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Is Bill Belichick the greatest coach in NFL history? He is undoubtedly the greatest coach in the history of the Patriots organization. He has won all three of the Super Bowl titles that they have ever won, and has the best winning percentage of any coach in the organization as well. His .649 win percentage is the highest for the organization, above Pete Carroll’s .562 winning percentage, but the credentials just cannot match what Belichick has done.
Best coach in NFL history though? No. In my opinion he has a chance, but it is just too soon to tell. There have been things that he has done as a coach that can put him up there on the list though.
Belichick has won 3 Super Bowl titles and has led the team to a total of 5 Super Bowl berths in his tenure with the Patriots. He has a career winning percentage that is a top 10 percentage out of the all time list for head coaches in the NFL. He has 3 AP NFL coach of the year awards, and has won the AFC championship a total of 5 times in his career so far.
These are excellent numbers right? After the turn of the decade, not one coach has won more than one coaching title such as the AP Coach of the Year title. Belichick has done it three times. This definitely does not hurt his chances.
Belichick cannot only be spoken for by his records and accomplishments, but by his additions to the game. Belichick has one of the greatest minds of any coach in the history of the NFL. The schemes and game plans that he can come up with are some of the most genius game plans any coach or team could come up with. Look at what he has done with the personnel on his teams. One example is Troy Brown. When Troy Brown came into the league in the 1993 draft out of Marshall, I do not think he knew what his job would entail in the NFL. He came into the league as a Wide Receiver for the first couple of years and then when Belichick took over in 2000, everything changed. It was his idea to use Brown on both sides of the ball and on the special teams as well. Brown was utilized on offense as a wideout, on defense as a cornerback later in his career, and on special teams as a kick returner and punt returner. That is ingenuity at its finest.
Another example of the brilliant mind of Belichick is his use of the two tight end package. This is a relatively new package in the NFL (it’s new to be used so often) and Belichick is at the root of it all. With the use of Hernandez and Gronkowski, the options for Brady are limitless. The two tight ends have combined for 34 total touchdowns over the last two seasons that they have integrated this system and it is clearly working. It’s just another move that Belichick can be thanked for.
Are there some reasons that he can not be considered the greatest of all time?
The first and probably most blatant reason is the Spygate scandal. This scandal has put a damper on many accomplishments that otherwise would have been great for the coach. Cheating is never acceptable and he got caught doing it. I believe that because of the Spygate scandal, many people may say that this gave Belichick an unfavorable advantage in many games that were played. Another reason this looks bad on him is that he only got caught in the 2007 season with the New York Jets signals, and was accused of it at the end of the 2001 season against the St. Louis Rams signals. Many can argue that he may have used these methods in the past and the truth may never come out.
Based on his career accomplishments right now and based on what he can still accomplish in the future, Belichick can definitely be looked at as a top 5 coach. However just based on the cheating scandal, I can see how others might look at that as grounds of him being a cheater. As of now, Belichick cannot be the greatest coach in NFL history.
Don Shula, Vince Lombardi, and John Madden never cheated. Belichick doesn’t have a trophy named after him, or a video game series named after him (though he might in the future). But I believe the cheating scandal sadly outweighs the true accomplishments and the brilliant football mind that Belichick has. Someday if things get cleared up and he continues his winning ways, he can be looked at as the greatest of all time. As for now, he can just be looked at as a damn good coach, but not the best.