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Lombardi and Landry: How Two of Pro Football's Greatest Coaches Launched Their Legends and Changed the Game Forever
     

Lombardi and Landry: How Two of Pro Football's Greatest Coaches Launched Their Legends and Changed the Game Forever

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by Ernie Palladino
 

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Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry could not have had two more divergent personalities. Yet, while working for the New York Giants in the mid-1950s under head coach Jim Lee Howell, the pair formed what still stands as the greatest set of coordinators on one team. Given their personalities, one might have likened Howell’s job to that of Dwight Eisenhower’s as

Overview

Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry could not have had two more divergent personalities. Yet, while working for the New York Giants in the mid-1950s under head coach Jim Lee Howell, the pair formed what still stands as the greatest set of coordinators on one team. Given their personalities, one might have likened Howell’s job to that of Dwight Eisenhower’s as the general struggled to control the egos and politics of his allied subordinates during WWII. But for some reason, Lombardi and Landry worked almost seamlessly, leading the Giants to the top of the NFL. In the five seasons the two men coached together between 1956 and 1959, the Giants appeared in three championship games, winning the NFL title in ‘56.

Both coaches would go on to NFL stardom, Lombardi with the Green Bay Packers and Landry with the Dallas Cowboys. But it was during their years as Giants coordinators that they developed the coaching philosophies they would employ later in their careers. For Lombardi, it was the reliance on the running game that started with Frank Gifford and would continue in the “Packers Sweep” days of Paul Hornung. For Landry, it was his own invention of the 4-3 defense that led to the “Flex” defense of his Super Bowl winners in Dallas. How they developed their ideas, and how they were allowed to implement them, was a testament not only to their genius, but Howell’s willingness to let them handle the strategic matters while he looked after the big picture.

In Lombardi and Landry, veteran sportswriter Ernie Palladino takes an in-depth look at these two legends’ formative years in New York, offering up a vivid, revealing portrait of two brilliant coaches just coming into an understanding of their formidable powers.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In accessible, exciting prose, sportswriter and Giants beat reporter Palladino highlights the achievements of legends Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry, who both worked as assistant coaches under the New York Giants' Jim Lee Howell. Lombardi coordinated offense from 1954 to 1958 before becoming head coach of the Green Bay Packers. Landry strategized defense from 1954 to 1959 before signing with the Dallas Cowboys, an expansion team that would eventually dominate the league in the 1970s and early '80s. Palladino offers generous praise for both. In Landry, for example, "the Giants had a man who would change the entire language of defense." He also compares and contrasts the coaches' styles and personalities. People could hear Lombardi "from five blocks away" but would not be able to hear Landry "from the next chair." Though the men differed in temperament, character, and even spirituality, they worked extraordinarily well together. That each of them would find great individual success in the NFL in subsequent years is a testament to their talent and dedication. Photos. (Sept.)
Frank Gifford

A riveting look back at two Hall of Fame coaches who were instrumental in making pro football the great game it is today. It's one of the best books I've ever read about this momentous era in Giants history.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781616084417
Publisher:
Skyhorse Publishing
Publication date:
09/01/2011
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

Ernie Palladino is a sportswriter with nearly fifty years of experience. He spent thirty-three of those years at the Journal News (Westchester, N.Y.), including twenty covering the New York Giants as a beat reporter. Presently, he writes Ernie Palladino’s Giants Beat for Scout.com, part of the Fox Sports Blog Network. He lives in Staten Island, New York.

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Lombardi and Landry 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
seayker More than 1 year ago
a terrific behind the scenes look at the glory days of pro football. i enjoyed this book very much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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