The greatness of Bill Belichick
Posted Jan. 21 at 11:44 PM
Robert Kraft made a comment earlier in the week, saying that he felt Bill Belichick was the best coach ever. I think you have to include him in the conversation. It’s something the readers are debating on the Facebook site (Fantasy Index).
There have certainly been lots of good, innovative coaches. Tom Landry, Don Shula and George Halas certainly have to be in the discussion. Those are your top 3 all-time in wins. But I think Belichick belongs in that group.
Championships is one thing you look at. Belichick’s got three. You can also point to him having nine straight seasons with 10 or more wins. In today’s NFL, that’s tough. That run includes an 11-win season without Tom Brady.
You can also look at improvement. Can a coach take a group of guys and make them better then they’d be with another coach? Can he make lineup and system changes to get more out of his guys? Or would the Patriots be pretty much the same team if Jeff Fisher or Mike Holmgren was running the show?
Consider this: In the 12 years Belichick has coached at New England, the Patriots have allowed 19.6 points per game in the first eight games of the season. Those same teams – the same personnel – have allowed only 17.2 points in the second halves of those seasons. That’s an average of a 2.4 points per game in a large statistical sample (192 games). That’s pretty damn impressive. It’s compelling evidence that Belichick (whether you love him or hate him) has some potential to take a defense and figure out ways to make it better.
He’s doing his typical work this year. The Patriots defense was historically bad for much of this season, but it’s been coming around. The team, for example, had only 15 sacks in the first half of the season. Now it’s had 30 sacks in its last nine games.
Belichick knows what he’s doing, and that’s why the Patriots are a firm favorite today against Baltimore (at least in my opinion).
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