Friday, September 16, 2011

Bill Belichick's Football Life in 6 Easy Steps

Is Bill Belichick the greatest football coach in NFL history?  He's won three Super Bowls out of four appearances as Head Coach, and he has won two with the New York Giants as Assistant Coach under Bill Parcells.  Not bad.  But he's been blessed with great players (Tom Brady, Lawrence Taylor, etc.) during his career, and when saddled with a mediocre football team, his tenure went nowhere (Hello, Cleveland!).  I happen to think he is the greatest Football Coach in NFL history.  He's served longer than Vince Lombardi, but yet done more in less time than Tom Landry.  Chuck Noll and Tom Shula may have been more accomplished, but they were also blessed with great players on both sides of the ball for longer periods of time.

A Football Life, produced by NFL Network, follows Belichick around during the 2009 season.  This will be our collective chance to see a human Bill Belichick and perhaps decide once and for all whether he is the greatest coach in history.  I watched Part one of the series with six things in mind.

1.  Not Surprised by:  Notoriously private and paranoid, the first thing I found interesting was that this was a showcase of Belichick from the 2009 season.  I found this to be very telling.  I can see Belichick begrudgingly agreeing to do this, but only under the condition that it not be from a recent year.  What I'm surprised about is that he agreed to this for the 2009 season rather than say 2006.  Don't underestimate Bob Kraft in getting this thing produced.  One note:  I love that Belichick's boat's name is "V Rings."

2.  Greatest Moments (Humor):  Jon Bon Jovi looks ridiculous in the Pat Patriot T-Shirt - he's from Jersey!  Tom Brady's hair growing from a respectable length to Gisele length by Week Four.  Sebastian Vollmer's catch during Training Camp with no meetings and no curfew on the line (Belichick: "I never thought he'd catch that!  I wasn't counting on him catching that." Minutes after a shaky Vollmer settles under a 50 yard punt.  Belichick talking to Tom Brady about missing passes.  "What about Maroney?" "It went right through his hands." "It was over his head!" "Oh that one."

The moment that made me laugh the most, though was the exchange between Wes Welker and Belichick after Julian Edelman returns a punt for a touchdown in the final preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Belichick to Welker:  "Do you know who Wally Pipp is?"

Welker: "No"

Belichick:  "He's the player who played before Lou Gehrig when Gehrig played 20,000 games in a row.  That's the story on punt return."

Welker:  "He can have it, man."

Belichick: "Way to compete.  Way to compete."

3.  Greatest Moment (Drama):  Robert Kraft talking to Seymour about the team approximately 17 minutes before Seymour is traded to the Oakland Raiders.

There is also a scene where Belichick is walking through the Meadowlands locker rooms reminiscing - talking about the coaches' locker room and the old racquetball court.  The disappointment and anger he has toward Bill Parcells is palpable; a book should be written about that last year between Belichick and Parcells for the New York Jets.  What a great scene.

4.  Most Surprising Moments:  Belichick drives a Chevy Impala.  Really?!?  Sankaty Head Golf Club allows its players to wear jeans and sneakers on the course?  Another great scene occurs when Belichick kisses Ed Reed's ass and then throws into his missing coverage.

5.  Things I Learned:  Tom Brady is a big whiny bitch!  Seriously, when Belichick asks him to take it easy.  Brady starts to give him the Gisele treatment by whining in a high pitched voice that he got drilled on one pass to Kevin Faulk and that one screen went through Lawrence Maroney's hands (it didn't, it went over his head).  Although I originally thought it was for salary cap relief, Richard Seymour was traded to the Raiders so the Patriots could sign Vince Wilfork.

6.  One Thing I'm Concerned About:  Derrick Mason's I'm sure going to remember Belichick yelling at him later on in the playoffs when the Ravens absolutely spank the Patriots in the Playoffs.  That will be one interesting conversation - if it happens.

We'll see you next week for the conclusion of "A Football Life."  I can't wait.

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