"No one has ever turned in a perfect score," Paul said. "But the test is helpful in appraising the players, particularly the rookies. Some years ago the test showed that one of our rookies would make a fine carpenter. That's exactly what he eventually became."
While Paul Brown's coaching system requires the quick intelligence of his players, it probably demands less, physically, than any other system in pro football.
"We don't scrimmage," Brown says. "Not in training camp, not during the season. We only work four days a week during the season. I've always thought that a coach who has to scrimmage his team two or three times a week does it only because he doesn't know what else to do. It is not necessary."
Brown splits his squad into four units, each working under an assistant coach. The guards and centers rehearse their assignments under one coach, the tackles under another, the ends under a third and the backfield under a fourth—Brown. Working separately, each unit reruns its assignments in a particular play over and over, so that no time is wasted and every man on the squad is active each minute of the short (hour and a half) practice.
"It's like building a Cadillac," says Brown, who drives one. "You machine the parts to perfection, put them together, tune them and the engine runs."
It has been seven years since Paul Brown has won a national championship. The last time he took a conference title was in 1957. During the last half of this sere and yellow time, it has been rumored increasingly that Brown's cold and seemingly unsympathetic approach to his players has alienated him from some of them. You can, if you look hard enough, find players who worked for Brown and hated him. Most of them have been traded to other clubs for one of the sins, other than lack of ability, that Brown will not countenance: loafing, drinking and chasing women.
Like most good ex-Browns, Otto Graham, whose differences with Brown were more hinted than explicit, respects his former coach for his ability to handle men.
"I remember when we were playing in the old conference," he says. "We had a string of something like 29 games without being beaten. Then we played in San Francisco and we lost 56-28. We scored enough. We just couldn't stop them. It was one of those days when they couldn't do anything wrong. After the game he chewed us out. I mean he really let us have it. He said we'd all be fired—and a lot of other things. Remember, we had gone 29 games without losing. We were all mad when he finished.
"But Brown is a great psychologist. And, you know, we were self-satisfied. The next game we went down to Los Angeles and beat the Dons 61-14. So I guess his chewing us out the way he did accomplished his purpose.
"He did a lot for me," Graham concludes. "Most important, he taught me that if you want to be successful you've got to dedicate yourself and concentrate entirely upon it."