In an exclusive sit-down with Fred Burney, the former Eagles coach's son, Ritchie, discusses the player, coach, and man that his father was.
Throughout the history of football, both Philadelphia Eagles football and that of the NFL, there have been countless coaches that have made an impact on the game and its players. For fans of the game, the ones that have the greatest impact are usually the head coaches.
Fans remember the personalities of Bill Belichick and Jimmie Johnson. They circle back to the Tampa 2 scheme of Tony Dungy or the West-Coast offense created by Bill Walsh. Usually, the coaches with the most greatness attached to them that are ingrained into the fabric of football history.
Yet, there are many coaches without that same stature who make just as big of an impact. They can mold the lives of their players and shape the organizations that they are a part of. Whether it is offensive coordinators, defensive coordinators, or position coaches, these coaches can be the most important people in an organization.
One coach that was in this mold was Fred Bruney. He is what one would consider a football lifer, as he had the longest tenure of a player and coach ever at the time of his retirement in 1997. Bruney played from 1953-1962 across both the AFL and NFL. He then coached for the Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Atlanta Falcons, New York Giants, and Indianapolis Colts.
Bruney's impact cannot just be limited to the simple listing of the teams he played and coached for. As a result, I was able to interview Fred's son, Richie, to gain the necessary context about Fred's true impact on football. The interview consisted of questions about Fred's playing days, coaching career, impact, and more.