NFL morning after: Bill Belichick is a genius

AP

Bill Belichick is a genius.

I know, I know, I’ve lost half of you because you don’t like Belichick personally and half of you think it’s ridiculous to call football coaches geniuses. As Joe Theismann once said, a genius is a guy like Norman Einstein. But as I look at everything that Belichick has accomplished in his coaching career, I really do think he has a genius for coaching football, to an extent that we haven’t seen in professional football since Paul Brown was coaching the Cleveland Browns in the 1940s and 1950s.

We saw that on Saturday in New England, when the Patriots, trailing the Ravens by 14 points in the second half, did something that just isn’t done in professional football: He sent out an offense featuring only four offensive linemen and one running back lined up as an ineligible receiver, confusing and infuriating the Ravens. Baltimore’s John Harbaugh is a good coach, too, but he had just been out-coached and he was so angry about it that he ran onto the field to yell at the officials, drawing a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct.

“Nobody’s ever seen that before,” a still-angry Harbaugh said after the game.

When Harbaugh says no one had ever seen it before, what he really is saying is that no one had ever thought of it before. Harbaugh certainly hadn’t thought about it before, and neither had any of his assistants or his players, and that’s why they were completely ill-equipped to handle it. Belichick had out-smarted them.

I’m not exactly saying anything shocking when I say that Belichick is a great coach. With Saturday’s win, Belichick tied Tom Landry record for the most postseason victories in NFL history. The Patriots are favored to win the AFC Championship Game on Sunday, and Belichick is favored to break the tie with Landry and get the postseason victory record all to himself. When you own a record like that, it goes without saying that you’re a good coach.

But I know I’ll get plenty of pushback on this from those who dislike Belichick. Some people don’t like him because of his gruff demeanor, and I don’t particularly like that aspect of his personality, either. But so what? Good football coaches haven’t always been swell guys. I’m calling him a great coach, not Miss Congeniality.

The other thing people don’t like about Belichick is a legitimate issue: He got caught cheating in the 2007 Spygate scandal. The NFL fined Belichick and stripped the Patriots of a first-round draft pick, and that was appropriate. He broke the rules and deserved to suffer the consequences.

But when people suggest that he was somehow exposed as a coach who only wins by cheating, well, that’s just plain silly. After the NFL put a stop to Belichick’s prohibited videotaping in Week Two of the 2007 season, Belichick won 17 consecutive games. The next year Belichick went 11-5 despite losing Tom Brady in Week One. He’s made the playoffs every year since then. Since he got caught spying he’s 99-28 in the regular season, 7-6 in the playoffs. His winning percentage of .757 post-Spygate is better than his .598 winning percentage pre-Spygate. The idea that Belichick needed to spy on other teams to win is just not borne out by the evidence.

What the evidence does show, quite clearly, is that Belichick is not just a good coach but a great coach. If his team wins its next two games, it may be time to proclaim Belichick the best coach ever.

Here are my other thoughts from this weekend in the NFL:

The Seahawks remain the best team in football. The Panthers went to Seattle and played a tough, spirited game of football, but there was never really any doubt that the Seahawks were going to win that game.

Seattle’s defense is insanely good. It was the best defense in the NFL last season in both the regular season and the playoffs, and it was the best defense in the regular season, and seems to be just as good in the playoffs again. The Seahawks forced Cam Newton into three turnovers on Saturday, and Seattle is now on a seven-game winning streak in which it has allowed a total of just 56 points. That just doesn’t happen in today’s NFL.

So can the Seahawks keep it up? I think they can. I like Seattle to beat Green Bay on Sunday, and I like Seattle to win the Super Bowl as well. If that happens, we’ll look at the 2013-14 Seahawks defense as one of the greatest in the history of the sport.

A bad rule negated a great play. I don’t like the way the NFL defines the word “catch” because I think it too often negates the most spectacular plays made by NFL players. What Dez Bryant did on the crucial fourth down in the fourth quarter in Green Bay on Sunday was a wonderful catch — he leapt impossibly high into the air, grabbed the ball, controlled it, rolled over and then held it up to show that he still had it. But under the rules of the NFL it was technically not a catch. Although the official on the field ruled it a catch, Packers coach Mike McCarthy challenged, and the referee (in conjunction with head of officiating Dean Blandino) correctly overruled the call on the field. Dallas fans can’t complain about the officiating, because the officials got it right. But they can complain about the NFL rulebook, because it needlessly complicates the meaning of the term “catch,” and takes away some of the best football plays that football players make.

