News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Knight Foundation

Lehmans


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Sports


The NFL's family tree
Terry Pluto says the key to winning in the NFL is all about family ties
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
Browns president Mike Holmgren (left) is considered the "father" of one of NFL's so-called families.
Courtesy of Dawn Einsel
Download (WKSU Only)
In the NFL, the key to winning is in a team’s so-called family tree. And it plays out much like a Shakespearean tragedy. NFL teams align themselves with one of two families who have very different styles of play. The Cleveland Browns have the “father” of one of those families at its helm -- team President Mike Holmgren. But, after two seasons, they’ve had little success. WKSU commentator Terry Pluto talks with Amanda Rabinowitz about the family structure and how the Browns plan to make it work.
Terry Pluto on the NFL's family ties

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:31)


P: Well there are a couple of ways people view how the game should be played, and it has to do with different coaching trees. For example, in the Super Bowl you had the Bill Parcells coaching tree. Bill Parcells is a longtime coach, and two of his disciples actually had their teams in the Super Bowl. One was Bill Belichick, and the other was Coughlin, the coach of the New York Giants. They both came from the Bill Belichick/Bill Parcells tree. These guys, Amanda, all hire each other and tend to hire the same assistants. There’s another family. It’s the Mike Holmgren family. It’s called the “West Coast Offense” family. Now when Green Bay won the Super Bowl the previous year with Mike McCarthy as the coach, he was from that family. Not only that, Amanda, they all have the same agent in the Holmgren family tree.

R: Really.

P: They hire each other everywhere. They just keep taking care of each other. So, some of these people are good and some of these people are not, but they’re in the family.

R: So what does this mean when you have these two different family trees, different styles of playing the game of football, they all have the same agent hiring the people within their family? Is that good for football?

P: I don’t think it is. Now the Belichick people do have different agents. Eric Mangini who worked one year for Mike Holmgren, said after his first year there he enjoyed it, he liked Holmgren, but he said, “We were from two football families.” That’s where it struck me. I had that interview with Eric after he was let go. He goes, “and the two families just don’t see the world the same way.” And he meant the football world.

R: This kind of goes along with what we’ve talked about before how football’s a mythic sport with the slow motion of the ball through the air and these mythic creatures. And now it kind of sounds like Shakespeare with the Capulets and the Montagues.

P: Yeah. Very nice literary allusion. You know, the Hatfields and the McCoys could closer to that. They do have different ways of viewing the game. The Holmgren people like this thing called the “West Coast Offense” with a lot of quick, short passes. The Belichick people on offense are much more, in my mind, creative. They do things in all kinds of different ways, although they tend to like the running game more. It’s like, you do it this way, we’ll do it that way.

R: With the Browns in this kind of Holmgren family, [Holmgren] being the president, where does that put the Browns? Are they positioning themselves to do well now that they’ve hooked up with the family?

P: Well that’s what they’re hoping. They switch from the Belichick family to the Holmgren family. That’s what they did because before, when they were with Phil Savage that was the extension of the Belichick family with Romeo Crennel. No matter what family we’re talking here, the Belichick family kept going 5-11. The Holmgren family just went 4-12.

R: So does it matter which family has the edge? Last year the Packers won the Super Bowl. That’s the Holmgren family. This year the Giants, which is an extension of the Belichick/Parcells. So which one has the edge?

P: I think it depends on which people of the family you have. Do you have the smart ones or the dumb ones. I really mean that. I don’t know how this actually translates to wins and losses. I just find it fascinating, and I think any of us who have been in any sort of corporate setting understand too that these people hire each other. 


Related WKSU Stories

Pluto: High expectations, few scholarships on National Signing Day
Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Baseball's Dominican connection
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Former Indian Manny Ramirez wants back in baseball's good graces
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook





Stories with Recent Comments

Top staffers are leaving the FitzGerald gubernatorial campaign
I's too bad that the dirt on Fitzgerald dug up by Kasich's operatives and publicized heavily by the Yellow Plain Dealer has caused the weak staffers of the Fitz...

Churches come together to welcome and include Gay Games athletes
Nicely done!!! A little known fact about the El Salvadoran and Columbian scholarships.. A big thank you to the Faith Community for their support of Gay Games 9....

What do Ohio farmers need to do to control Lake Erie problems?
This was a great article, thank you, Karen Schaefer. There was an error- Roger Wise is the past president of the Ohio Farmer's Union; not the Ohio Farm Bureau ...

Registration for the 2014 Gay Games ends Monday at midnight
Judy Benson and Sally Tatnall are loved and appreciated by all in our community and throughout the US for their untiring work for OLOC and for educating the com...

Like any family, the Gay Games has its generation gaps
Great article ... important perspective.

Gay Games rodeo: Changing stereotypes
Robin, Thank you for a fine piece of recorded history. This is history in the making; a gay, Asian man, one of the last bronc riders in IGRA, and Rodeo at Gay G...

Ohio lawmakers hold hearing on prison food problems
So you fine them..this has been going onand the law makers are aware of this issue.I have been told by many about the maggots and rotten food not fit for a dog ...

Interview with early Beatle Pete Best
"the Leshdu (?) Quartet.." Actually that's the Les Stewart Quartet. George Harrison was in that band at the same time as the Quarry Men.

Experts debate whether to legalize marijuana in Ohio
I'm an Iraq war veteran and I know for a fact that medical marijuana will help my PTSD.. I can't stand taken these freaking pills mo more. I will not bow when t...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University