Bill Belichick will turn 60 in two months and is completing his 12th season as coach of the Patriots, and with the chance to tie Chuck Noll’s NFL record by winning his fourth Super Bowl on Sunday, I asked Belichick at his press conference today whether winning the title might be an occasion to ride off into the sunset.
But Belichick said he’s not thinking about that.
“Right now, I’m really thinking about, ‘What’s the best thing I can do to help our football team on Sunday against the Giants?’ I want to really try to do a good job in the job that I have,” Belichick said.
Beyond just Sunday’s game, however, Belichick doesn’t sound like he’s in any hurry to quit coaching, because he’s enjoying what he’s doing too much to stop.
“I enjoy all the aspects of the job,” Belichick said. “I enjoy the team-building, the drafting, the free agents, team acquisitions – those kind of things. I enjoy bringing in the young players and working with guys who haven’t been in the NFL and teaching them the basic fundamentals in how to become a professional football player for the New England Patriots. And I enjoy working with the veteran players, the Tom Bradys and the Vince Wilforks and the Wes Welkers and all those kind of players that can do really special things because of their not only talent, but experience. And I enjoy the competition on a weekly basis. Not just on Sundays, but the preparation leading up into the game. So I enjoy all of it. It beats working.”
It’s not all that unusual for a Super Bowl-winning coach to walk away. Dick Vermeil left the Rams after winning the Super Bowl, Jimmy Johnson left the Cowboys after winning the Super Bowl, Bill Parcells left the Giants after winning the Super Bowl, Bill Walsh left the 49ers after winning the Super Bowl and Vince Lombardi left the Packers after winning the Super Bowl. So it wouldn’t be at all unprecedented if Belichick (or Tom Coughlin) were to go out on top after winning on Sunday.
But Belichick sounds like he’s ready to keep coaching for years to come.