As Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning prepares for yet another meeting with a Bill Belichick-coached Patriots team, Manning doesn’t only think he’s facing a good coach. Manning thinks he’s facing the greatest coach in the history of the league.
Manning said at his press conference today that Belichick is the best coach he has faced, and for that matter Manning thinks Belichick is the best coach the NFL has ever seen.
“Coach Belichick is the best coach that I’ve ever competed against and I think it’s safe to say he’ll go down as the greatest NFL coach of all time,” Manning said. “The teams that he has coached that I’ve competed against have always been well coached, always been prepared, always played hard for 60 minutes — I think that’s a couple things that stood out about the teams he’s coached. I played against him when he was the defensive coordinator with the Jets and then the head coach in New England. Those things jump out every single week, and to me that speaks to his coaching.”
Is Manning right? It’s tough to compare coaches across eras, and impossible to know how George Halas or Paul Brown or Vince Lombardi would do in today’s NFL, just as it’s impossible to know how Belichick would have done as a coach in the two-way era.
But what separates Belichick from any other coach is the way he has sustained his success year after year during the salary cap era, when the NFL is built for parity. This was the Patriots’ 13th consecutive winning season.
And Belichick now has a chance to get to his record-tying sixth Super Bowl if the Patriots beat Manning’s Broncos. After that, Belichick could win his record-tying fourth Super Bowl. If Belichick can accomplish that, Manning won’t be the only one calling him the best coach ever.