Chuck Noll included in ‘Pillars of the NFL’

Published Jun 2, 2014 at 11:23 am (Updated Jun 2, 2014 at 11:23 am)

The idea for Patrick McCaskey’s new book on NFL coaches came about through pure curiosity.

“I was curious about which NFL coaches won the most Super Bowls,” said the Illinois-based author of the book “Pillars of the NFL: Coaches Who have Won Three or More Championships.”

McCaskey, who lives in the Chicago suburb of Lake Forest, serves on the Chicago Bears’ board of directors and is also the senior director of special projects for the team. He has been with the Bears since 1974.

“I’ve been going to Bears games since I was 5 years old,” he said. His grandfather, the late George Halas, coached the team for many years and led the Bears to six championships.

Among the coaches included in the book is former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Chuck Noll, who coached the team to four championship season during his tenure there.

“Chuck Noll played football for Paul Brown,” McCaskey said. Brown is another “Pillar of the NFL” and coached the Cleveland Browns to three championships. He played for the Browns for seven years before becoming an assistant coach with the San Diego Chargers and Baltimore Colts. He took over as the Steelers’ coach in 1969, and remained until 1991.

“He’s in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and so are several of his players,” McCaskey said of Noll. Those players include Joe Greene, Terry Bradshaw, Mel Blount, Jack Ham, Franco Harris, Lynn Swan, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth and Mike Webster.

McCaskey writes in the book that interviews for the position of Steelers’ head coach were extensive and, “Noll held nothing back.”

He writes: “When Chuck Noll met with Art Rooney Jr. and Dan Rooney before the first draft he directed, he told them about qualities he liked and thought the Steelers needed in their players.” When Noll came to the 1969 draft, he had one player on his list that he insisted the team acquire that year – Joe Greene.

“Noll saw Greene as a leader and someone who embodied the kind of team he wanted to build. The staff agreed,” McCaskey writes.

McCaskey also noted that each decade beginning with the 1930s and Curly Lambeau, there has typically been a dominant coach who has won more than one Super Bowl. He said the 1940s had George Halas; the 1950s had Paul Brown; the 1960s had Vince Lombardi, the 1970s had Chuck Noll and the 1980s had Bill Walsh.

A history of each of the “pillar” coaches is included in the book as well as key player information and a complete list of the championship winners going back to 1920.

McCaskey’s book can be found on Amazon and at www.sportingchancepress.com.

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