Peyton Manning is old. I hate saying this, since Peyton Manning and I were born only a few months apart, but the guy is ancient by NFL standards. He was the oldest quarterback in the NFL last season. He’ll be 39 in March. Even the greatest quarterbacks are usually done by the time they’re 38. Dan Marino was 38 in his last season. So was John Elway. So was Joe Montana. So was Steve Young. So was Kurt Warner. And plenty of great quarterbacks don’t even make it that long. Roger Staubach was 37 in his last season. Terry Bradshaw was 35. Troy Aikman was 34.

Can Manning play in the NFL in 2015? Yes. But can he play at the level he demands from himself? I’m not so sure.

Gronk is great. No player impressed me more this weekend than Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who caught seven passes for 108 yards and a touchdown in helping New England beat Baltimore. When it comes to creating matchup nightmares because of his physical presence, I put Gronkowski in the same category as Jimmy Graham and Calvin Johnson: They’re almost impossible to cover because it’s almost impossible to find someone who’s both fast enough to keep up with them and strong enough to tackle them. Gronkowski often hasn’t been completely healthy, but when he is, he’s among the truly elite players in the entire league.

If the 25-year-old Gronkowski can stay healthy, he may be headed for the Hall of Fame some day. His coach will be there with him.

225 responses to “NFL morning after: Bill Belichick is a genius

  1. Pretty nice final four with the two best QBs of the present in Rodgers and Brady and the two best QBs of the future in Luck and Wilson. Let’s hope we’re done talking about refs now too.

  2. Think you can imagine how average the Broncos offense will be once Manning leaves.

    I’m a big fan of Mannings but yeah he did look ‘old’ yesterday. You knew there wasnt going to be a comeback at all. Probably has a decent season in him next year but not a ‘Manning’ year.

    Yesterday was a true changing of the guard

  3. Belichick, because of what he’s done in the salary cap era, is the greatest professional football coach of all time. It’s not even close.

    The winning culture he has built in New England inspires enormous jealousy, which is to be expected. But Bill is on to the Hall of Fame.

  4. No he is not! He was a horrible coach in Cleveland and was 5-11 in his first year as New England’s coach and started off his second season 0-2 before Bledsoe was taken out by Mo Lewis. Which led to BRADY starting. He can draw up as many plays as he wants but if he doesn’t have a QB to make the plays then he looks like a fool (see Rex Ryan). Belichick is a product of Brady not the other way around.

  5. John Harbaugh was wrong and he was right. It was a deceptive formation, but well within the rules. The only point I think he has is about the officials. Since they were unaware of what was going on, they allowed the “inelligible” declaration very late in the process. This is what produced the confusion/substitution problems for the Ravens. Make no mistake, the better team won but the Ravens will tuck this away and learn from it for next year. We’ll be back New England! Now, don’t let Indy get to the Super Bowl!

  6. I don’t care much for Bill Belichick. And I think he is a genius. He’s the best coach in the game today.

  7. I agree that Belichick is a great coach, one of the best actually, but until he wins another Superbowl and proves that he doesn’t need to videotape the signals of the opponents defense, he will always have a cloud over his head. It isn’t fair but life isn’t fair.

    Agree 100% with the Dez play. Clear a catch, and if he hits the pylon and drops it its a TD. It’s an awful rule but it was called right on the field. I bet that it will be changed this offeseason since Jerrah was the once screwed by it.

    Seattle will whoop on any of the 3 teams left. They’re just too good.

  8. I read that the exact same thing was done earlier this year in…A college game. A genius? No. An observant copier? Yes. I think it was an LSU game but not sure and too lazy to look it up.

  9. It would never happen, but I would like to see the Broncos go with Brock next year and bring back Manning as a backup. He would never go for it I’m sure, but it would be interesting if nothing else.

  10. It does not take a genius to understand that Belichick is the greatest coach of all time…or, heavily into the conversation.

    Some weekend observations:

    1. Pot Roast…now making a tee time in Florida , after eating crow.

    2. Rodgers…Better be glad he has his legs and feet, because he isn’t the same from pocket requiring quick read and throw…He needs time. Makes you appreciate ultra fast reads from a chosen few, like Montana & Brady.

