While there’s no doubt about Bill Belichick’s credentials, the New England Patriots’ head coach added another feather to his cap on Sunday. By defeating the Cleveland Browns in rainy Foxboro, Belichick earned his 300th career win; only Don Shula and George Hallas have more.
With all those victories under his belt, it’s easy to assume that Belichick has a secret formula for success. One baseball manager, however, thinks he knows exactly what it is.
Bill Belichick’s coaching career
Like most football coaches, Bill Belichick played college ball. After his time on the field ended, though, he quickly moved to the sidelines. He got his start working as a special assistant for the Baltimore Colts, before moving on to the Detroit Lions and Denver Broncos organizations.
In 1979, Belichick joined the New York Giants organization. While he started out as a special teams coach and defensive assistant, he worked his way up the ladder. He started working with the linebackers in 1980 and, by 1985, was the defensive coordinator of a unit led by Lawrence Taylor. Belichick would claim his first two Lombardi Trophies as the Giants topped the Denver Broncos in 1986 and upset the Buffalo Bills four years later.
That success helped Belichick land his first head coaching job, which came with the Cleveland Browns in 1991. He would spend four years there before taking jobs with the Patriots and Jets. In 2000, however, he returned to New England; the rest is history.
Bill Belichick’s key to success
Given Bill Belichick’s success, it’s easy to assume that he’s doing something special behind the scenes. Tom Brady, however, thinks it’s much more straightforward than that. The head coach is simply consistent and never wavers in his dedication to winning.
“He’s taught me about pro football, he’s taught me about leadership, consistency, dependability,” Brady explained on Sunday. “He’s just a very stable figure when he comes up and speaks with us. It’s about trying to win games and I think we all appreciate that.”
“He’s the best coach of all-time and its a privilege to play for him,” Brady continued. “He’s taught me so much on and off the field. He’s been a great mentor for me. I’m just proud of him and everything he’s accomplished.”
An outsider’s perspective
While Brady gets to work closely with Bill Belichick every day of the football season, another coach offered a more removed perspective. Tony La Russa is not only a Hall of Fame baseball manager but one of the coach’s good friends. He was able to offer an outsider’s perspective on what makes him so great.
“I believe his ability and his staff’s ability and his team’s ability to start at zero every year —refuse to think about last year—is an important part of why they are so consistent,” La Russa told ESPN. “It’s easy to celebrate the next year. The ability to turn the clock to zero is really impressive and very hard.”
At the end of the day, though, there is no singular secret to Bill Belichick’s success. His career is just a testament to what you can accomplish when you devote yourself to the singleminded goal of being the best every single day.