Michael J. Black considers if Bill Belichick as the NFL's greatest ever coach.
The National Football League (NFL) has been graced by some magnificent coaches during its history and determining who is the best-ever is not an easy task.
The likes of Vince Lombardi, Bill Walsh, Tom Landry, and many more have etched their names into NFL folklore, but one man is currently staking a strong claim to be dubbed the greatest of all-time.
With six Super Bowl titles to his name, Bill Belichick has undoubtedly been the standout coach since the turn of the century.
His New England Patriots side is one of the most popular NFL betting tips for the upcoming season, and it would be a brave move to back against them securing another championship.
Many of Belichick's predecessors coached during eras that were much less pressurised, further accentuating his achievements throughout his career. Belichick has created an air of invincibility around the Patriots and done it at a time when outside influences have made coaching much more difficult.
A salary cap, free agency, increased use of data, and around-the-clock media scrutiny are amongst the factors that could have contributed to Belichick's downfall. Still, he has handled each with the air of a man who is a master of his trade.
Belichick honed his famed defensive tactical skills under Bill Parcells, but he has far more to his armoury than only stopping other teams from playing. He regularly changes his formations, and an ethos perfectly demonstrated during the Patriots' 13-3 victory over Los Angeles Rams in last season's Super Bowl.
Against a much-vaunted offense, Belichick produced a coaching masterclass, preventing the Rams from running a single play inside New England's 26-yard line.
His opposite number, Sean McVay, is highly thought of in the NFL, but even he was forced to admit that Belichick had outcoached him.
Belichick baffled McVay by starting in zone defence after playing man-to-man for most of the season and the Rams coach was unable to adapt his style of play.
The 67-year-old's ability to get the best out of players less than half his age is a testament to his man-management skills, highlighting his all-around acumen as a modern-thinking coach.
Belichick is known to be pedantic regarding his players' use of social media, but suggestions that he and the Patriots don't know how to enjoy themselves are wide of the mark.
The Patriots' boss has little left to prove in the NFL, but a seventh Super Bowl in the NFL's 100th season would undoubtedly end any further debate about the game's greatest-ever coach.
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About the Author
Michael J. Black is a freelance writer who finds inspiration in fascinating facts and statistics that create compelling stories.