Many measure a good man as someone who makes those around him better. Certainly, George Halas was one of those.
Halas himself was an excellent athlete, but on the playing field there was almost always men bigger than him. It didn’t take long for the big guys to start showing up more frequently on roosters throughout the NFL. When playing football, Halas had broken his jaw and leg, twisted his ankle and knees, busted his ribs, and more. And like all the men who played around him, he got back in there and played as soon as he was able.
Halas was tough on his men, but he always treated them as men. We’ve included many stories about Papa Bear in our books. In other books that we have published on other athletes, we sometimes make a point that the best coaches are hard to please. The best coaches don’t want any mistakes or weaknesses. That sounds harsh, but many will say that there is no other way to do it. On many a game day, George Halas was disappointed when his team was not perfect and that was his way. But at the same time, he would always look ahead not behind. “Who do we play next week,” is one of Halas’s sayings that resonates well with the Bears.
Vince Lombardi was another coach who wanted perfection. Lombardi nearly drove his players crazy with repetition. Some of his players said in time they were ready to rebel against the great coach, but everything was cleared up when they started to amaze themselves as a team on the playing field.
Bill Walsh could be empathetic with some players and certainly spent enormous amounts of time coaching quarterbacks. But it was never easy.
Bill Belichick is the “do your job” coach who demands that his players focus on “their responsibilities.” It might sound simple, but his players might have a different opinion. But like Lombardi, Belichick methods work and that makes it “all good.”
If interested in more history on the greatest coaches in NFL history see Pillars of the NFL.