Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Knox on Chuck

"Chuck Knox, 86, coach who put three struggling NFL teams in the running" by Richard Goldstein New York Times  May 14, 2018

NEW YORK — Chuck Knox, a three-time NFL coach of the year who believed so strongly in the running game that he earned the nickname Ground Chuck, died Saturday. He was 86.

His death was announced by the Seattle Seahawks, who said he had dementia. The team did not say where he died.

A head coach in the NFL for 22 seasons, Mr. Knox never had a Super Bowl team, but he rebuilt three lackluster teams — the Los Angeles Rams, the Buffalo Bills, and the Seattle Seahawks — into playoff squads.

When he retired in 1995 with a career coaching record of 186-147-1 in the regular season, he was No. 6 in victories among all NFL coaches, behind Don Shula, George Halas, Tom Landry, Curly Lambeau, and Chuck Noll.

Mr. Knox was convinced that strong running games produced winners. He groomed several running backs, including Lawrence McCutcheon with the Rams, Joe Cribbs with the Bills, and Curt Warner with the Seahawks.

Apart from his conservative inclinations on offense, Mr. Knox preached discipline and hard work on the football field, the qualities he displayed as a rugged lineman at Juniata College of Huntingdon, Pa., having come out of a steel town where his hard-drinking father worked in the mills and wanted him to do the same.

Mr. Knox coached the ’73 Rams to a 12-2 regular-season record and had five consecutive National Football Conference West championship teams in Los Angeles, doing it with five quarterbacks — John Hadl, James Harris, Ron Jaworski, Pat Haden, and Namath at the end of his career, but his Rams were beaten in the NFC Championship game three consecutive times — by the Minnesota Vikings after the 1974 season, then by the Dallas Cowboys and then the Vikings again.

Mr. Knox became the Bills’ head coach in 1978, when they were coming off two losing seasons. He traded O.J. Simpson, who was beginning to decline, developed a running attack behind Cribbs, and took the Bills to the AFC East title in 1980 and a wild-card playoff spot the following season.

He was named head coach of the Seattle Seahawks in 1983, the franchise’s eighth season, and coached them to their first postseason appearance, as a wild-card team, taking them to the AFC Championship game, a loss to the Oakland Raiders.

His Seahawks made the playoffs three more times and won the AFC West title in 1988.

Mr. Knox returned to the Rams in 1992, but they finished last in the NFC West for three straight seasons and he was fired. He then retired.....


At least we still have Bud Grant.