to research if you need to rebuild a moribund franchise. Throughout his career, Parcells was able to raise the bar, having exhumed more than one DOA entity.

He was promoted on his first team, the New York Giants, the worst franchise in the league. They had only managed to reach the playoffs once in a two-decade period. Parcells, formerly the defensive coordinator, turned the Giants around in short order. Big Blue won a pair of Super Bowls, becoming a stable powerhouse along the way.

How did he do it? Try an incredible eye to see who was good as well as who couldn’t perform. Parcells didn’t always go after the next golden boy (though the team did have several seasons of high draft choices). Rather, he focused on maximizing each player’s attributes.

This process was perfect on teams in the process of rebuilding, and who had the budget to spend. Look no further than his coaching stint with the New England Patriots. They had a considerable lack of skilled players to go along with financial issues in the ownership. There was even speculation about relocation. However, Then, under Robert Kraft, there was economic stability, along with a Super Bowl appearance

4. Bill Walsh (Three Super Bowl Wins)

George Seifert (L) listens to 49ers consultant Bill Walsh
George Seifert (L) listens to 49ers consultant Bill Walsh – John G. Mabanglo / afp

Creativity can go quite far but under tough circumstances, it’s unique. Only the greats are able to manage both the pressure and workload. That was the case with Bill Walsh, who did revolutionize the NFL game with his West Coast Offense. The system was devised out of necessity as a Cincinnati Bengals’ assistant, Having lost rifle-armed quarterback Greg Cook to a career-ending injury, Walsh had to improve understudy Virgil Carter. Carter had a weak arm, but good field vision. Walsh then created an offense that included three-step drops, quick releases and short passes. When Walsh became coach of the San Francisco 49ers, this was a philosophy that forever changed the game.

It’s important to note that Walsh was not just the West Coast Offense. He also brought to the Bay a culture of leadership, accountability and mutual respect among teammates.

3. Vince Lombardi (Two Super Bowl Wins)

Vince Lombardi was the first father-figure coach. If problems (especially outside the game) affected his players, then Lombardi would be there. Tough, but tender.

Both a philosopher and a coach, Lombardi did focus his efforts on helping his Green Bay Packer/Washington then-Redskins minimize distractions. That “bubble” insulated his team.

“Winning isn’t everything. The will to win is the only thing” was offered at a moment in time when coaches were only concerned about the game, rather than understanding players as individuals.

Thus, Lombardi’s steps became a guideline. It wasn’t a legacy of winning because you need to win, but rather because you want to do it correctly.

With Lombardi’s Packers routing the AFL (Kansas City Chiefs/OaklandRaiders) in the first two Super Bowls, it’s the trophy that bears his name.

2. Joe Gibbs (Three Super Bowl Wins)

Former head coach Joe Gibbs of the Washington Redskins
Former head coach Joe Gibbs of the Washington Redskins | Patrick smith/getty images/afp

This is where football strategy was modernized by leaps and bounds. Joe Gibbs coaching system was akin to a chemical laboratory. There was player rotation depending on the opponent, one playbook to another, even creating an H-back (tight end, but off the line of scrimmage) instead of a fullback. Those were just a few of the strategies he standardized with the Washington then-Redskins, making the team one of the best in the NFL.

Creating and modernizing certain in-game strategies weren’t sufficient. Gibbs also flipped George Allen’s mantra of trading draft choices in favor of players with experience. As the salaries of first-round picks had increased, Gibbs, not abandoning those selections, developed lower-rounders out of smaller, lesser-known colleges.

When work stoppages impeded the 1982 and 1987 seasons, Gibbs was a master. His team of ‘82 stayed together practicing through the infamous 57-day strike, and not coincidentally, those were both Super Bowl-winning seasons in DC.

1. Bill Belichick (Five Super Bowl Wins)

Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots is arguably the greatest coach in history, becoming so by modernizing the lessons of the other coaches on this list. Ultimately, he then created his own era of football.

Belichick has integrated free agency, the salary cap and data analysis. He took Parcells’ approach to the current era, then exploited inefficiencies in the market. He then turned to Lombardi’s book, demanding a winning mindset while setting expectations that were realistic, all without screaming directly at a player. He lastly replicated Gibbs’ approach of keeping his team together, even in this era of smartphones

Regarding a legacy, he did feed off the heat thrown at him (Deflategate, Spygate, etc.), thriving as the more chaotic a situation became. Why is this important? Well, in a world where a single social media post might secure or send packing your position in the NFL, Belichick has managed to attract and keep some of the best players in the business.

…and have we included Tom Brady in the equation?

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