Bill Belichick: The Greatest Head Coach in NFL History
As much as I love to hate them, the New England Patriots have been a dominant force in the NFL for the past two decades. Yes, there has been the variable of having the greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady, but someone who deserves more recognition is Bill Belichick.
This man has aspects of great coaches from a multitude of sports. Belichick is similar to Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United and his love of “no-name” young talent being used as dangerous weapons against their opponents, and Gregg Popovich and his hatred of media interviews and press conferences.
In my opinion, Belichick will go down as the greatest head coach in NFL history and will not be taken down as the greatest-of-all-time, ever. Belichick already has the most all-time Super Bowl wins amongst head coaches and he is projected to become the all-time winningest coach in the 2020’s. The only two coaches who stand in his way are George Halas and Don Shula. Once he conquers their records, he will go untouched.
Since taking over head coaching duties in New England in 2000, the Patriots have not had a losing record since 2001. The next closest team to accomplish this is the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have not had a losing record since 2003. Besides these two teams, no other team has accomplished this feat outside of this decade. The Patriots have a regular season record of 225-79 since the year 2000. Again, the next closest team is the Steelers with a record of 197-105-2. Let that sink in. The Steelers, a team without a losing record since 2003, would need to have two nearly perfect seasons while that Patriots sit on the sideline in order for New England to be taken down as the best team in the past 20 years. This is impossible as this is the last season of the 2010-2019 decade. This demonstrates just how many wins the Patriots truly have under Belichick’s reign.
Bill Belichick is notorious for finding great players late in the draft, signing undrafted players, and making deals with the entire NFL. Belichick has made a trade with every team in the NFL since becoming the Patriots head coach. But these were not the only ways Belichick has shown he is a football genius. Let’s go through two prime examples of his genius ideas:
In 2003, the Patriots were down 24-23, with a 4th and 10 on their own 1-yard line with less than 3 minutes to play. Instead of giving the Broncos good field position by punting, Belichick took a safety and trusted his defence to come up big. In the end, the Patriots ended up forcing the Broncos 3-and-out and Brady was able to be classic Tom Brady and march down the field and score a game winning touchdown in the final two minutes. This is a prime example of how although Brady is a great quarterback, if it wasn’t for Belichick, the Patriots may not have won this game.
Again in a close game against the Broncos, this time in 2013, the Patriots found themselves going to overtime. A make-or-break in the overtime format, even currently, is winning the coin toss. Teams want the ball. The Patriots won the toss but elected to defer. Yes, you read that right; they elected to defer. The reason for this was the weather conditions in Foxborough had winds of over 25mph blowing up and down the field. Belichick gave the Broncos the ball with the wind in their faces. The Broncos kicker at the time, Matt Prater, did not believe he could knock down a 37-yard game-winner due to the amount of wind. The Patriots, and the wind, ended up winning this game.
Belichick has so many accomplishments, it is hard to pinpoint even all the major ones here. The main takeaway is that what Belichick has done as a head coach in New England is one-of-a-kind. We have never seen a coach like Belichick and I believe that we may never see someone similar again.
How is it so easy to say Belichick will be the greatest coach of all time? Once he passes George Halas and Don Shula for all-time wins, try to make an argument for why Belichick is not the greatest coach the NFL has ever seen. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to do.