By: Stats Guy // @Blitzed_Stats
About Stats Guy and Blitzed: Stats Guy is the host of the hit show Blitzed, where three fans talk NFL and rate popular drinks at the same time. Blitzed airs LIVE on Twitter and YouTube every Monday evening at 8 pm ET.
If you’ve ever seen our show, Blitzed, we don’t make much of a secret that we don’t like the Patriots. Heck, we even have a segment called Why We Hate Tom Brady. And every year we get asked by tens of fans around the country just why we hate them so much.
It would be easy to say we loathe them because of Spygate, or Deflategate or Spa-gate, the arrogance of their fans or the fact that they never show mercy to their opponents. They never take their foot off a team’s throat, even when they’re up 35 in the 4th quarter.
Nope, it’s actually simpler than that. Like every dynasty (and lingering cold sore), we’ve just grown tired of them. In a league that’s built to enforce parity, the Patriots have enjoyed an unprecedented 20-year run of success where they have dominated their division and become an annual fixture in the Super Bowl. Truth be told, we’re actually in awe of them and what they’ve been able to accomplish. But awe aside, this league dominance thing is getting a little old and, we think we speak for the rest of the AFC East when we say, they can piss off any time now.
Credit whoever you want for the success of the Patriots. Whether it’s Robert Kraft’s steady ownership, Ernie Adams nefariously analytical scheming, or Tom Brady’s systematic adherence to one, basic style of offense, all could be considered factors.
But throughout their success there has always been Bill Belichick at the top of it all, acting as the defacto GM and Head Coach throughout his entire reign in New England. And love him or hate him, under his leadership the Patriots have six rings. So, inevitably, when Belichick leaves the Patriots at the age of 82 to become the head football coach at Army, the talking heads will debate, ad infinitum, whether or not Bill Belichick is the greatest coach in NFL history.
And if you take team success alone, the answer is very plain. YES! Six Championships? Nine trips to the Super Bowl? 16 Division titles? All these accomplishments dwarf those of his contemporaries. In fact, we feel so strongly about this that we honestly believe that the Lombardi Trophy should be named after him someday. Belichick’s ability to scheme against every foe and take away the very things they like to do, over a period of 20 years, make him the best football strategist and tactician the game has ever seen. We think Belichick is the greatest NFL coach when it comes to getting his team ready to play, especially in the biggest moments.
There, we said it.
But that’s only part of the gig. Especially if you want to be considered the greatest head coach of all time.
Many football insiders would argue that the role of an NFL head coach is not only to win as well as teach and prepare players but more importantly, it’s to teach and coach his coaches. And this is where Belichick falls well short of the greatest head coaches in NFL history.
Now, if you’re a Patriots fan you probably stopped reading after we declared that the Lombardi should have a new name (and believe us, that hurt). But for those of you who have soldiered on, hoping for some granule of hope that Darth Vader and the Evil Empire won’t be lauded with more obsequious praise than they deserve, buckle up, because this next statement is for you:
ONLY TWO NFL HEAD COACHES IN THE ENTIRE BELICHICK COACHING TREE HAVE A CAREER RECORD OVER .500.
Texans Head Coach Bill O’Brien (48-41) and Jets Head Coach Al Groh (9-7) are the only ones. And let’s be honest, it’s not by much. But despite those winning records neither has won a Super Bowl or even appeared in a Conference Championship Game.
The rest have a combined record of 82-140-1 (.367 win%).
Romeo Crennel 28-55 (Browns and Chiefs)
Matt Patricia 9-14-1 (Lions)
Josh McDaniels 11-17 (Denver still hates you)
Brian Flores 2-7 (Dolphins – but probably wishing has was still in NE)
Eric Mangini 33-47 (Jets and Browns – what’s with the Browns, anyway?)
Ah, that feels better.
Now let’s compare that with another coach who Belichick is often (rightly) compared to, his mentor, Bill Parcells.
Even if you backed out Belichick’s record from Parcells’ head coaches, his tree still has three Super Bowl winners, and of those still serving as head coaches in the NFL, their combined record is 205-133-1 (.604 win%). They are:
Sean Payton 125-75 (Saints. Who Dat?)
Anthony Lynn 25-17 (of the soon-to-be London Chargers?)
Mike Zimmer 53-35-1 (Vikings)
Freddie Kitchens 2-6 (Browns. Yeah, we were just as surprised to see his name here)
The thing that makes Bill Belichick a phenomenal, strategically successful head coach is his control freakish nature. He’s an autocrat. The Patriot Way is just a fancy way of saying Belichick’s Way. And you do it his way or it’s the highway. And Belichick’s Way works extraordinarily well for this franchise. But when his coordinators get offered head coaching gigs elsewhere, that maniacal adherence to control, and his inability to let his coordinators fail, thereby teaching them how to lead, will ultimately be his downfall in the court of public opinion.
And that’s why, in our humble (slightly biased) opinion, Bill Belichick will never be considered the best NFL Coach in history.
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