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EVER SEE SO MANY GENIUSES?
Dan Jenkins
September 16, 1974
The NFL coaches are perceptively and irreverently described by an old fan
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September 16, 1974

Ever See So Many Geniuses?

The NFL coaches are perceptively and irreverently described by an old fan

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His coaching colleagues call him "One More Reel" because he likes to analyze film. He has been called "brilliant" because Doug Swift developed into a good linebacker.

If Arnsparger likes No-Name teams, he should be more than comfortable with the Giants.

RICK FORZANO, The Lions:

He was the backfield coach a year ago, and for four years before that Forzano was the head coach at Navy, saying things like, "Notre Dame could double-team us with one man," and losing often. He shouldn't be blamed for losing at a service academy, however, because he took over at a time when kids were deciding it was dumb to go to any of them. It was more fun to salute a guru.

Forzano is now the Detroit coach for one year because Don McCafferty died in late July. McCafferty had hired Forzano as the Lions' backfield coach. Not many men give up a head job to become an assistant again, but then of course Forzano was at Annapolis where the best any coach can hope for these days is to stumble into the statue of Tecumseh and suffer amnesia.

One of the first positive things Forzano managed to get done was to persuade Greg Landry to cross the picket line during the players' strike—for two days anyhow—and tell him about the Lions' offense.

I don't know what Landry could have told him, except something on the order of, "Look, Rick, I roll out a lot. Sometimes I throw a pass. But mostly we all get injured."

ABE GIBRON, The Bears:

Abe Gibron is 5'11", weighs over 300 pounds, has a bullfrog voice, played guard for 10 years in the NFL and for 12 years after that was an assistant coach, mostly noted for his humor, so it is hard to visualize the Bears taking him seriously as a head coach. But then not many Bears ever took George Halas seriously, either, and sometimes they won.

The Bears are still an old-fashioned family organization. The Papa Bear, now 79, is chairman of the board and probably still in charge of seeing that no player keeps his game jersey as a souvenir after the final Sunday. The son, Muggsy, is general manager. A son-in-law, Ed McCaskey, is a vice-president, and the rest of the front office is littered with Halas cronies.

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