    3. Competition Committee…ruined NFL…5 yard rule, Calvin Johnson rule..etc.

    4 Cowboys should have run on 3rd & 1, should have punted on 4th down.

    5. Where are the ‘geniuses’ who proclaimed Elway brilliant. He overspent on Ware, Talib, Welker etc time for rebuild.

    6. John Harbaugh can coach…when he isn’t crying.

    7. 1st round byes…yes teams get healthy, and home field. But,,,they lose their edge, and a step.

  11. Wanna know something? The PATS Coaching staff gathered and watched the Colts game at Gillette sunday night. 15 Mins after the game, they were in full Game plan mode, led by BB. The coaches work harder, work smarter and use every inch of rope to win games. They will have the Game plan ready for the players Monday Morning at the practice facility…PEIROD!! When you work harder and smarter,,you can make up for the other team having more talent, and thats what the PATS do,,from the ball boy,,,to the coaches,,,to the players….DO YOUR JOB!!!!

  12. I really like the way you wrote that. IMHO it covered everything, the emotion, thrill, anger, admiration, and disappointment from this past weekend. Great observations and opinions.

  13. The call was correct, the rule is fine. You need to maintain possession going to the ground. We see this literally every game. A player gets their hands on the ball, gets two feet down, but loses it going to the ground because they’re being tackled, or it gets jarred loose from the impact with the ground. It’s the same thing we see hundreds of times every season. The difference with Dez is that hey SHOULD have caught it. As in, if he was playing smart he would have easily had the ball. We also see this every game. Players grabbing the ball in a leaping catch, tucking and securing the ball as they go to the ground. It’s fundamental football. They may have perfect control of the football up to that point, but at the end of the day they still need to complete the process.

    There doesn’t need to be a rule change, the rule is fine and clear. The player must maintain control while going to the ground. If at any point in going to the ground the player does not have control of the ball and it touches the ground, it’s an incompletion. Dez may be twisting and stumbling, but his momentum is still clearly taking him to the ground. He’s not making football moves because he still hasn’t even fully landed as of yet. That was the simple truth of it then, it’s the truth of it now. Play smarter football and this doesn’t happen. What you should be complaining about is how in the hell has Dez now gotten away with whining to the refs on the field of play with his helmet off in TWO consecutive weeks without seeing a single unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

  14. Great piece. Thanks for clearly stating what any real NFL fan should understand about Belichick. He is one of the best ever. Fans who can’t get over Spygate are only making fools of themselves. They’ll show up in response to this analysis. Pay them no attention. Their resposes simply are because their teams and their coaches can’t begin to hold a candle to the record the Patriots and Belichick have accomplished over the last fifteen years.

  15. The Seahawks have been playing sub-par offenses the past several weeks. I don’t think that makes them the best team in football. They’ll be facing a real challenge next week.

  16. Also, the whole Dez Bryant deal was a catch. He’s a supremely talented athlete and in my humble opinion, he was absolutely making a football move towards the goal-line in an attempt to score a touchdown. That’s not why the ‘Boys lost though…they didn’t coach well (end of the half) and got away from the running game in crucial stretches and then refused to blitz a clearly hobbled Rogers.

  17. Ha!

    Mike Mcarthy is a genius!

    Aarron Rogers is a geniuse!

    My team is amazing. We are not worried about playing the Patriots in the Super Bowl.

    We are destined to win. Even the refs are calling plays in our favor.

    None of you can say that you own part of a historic franchise. I can. And I will.

    Go Pack Go!

  18. Also, not a single mention of Russell Wilson’s absurd performance? ESPN says his 3rd down stats (literally perfect 8/8 for nearly 200 yards and 3 TDs) were the best of ANY quarterback in the last 10 postseasons.

  19. I don’t believe the rule is bad, it is in place every 5 years a play comes about and there are complaints about it. Instead of 5 calls every week. The officials have problems officiating games well enough without the inclusion of judgement calls.

    Gravity is NOT a football move, yes eventually his feet hit the ground, I feel the only reason there is an uproar about this, is because he remained in the field of play.

    If Bryant is going out of bounds with the EXACT same motions there is less fuss about this play, and the ball moves like that its a no catch easily, and I feel that there is a lot less fuss about it.

  20. Modell was a crook and an ego maniac. He would have fired Belichick (Like he did anyway) because Belichick was getting bigger than him…

  21. That is a great line by Theisman. “Norman” Einstein? Maybe Norman really is a genius for opening that bagel chain. Albert needed a haircut.

    The Seahawks haven’t faced a great quarterback in some time. If they beat Rodgers and Brady, I’ll be convinced of how great they are.

