NFC West

If Bill Walsh had coached the Seahawks
June 16, 2013 12:20:37 PM PDT
By Mike Sando

Dave Boling's profile of former Seattle Seahawks owner John Nordstrom is worth a read for many reasons. One stands out in an NFC West context: confirmation that former Cincinnati Bengals coach Paul Brown made it tough for Bill Walsh to find a head coaching job.

Nordstrom's uncle, Lloyd, was promoting Walsh as a candidate to be the Seahawks' first head coach in 1976. Jack Patera was the choice ultimately. Walsh had worked on Brown's staff for years without getting a chance to become a head coach. He would win three Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers, but only years after Brown had retired.

"Lloyd got on a plane and saw Paul Brown," John Nordstrom told Boling. "He wanted to get clearance to interview Bill Walsh for the head coaching job. But Brown told him, 'Oh, you don’t want him, he’s a terrible alcoholic, we’re having all kinds of problems with him.' Lloyd hadn't been in the league before, so he bought what Brown was telling him. It wasn’t true ... [Brown] just didn’t want to lose him, and we never got the chance to interview Bill Walsh."

Walsh told the Los Angeles Times in 2006 that Brown had worked against him that way for years.

"All the way through I had opportunities, and I never knew about them," Walsh told the Times then. "And then when I left him, he called whoever he thought was necessary to keep me out of the NFL."

Boling's piece on Nordstrom, one of the most humble and gentlemanly figures I've encountered while covering the NFL, contains quite a few other historical tidbits. Hope you enjoy it on this Father's Day.

Tags: San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, John Nordstrom, Bill Walsh

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