Super Bowl XLVI and Bill Belichick – NFL FootballSunday, February 5, 2012 13:36
Super Bowl XLVI prediction and where Bill Belichick belongs in history.
Super Bowl Weekend
So, I’m listening to Bruce Murray on Mad Dog radio a few days ago and he starts the inevitable clap-trap about Bill Belichick’s “legacy” and where he will end up in the pantheon of the greatest ever.
Apparently, I am one of the few who believe Belichick shouldn’ even be on that list.
Predictably. I will begin this and every commentary about Belichick by–sorry, Patriot’s fans—calling him a cheater.
Cheating is as much a part of Belichick’s legacy as steroids are to Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire’s.
Repeatedly, consistently, over a number of years—dating from his stint as the Browns head coach—Bill Belichick was warned by the NFL brass to cease and desist the recording of opponent’s defensive signals.
He did not comply even after a league-wide memo was issued in 2006.
Belichick apologists continually point to comments made by former coaches like Bill Cowher and Jimmy Johnson in support of Belichick as “proof” he did nothing wrong.
Why then was Belichick, his team and organization fined unprecedented dollar amounts and publicly chastised by the league? If there was nothing of substance to the cheating allegations why did Roger Goodell destroy the available evidence that showed New England’s level of deceit?
Google “Spygate.” Find out for yourself. See what Patriot’s opponents said after being stymied by Belichick and his “genius” before the cheating was revealed and how it “all made sense” after New England got busted.
Belichick’s obsession to get an edge deliberately over many years makes him the Barry Bonds of NFL coaches. No factual examination of his coaching history is complete without remembering that obsession and the actions BB took to satisfy it.
In fairness, Belichick’s record since he got caught with his hand in the video cookie jar has been excellent—except for the below mediocre playoff results.
Let’s get to the coaches who I believe deserve consideration as best ever.
Any such Pantheon usually begins with…
He doesn’t need a first name. Most NFL fans, pundits, players, and coaches put Lombardi above all others. He won five titles–the last two being Super Bowls I and II—in seven years, has no connection to any scandal, was a gifted motivator, a great speaker, and an Italian-American.
In ten years as a head coach, Lombardi won 106 games, including 9 playoff games.
He gets my vote as the best ever…probably…
347 wins in 33 years, two losing seasons. No doubt in “the pantheon.” but barely over .500 in the playoffs, Shula’s inability to draft a defense or a running game to complement HOFer, Dan Marino is one of the great mysteries in pro football history.
Halas invented the concept of training camps, daily practices, team coaching structures, and identifying opponents and his own teams strengths and weaknesses. 325 wins…Five titles…Halas is the George Washington on pro football’s Mount Rushmore. His Lincoln…
Paul Brown has to be on the Mount Rushmore of NFL coaches. From 1946 to 1955 he led Cleveland to 10 straight championship games in two leagues. Not only that, he founded two teams, the facemask, playbooks, the draw play, year-round coaching staffs, and the 40-yard dash while putting the word ‘Pro’ in ‘Football’. Three years after giving birth to the Bengals he coached them into the 1970 playoffs for the quickest postseason bid for an expansion team until the Jaguars and Panthers emerged in the ’90s with an unlimited checkbook.”
— Geoff Hobson, Official Cincinnati Bengals Writer
Brown perfected or refined many of Halas’ concepts like creating a film library, teaching football principles to players in a classroom setting, and was the first coach to use a radio to send plays onto the field.
The record shows Browns offensive scheme run by Otto graham later became known as the West Coast offense “invented” by…
He’s grudgingly in the conversation because he won three Super Bowls and changed offensive thinking league wide.
Walsh stands alone on my “Most Overrated Great Head Coaches” list precisely because he eagerly took credit for a scheme he did not invent and famously whined that Paul Brown tried to keep him out of the NFL.
Walsh wasn’t any more of a genius than I am…(Oh shut up!)
The more you read about Coach Landry, the more impressive the man’s record becomes. When we see NFL teams -
- Defenses continually shift to disguise coverages and assignments, or…
- Offenses shifting to negate defensive strengths, or…
- Using Shot Gun formations, or…
- Strength coaches, or…
- Players talking about reading “keys,” or…
- Employing the 4-3 defense, or…
- Talking about “Gap responsibility…
— We have to give Landry the credit.
In fact, based on his brilliant Xs and Os inventions, and reinventions to strategically counter his own original concepts, and his consistency, (20 winning seasons in a row), Landry stands equal to Lombardi.
Except the great Dallas legend lost two Super Bowls to the least glamourous, most TV-phobic, private, and, on the surface, most uninteresting candidate for the title of “greatest coach” of all time…
Charles Henry Noll
Noll’s press conferences were so predictable, so uninformative, it was once rumored a local radio station played the presser from the previous week and nobody in Pittsburgh knew the difference.
Noll never cared what the media or fans thought of him or his team.
What’s your approach to the Jets running game coach?
To stop the run…
How ’bout the passing game?
We’re preparing to stop that too…
Wow, stop the presses.
Sirius radio’s Bruce Murray acknowledged Coach Noll’s perhaps never seen before or since gift for drafting—the 1974 Steelers drafted four HOFers with their first five picks—but Murray put Walsh, Shula, Landry, Lombardi, Brown and Halas ahead of Noll because the “Emperor Chaz” could never repeat the success he had with “that first team.”
After his success in the early ’70s Shula lost two more Super Bowls and two more AFC Championships.
After losing to Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XIII, Landry never again won any kind of championship.
Combined, Shula and the Fedora won as many Super Bowls as Noll.
Lombardi quit coaching the Packers when he was 55. Is it unreasonable to believe he knew his run was over and he had no desire to rebuild?
The difference between those guys and Belichick is they would all say without great players you can’t talk about great coaches.
Bill Belichick buys into his own press clippings—and so does the league.
I wasn’t aware Belichick had been enshrined in Canton. My bad.
The access BB gave to NFL Films resulting in the season long documentary on Belichick was contrived to reinvent “The Hoodie” so his cheating would fade away from the public consciousness.
Not gonna happen—not as long as I have a keyboard.
The Super Bowl
I’m not buying into the hype about legacies. The New York Giants and New England Patriots made enough plays to make it to the top of the mountain. They deserve to be exactly where they are.
I think the pressure, expectations, and motivation for each team is about equal. I’m not buying that Belichick is spending practices telling his team what “they” are saying about his below average defense anymore than I’m buying Tom Coughlin will retire if he wins.
If Belichick has to motivate players to win a Super Bowl, he hasn’t been doing his job. We know better.
These are smart, seasoned coaches of veteran laden teams who will treat this contest as if it were part of the regular season routine. Each team will play to their own strengths and attempt to exploit their opponent’s weaknesses.
The book is out on Brady courtesy of the Jets, Colts, Steelers, and…wait for it–Giants. If the New York pass rush can make Brady uncomfortable or get their hands up if they can’t get to him, big advantage Giants.
Since the Giants have the best, and currently healthiest, front four in the NFL, that scenario is eminently possible.
I’m not so sure the same can be said for the Patriots chances of stopping Eli Manning.
350-pound nose tackles like Vince Wilfork rarely have two great games in a row and that has to happen for Manning to play a bad game.
Top to bottom the Giants are the better team on both sides of the ball but not by much.
It is too close of a game to call, but the Giants have proven they can get to Brady.
That settles it for me.
GIANTS 29, PATRIOTS 23
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