    As for Belichick = genius, he’s up there with the greatest coaches, but drafting Easley with his first round pick and Garoppolo with his second round pick added nothing to current team. Belichick is a great in game strategist and he’s had Tom Brady since for fifteen years. 11-5 with an easy schedule with Brady hurt was not “great” and it didn’t get him in the playoffs. I love having Bill Belichick coach my team, but right now there are a few good ones who rival him.

  22. Why does the media always seem to forget that almost every team was doing what the Pats were doing (Spygate) but we were the one who “did it more aggressively”?? Nonetheless, belichick is a genius and its said that it only recognized in wins. Had the Pats lost, Brady and Belichick would have never heard the end of it.

    Why is it every time Peyton loses in the playoffs there seems to be a pretty darn big excuse? “Oh, he hasn’t been the same the last six weeks. Father time. Something’s wrong with him.” One of the all time greats no doubt about that. But, the man always comes up short – Mr. One and Done!

  23. What people fail to realize (and by people I mean the haters who constantly bring up spy-gate) is that Bill Belichick the GM is the main reason the Patriots haven’t won another Super Bowl over the past decade, and the fact that they have still remained so successful despite having seriously flawed teams (for a 5 year span their defensive secondary was down right embarrassing) is a testemant to his abilities as a coach.

    I am and always will be a Bill Parcells guy. Not that I don’t like Bill Belichick but there is just something about his impersonal and arrogant ways that irks me from time to time. Parcells was the ultimate motivater, a players coach, and would adapt his team to his best players talents. Bill Belichick is stone cold and puts the system above everything else.

    But anyone who thinks Bill Belichick isn’t one of the, if not the, greatest coaches of all time is ignorant at best. What he has accomplished in the salary cap era is amazing. This consistent level of success just isn’t seen in today’s NFL.

  24. I mean no disrespect whatsoever with this posting. Lombardi has the trophy (and had a ton of Hall of Famers), but Belichick is the greatest pro football coaching mind ever. Just look at what he’s consistently done an what he’s done it with. Of course, he lost three Super Bowls, but he’s been to SIX! He also went 11-5 with Matt GD Cassell!!

  25. Oh, wait – it’s laughable that you said Graham is almost impossible to cover. Pats gave out the blueprint, the Seahawks followed and so did almost every team this season. The man is the man for garbage time stats.

  26. Belichick is a great coach and perhaps the greatest of all time, but the genius label is overused and doesn’t fit him or this sport. Being a genius is very select company; kind of like being called a hero, which is also overused.

  27. Cleveland and many AFC West exorcised many demons when the Broncos lost.

    Now maybe we can take the pins out of the John Elway voodoo doll.

  28. You think it’s still a catch even when the ball bounces off the ground?? It was an amazing effort but I can’t see any sensible definition that would turn that into a catch.

  29. Belichick will be known as the greatest coach of all time when he’s finished.He’s already in the conversation

  30. I will say this . I have absolutely no sympathy for the cowboys is what was a bad call by the refs. Yes it was a catch and td. But they are in no position of arguing fairness after having the refs reverse an obvious pass interference call the week before. They did even deserve to be in this game. It should have been detroit. So karma is a mother isn’t it?

  31. So many people seem to be ignoring the fact that the ball hit the ground. If the ball hits the ground, then if it moves even a tiny bit in his hand, it’s not a catch – and the rule has always been called this way.

    The key is if you think Dez went to the ground of his own volition there. If you think he did, THEN you might have an argument that it was a completion and a bobble up in the air that he immediately recovered. The refs (and I think most impartial fans) saw Dez falling as an act of completing the catch. The moment the ball hit the ground and moved, the pass was incomplete.

  32. BB to John Harbaugh,
    “So, John; The Queen can move north and South, and Diagonal in any direction for as long as she wants, pawns can only attack diagonally, etc etc”

  33. Agree MDS, I too don’t care much for BB brusque manner, just once I’d like to see this guy get a bit more emotional about something..anything from a game…..but there’s no denying he is just one step ahead of other coaches ..so perhaps in terms of world history he may never be considered a genius..however in the insignificant world of the NFL this guy is definitely a genius!

  34. What I find odd is that those patriots teams on defense haven’t recorded a Hall of Fame player to my knowledge. Some players from the patriots go to different teams then do nothing or little.

    I find it also odd that Brady was a late round pick and all of a sudden seems to be error proof. brady gets hurt they still win 11 games. But we all know Cassel sucks now. There so many “miracle” things about this team that’s hard to believe. They were 2-2 this year, sucked then BOOM!

