Weeb Ewbank was a foreign name to me. But in checking profootball references coaching records, it stuck out that the man had coached 20 years, and had an all time record of .502 (130-129-7). “What did that man do that was so special to allow him to hang around as a head coach for 20 years with a worse winning percentage than Jack Del Rio?”
Ewbank was only the coach of the Baltimore Colts (NFL Champions in 1958 and 1959). In 1958 he was the winning coach of the “Greatest Game Ever Played”. However, in 1962 Colt’s owner Carroll Rosenbloom fired him for the Colts’ slipping performance.
In 1963 Ewbank was hired by the Jets. Ewbank went on to win Super Bowl III over his former team, the Baltimore Colts.
In 20 years Ewbank only coached in 5 playoff games. He went 4-1 in the playoffs, winning 2 NFL Championships, the AFL Championship, and the Super Bowl. Imagine that for a moment. 4 Playoffs in 20 years? Today that would be unthinkable.
Yet Ewbank is in the Hall of Fame, and remembered as one of the best coaches of the era.
Also, and we Jacksonville fans might want to remember this, he had Johnny Unitas and Joe Namath. Maybe it is players not plays?
What if Ewbank had been fired in today's impatient sports world? Would the "Greatest Game Ever Played" have been played? Would Joe Namath have been able to guarantee a victory over the Colts? Perhaps we need to take a step back, breathe, and see what the roster and the future holds in store for next year.