After leading his team to a record sixth Super Bowl victory, Bill Belichik has cemented his legacy as the greatest coach of all time.
Belichik is the master of preparation
The first time the Patriots won the Super Bowl, Tom Brady was not the quarterback we now recognize as the greatest ever. He was a young player brought in to replace an injured Drew Bledsoe and did a good job filling his shoes. In that famous Super Bowl upset over the Rams back in 2001, Bill Belichik showed us his genius as a coach by shutting down the offense known as the “Greatest Show on Turf”. In that game Brady only passed for 145 yards and was named the MVP. Everybody knows that award should go to Belichik if coaches were allowed to receive it which they of course aren’t.
Everyone credits Brady for the drive that set up Adam Vinatieri’s game winning field goal. What people don’t remember is that up until that point, Brady was not having his best game. In fact, when the Patriots got the ball back for that final drive, the legendary John Madden who was commenting on the game, assumed they would just run out the clock and go to overtime. Yet for whatever reason Belichik decided to let his young quarterback try to get them the win.
This Patriots dynasty has been going on for so long that they’ve had enough player turnover to be able to get perspective from former players about how things are done in New England. When you listen to them describe the way Belichik goes about his business, you see that he believed in Brady all the way back then because he has his team prepared for every possible scenario. He saw something in Brady through hours upon hours of preparation that lead him to believe that on the biggest possible stage with hardly any experience, his guy could get the job done and he was absolutely right.
Belichik outcoached McVay
In what was supposed to be Sean McVay’s coming out party as an offensive genius, it was the veteran coach that reminded the football world that he is far from finished On that night back in February of 2002, his team was prepared to stop what was thought to be an unstoppable offense. This current Rams team isn’t a lauded as that group, but they are recognized as one of the premier offenses in the game today and their coach, Sean McVay, the prodigy destined for greatness.
When you consider that Belichik held them to what could be considered the worst offensive performance by a Super Bowl team is quite shocking. Rarely is a Super Bowl victory so obviously down to the performance of the respective coaches. After all, the game is still won and lost by the players on the field but you will be hard pressed to find anyone who disagrees that this particular contest was anything other than a chess match won by the master himself. Nine Super Bowl appearances since 2002 is something we are not likely to see again in our lifetime. There is also no indication that the greatest coach of all time is ready to call it quits which means that we are still living in the Belichik-Brady era of the NFL until they get tired of winning. If Tom Brady is really the greatest QB of all time, we need to start recognizing that it wouldn’t be possible without Bill Belichik’s masterful coaching.