New York Giants: 15 G-Men who changed the game forever

Odell Beckham, New York Giants. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Odell Beckham, New York Giants. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /
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New York Giants
Eli Manning, New York Giants. Vince Lombardi Trophy. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

11 – Vince Lombardi

At the same time, Landry was running the Giants defense, Vince Lombardi was running the offense for Jim Lee Howell. Whereas Landry was from Texas, Lombardi was a local guy from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. Despite their differences, the three-man coaching staff was a success. Within three seasons, the New York Giants won an NFL Championship.

Lombardi made a name for himself after he became the Green Bay Packers head coach in 1959. The rest, as they say, is history. Well not exactly. The Pack went to the 1959 NFL championship game. Shortly before it happened Lombardi turned down a chance to come back to New York when he was offered Giants head coaching job.

His work ethic and principals have become legendary. Not just in football but in life. Everyone whether a football fan or not knows of Lombardi’s famous axioms. These have become some of the most quoted phrases of the last 60 years.

“Winners never quit and quitters never win.”

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, its whether you get up.”

“The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”

“Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.”

“Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”

Maybe Lombardi’s pursuit of excellence was game-changing. Then again there were demanding coaches in all sports before him, that accepted nothing but the best from their players. While with Giants he did create something revolutionary. A new way to run block.

Lombardi called it “Rule Blocking.” His offensive lineman would block an area instead of a specific man. The running back was then responsible to run through any hole he could find and as the coach put it, run to daylight. It was the predecessor to today’s zone blocking schemes.

Fun fact: Vince Lombardi was once part of Fordham University’s legendary “Seven Blocks of Granite.”