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Paul Brown

Brown's Impact On Football

The list of people Paul Brown had a direct influence on is long and prestigious. A few among the many are defensive back and later Miami Dolphins head coach Don Shula, Bill Walsh, and offensive guard Chuck Noll. Cinncinnati coach Sam Wyche learned from Brown. And Weeb Ewbank, who coached the Baltimore Colts and New York Jets to championships, had known Paul Brown almost from the beginning. Bud Grant and Bill Walsh, like Ewbank, also coached directly beneath Brown.

Brown's coaching style was new to all who came across it. When his players showed up for their first practice, he handed out notebooks and made them write their assignments for each play. He insisted they commit football quotations to memory. Brown is probably the single biggest influence on the modern day style of coaching. At mid-century, he was analyzing game film, using diagrams of pass patterns, and sending in guards to deliver plays to the quarterback. The current earpiece that coaches use to talk to their quarterbacks is a also brainchild of Brown's. Even the facemask, which was designed by Brown's equipment manager.

His success was won with military rigor. Brown was once quoted in the Washington Post as saying that, "The history of all successful teams shows authority concentrated in the coach. The players can't go beyond me. That's the way it should be." His players were expected to study nightly. He saw it as a classroom, just like when he was coaching high school or at the Great Lakes Naval Academy. "I've never changed my approach," he said. "I talk to them exactly as I lectured college students, and I expect them to respond as students."

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Famous Sports StarsFootballPaul Brown Biography - Growing Up, A Storybook Beginning, On To Osu, Gridiron Success, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments - SELECTED WRITINGS BY BROWN: