No longer a child, not yet middle-aged, and still finding their place in the NFL world.
...the 30-year wall of silence is an impressive achievement for a League that leaks as a lifestyle.
He recommended Jack Patera enthusiastically for the Seahawks...
The letter C is coming soon!
The Seahawks used Williams’ local reputation as a promotional tool, as they would do (very briefly) with Ahmad Rashad.
The average Seahawk selected in the veteran allocation is 6-2, 222 pounds, just under 26 years old and is entering his fourth NFL season.
The Seahawks played the Rams...facing off against future Seahawk coaches Chuck Knox, Tom Catlin and Ken Meyer.
...management decided early to pursue coaches with no NFL head coaching experience.
Patera had the boldness to recruit 3 coaches with no NFL service...
...why was there no place for one of the ultimate local heroes of the early 1970s – Sonny Sixkiller?
Thompson may have looked on paper like a conservative and safe manager for a new team with first-time owners, but...
...reports from the camp are unclear as to who did the special team evaluations.
As a defensive coach, Jack Patera valued his linebackers.
Maybe we'll come up with something soon!
...nobody else on the Seahawks squad took their dislike quite to the extent of Ahmad Rashad.
The Nordstroms were an obvious possibility because of their wealth and local presence.
Approximately 14 members of that squad would never play for the Seahawks again.
A simple lesson in draft history is to list the fate of quarterbacks for several years before 1976.
Jack Patera was unable to take a single Redskin veteran from the allocation list.
...the Seahawks’ offense would be directed by 3 men who had 2 years of NFL experience between them
Terry Brown’s Seahawk career lasted less than 24 hours.
...we think this story might just have been a good Patera Prank!
While Patera had an inside edge on stocking his team with Vikings, he only chose one Viking from the allocation...
Character would clearly play a part...
Patera lived up to his code of we will tolerate you until we can replace you...
Yes! We will have something for Y eventually!
What more need we say?
S is for Staff
Jack Patera was appointed head coach on January 3 1976.
The Buccaneers had appointed John McKay 2 months earlier, because he had become available from USC, but McKay would also have needed the earlier start to get more time to look at the potential assistant coaches in the NFL — almost none of whom he would have known.
Patera knew many more NFL coaches, at least by reputation if not by coaching against them, but as things turned out 3 of the 6 coaches whom he signed had never coached in the pros. Of course, some NFL coaches may have turned down his approaches for better offers, or so as not to risk damaging their reputations in a losing expansion team; and he may also have seen college coaches as better placed to help develop the draft picks who would not have an established NFL-level team organization to receive them.
The fact remains that the Seahawks’ offense would be directed by 3 men who had 2 years of NFL experience between them, while his defensive coaches would have 13 years between them (plus Patera’s own defensive expertise). Daring moves from a man who hadn’t been regarded as a gambler! Of course, Patera would show much more daring over the next few years.
Patera took a month to recruit most of his staff, although it needed a further month to bring Jerry Rhome in as quarterbacks and receivers coach. His first choice was quick and easy, signing his former boss Bob Hollway on 17 January. Hollway was available following a shake-up of the 49ers staff at the end of 1975.
Hollway had been the first-year Vikings’ defensive coordinator when Patera joined the team in 1969. In their 2 years together, the Vikings’ defense helped to produce successive 12-2 seasons and a Super Bowl loss to the Dolphins. Hollway left to become head coach of the Cardinals in 1971, and had not coached a winning season since then, while Patera’s Vikings had put together 4 winning seasons in 5 years.
Apart from their personal relationship, one of Hollway’s professional attractions may have been a 3-3 record against the Vikings in his 5 non-winning seasons at St Louis and Detroit:
Hollway’s ability to find the weaknesses in the powerful Vikings system, even in his losing seasons, may have been an important asset to a first-time head coach. Patera had also coached against Sam Boghosian and Larry Peccatiello, helping to defeat the 7-7 Oilers in 1974 by 51-10. The Oilers’ amazing 10-4 run in 1975 under Bum Phillips would have been noted by a number of teams, though it’s worth wondering how a team so clearly on the rise could allow both its offensive line coach and its linebackers coach to leave at the same time. Boghosian signed on January 29, and Peccatiello signed 5 days later.
Peccatiello had joined the Oilers 1972 from Rice, along with head coach Bill Peterson. It could be that Peterson’s firing in 1974 had left Peccatiello disaffected and open to a change of location.
Patera appears to have had no previous connections with Jerry Rhome, who would have only 25 days from March 5 to help to evaluate the offensive talent in the veteran allocation.
As it turned out, for all of Rhome’s Tulsa connections, the only Tulsa graduate in the original squad was punter Rick Engles, who was drafted in the third round. Rhome’s moment of greatness would come in August, when Houston put Steve Largent on waivers and Rhome persuaded Patera to claim the future Hall of Famer.
Patera’s choice of staff raises questions similar to those surrounding other coaching appointments from college ranks. The Steve Spurrier experiment at the Redskins, and Dennis Erickson’s career at Seattle and then San Francisco, remind us that coaches with stellar college records are not assured of NFL success.
The criticism is that college coaches lack enough NFL experience and “insider’s” smarts to be successful. That is sometimes true, though every college coach has to start somewhere in the NFL — and legendary experience didn’t help Joe Gibbs in his first year as Spurrier’s replacement.
But an expansion team is a special case. It’s a guarantee of confusion and uncertainty, without an existing organization, tradition and structure into which new players could fit to understand what was expected of them. It is also an organization whose personnel are under much more pressure to survive first, and then to succeed.
So, should Patera have placed his defensive line, offensive backfield and quarterbacks in such inexperienced hands? Putting hindsight aside, it does seem on paper to have been surprisingly adventurous. Even considering that Patera was planning for those positions to be taken over by his rookies as they learned from his original veterans, the vulnerability of the quarterback position alone must have been a concern when the quarterbacks coach was so inexperienced. It was a challenge that Jerry Rhome would rise to, but Patera’s confidence in him would also be crucial.