Winning in the Trenches provides a fascinating glimpse of a bygone era in professional football from one of the players who epitomized it. With candor, insight, and love for the game, Forrest Gregg takes the reader through a career that began in the ...
mid-1950s when he was draft by the then-moribund Green Bay Packers. The NFL was a far different, and far less glamorous, place in those years. But, as Gregg tells it, things changed for the better when the team hired a new head coach, the now immortal Vince Lombardi. Gregg provides many colorful stories of the Lombardi years, during which the Packers dominated the sport, becoming what many experts call the greatest team of all time, winning a number of NFL championships and the first two Super Bowls. Though those teams were loaded with Hall of Famers, Lombardi famously called Gregg "the finest player I ever coached." Lombardi moved on by the end of the 1960s, as did Gregg, who played in yet another Super Bowl with the Dallas Cowboys before retiring as one of the greatest offensive linemen in the history of the game. His love for the game wouldn't allow him to rest on his laurels, and Gregg moved into coaching, as an assistant with the San Diego Chargers and then the Cleveland Browns, who promoted him to head coach in the mid 1970s. Gregg is candid yet fair in his recollection of working with the Browns' controversial owner Art Modell. From that post, Gregg moved on to work for another controversial and demanding owner, Paul Brown of the Cincinnati Bengals. Within two years Gregg took that losing franchise all the way to the Super Bowl, winning the NFL's Coach of the Year award. But Green Bay was his true love, and Gregg returned to the Packers as the head coach. Controversy, however, dogged him, as several of his players were involved in off-the-field scandals, leading to an explosive tenure of several years.