Who's To Blame?
Some apologists for Modell claim he didn't have a chance, that Paul Brown lost touch with the changing times. The new generation of players were different than those who first adhered to Brown's militaristic style. Yet it is difficult to deny the success that came with his method, for better or worse. In seventeen seasons with the Cleveland Browns, Paul Brown coached the team to a .760 winning percentage, with the team making thirteen post season appearances.
Paul Brown died on August 5, 1991, in Cincinnati, Ohio, from complications following pneumonia. Upon his death, Modell, with whom he had so many disagreements, called Brown a "pioneer, an innovator. The game we have today—players, coaches, owners and fans—can be traced back to the many things he started doing in the 1950s."
In the years before his death, Paul Brown was the only voice of dissent against the expansion that has taken the NFL by storm. And he hated instant replay, saying, "It just adds another layer of error" to the game. He was never one to hold back on his opinions. And he had plenty of those. "Working under Paul Brown is like living next to a library," said Sam Wyche in a Sports Illustrated obituary shortly after Paul Brown died. "I'd be crazy not to take out a book."
Paul Brown was the first head coach of the Cleveland Browns football team. He played a major role in the evolution of the modern day game, devising detailed game plans, playbooks, and classroom learning techniques. He was also the first coach to hire a full-time coaching staff, as well as instituting the practice of analyzing game films. He coached with the Browns from 1946-62, and then with the Cincinnati Bengals from 1968-1975.