Success is determined by best game plans

Talent plays a significant role in team success, but creative game plans generally play a larger role in producing championships.

Updated: August 29, 2002, 12:08 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

It was a dyed-in-the-wool baseball guy, the late Branch Rickey to be exact, who philosophized that luck is the residue of design. But it is NFL coaches, many of whom have likely never even heard of the visionary Rickey, who have lent longevity to his legendary words.

To be both lucky and good in the NFL anymore, a team needs design, almost as much as it requires superior personnel. As the talent advantage throughout the NFL has continued to narrow in the past decade, an indisputable function of ...

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