Remembering Chuck Knox

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Chuck Knox, the first NFL coach to win division titles with three different teams, died Saturday night at 86 after a long battle with dementia.

Known for his “Ground Chuck” offense that relied heavily on the run game, Knox was an instant success as a head coach — compiling a 54-15-1 record with the Los Angeles Rams (1973-77) where he won five straight NFC West titles and guided them to three conference championship games in his first five years there.

But a conflict in 1978 with then-team owner Carroll Rosenbloom caused him to leave for Buffalo where he led the Bills to the playoffs twice in five seasons. That, too, was a five-year hitch, with Knox departing after a 4-5 finish in the strike-shortened 1982 season for Seattle. There, he was successful again — taking the Seahawks to the playoffs in four of his first six seasons.

But that was it. In his last six seasons with the Seahawks and the Rams (again), three with Seattle and three with L.A., he failed to make the playoffs and finished with a career-record of 186-147-1 and a playoff mark of 7-11.

Knox, who is sometimes mentioned as a Hall-of-Fame possibility, is profiled … along with his greatest players … in this tribute by NFL historian John Turney of Pro Football Journal.

To access the story, just click on the following link:

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  1. Joseph Wright
    May 14, 2018

    Chuck Knox was a social change agent within NFL Football as well. As an offensive line coach with the Detroit Lions, he played Bill Cottrell at center. Then as Head Coach with the Los Angeles Rams, he started James Harris at quarterback in consecutive seasons. Years later, Knox wrote “I never understood the big deal about playing a Black center in Detroit (Bill Cottrell) or a Black quarterback in Los Angeles (James Harris). I played them because they were the best.”

    For his commitment and confidence to Cottrell and Harris many of the Black players around the league started calling Chuck Knox “Dolomite.”

  2. Joseph Wright
    September 21, 2018

    Hello Mr. Judge,

    A few months ago, we had a mild disagreement about something you wrote about the 1987 strike and the Los Angeles Rams. You can fast forward to the 9:40 mark of this clip. Make of it what you will.

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