    When someone has a philosophy that includes manipulating the rules or being deceptive they don’t all of a sudden change because they got caught. There just more careful The NFL has a history of covering things up, we now know that.

    But see the main evidence about the Belichek era is that he’ll go down as the only hall of fame coach with 2 sure fire hall of fame players. The qb and the kicker. That’s impossible and this must mean he’s 1000 times just that much greater then all the coaches who played the game.

  35. I agree with pretty much everything you said.

    Bill Belichick should be on the Mount Rushmore of coaches. When John Harbaugh said no one had seen an offensive line like that, he obviously missed the game between Alabama and LSU, in which Brandon Greene a 304-pound offensive lineman ran downfield and caught a pass. He was eligible due to an unusual often sublime formation.

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Belichick, McDaniels or one of the other Patriots coaches saw the game and thought “Hey, that’s an interesting wrinkle – let’s put it somewhere in the playbook just in case.”

    Yes, Peyton Manning is old, and his body is older than his birth certificate suggests due to neck surgery. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he retired.

    Gronkowski is a beast, easily the best tight end in the game and, if he stays fit, should go down as an all-time great.

  36. Fantastic article! Belichick is a great coach and has shown the ability to find innovative ways to give his team an edge. Any coach that makes an effort to come through the rulebook to find ways to construct efforts that the other team isn’t likely to think of is doing a good job. It will just be a matter of time that more coaches will end games in frustration when he shows them what he comes up with next that they still won’t be able to anticipate before it’s too late.

  37. Gronk? The most impressive player this weekend? Over Kam Chancellor? That wasn’t even a tremendous game by Gronk’s standards. He just got open and did his thing being steady, no circus catches or ferocious broken tackles.

    He certainly wasn’t more impressive than Kam Chancellor, who had as big an impact as any safety could reasonably make in an NFL game. Devastating against the run. Destroyed Mike Tolbert with a full head of steam barreling towards the first down (and more) to the point where Tolbert actually went 2 yards backwards. Literally jumped right over the Panthers field goal unit on two consecutive plays and nearly blocked the kicks. Capped it all off with a 90 yard pick six. Active NFL players were marveling over all of these feats on Twitter, yet you’re more impressed with Rob Gronkowski having an ordinary receiving game.

  38. With Manning I think he looks old not because he’s old as much as it is the neck injury. That has been hard to overcome and he just doesn’t have the arm strength at the end of the year he had at the start of the year. Brady looks like he’s 27 but he’s 37 and I would expect Brady to play at a high level for another 3 years.

  39. To some people, it’s not only about how many times you’ve won, but the manner in which you’ve won.

    Do you win off of your merits alone, or do you resort to tactics that aren’t exactly noble, even if they are within the rulebook?

    Obviously, the spying was a big time no-no, and it made him look very bad. What happened this weekend, although wasn’t illegal according to the rulebook, he was making the formations and then quickly getting to the line of scrimage to hike the ball, so that the opposing team (The Ravens in this case) didn’t have time to react accordingly. Illegal? No. Shady? Yeah. Looking for any way to win, even if it’s not completely “standup” and takes advantage of the other team and the refs? Definitely.

    The GREAT coaches cement their legacy with honesty, dignity, and hard work. I think there will always be an asterisk next to his name.

  40. On September 9th, 1960- I was at the first Boston Patriots game at Boston University’s Nickerson Field. Ironically, we lost to The Denver Broncos on that day, and Lou Saban, Nick’s dad was the coach. I was 9 months old, and I’ve been told I slept thru the whole game. I got the pic to prove it; I also got the scars from being a Pats fan all the way until Parcells showed up. That’s when it changed. As much as we Bostonians love football, we are a baseball town first. We came late to the game, and most football fans from Boston before 1960 were NY Giants fans! My dad still is! With all that being said, I for one am going to miss Bill Belechick when he is gone. In fact, I probably will tune it out some, for I could not stand watching some Rich Kotite like coach on that sideline. We are spoiled rotten! I have relatives in Philly who would give their right arms for half of the success that we have had, and that’s a football town! Most of the young Pats fans have no idea how much it sucks when your team is unwatchable, and literally have no chance of any success. I remember. And when Bill hangs up the whistle? I will walk away….Maybe…

  41. Belichick not only has a love for the game he has a respect for the game and its history. He understands that if you can take another team out of their comfort zone you have an advantage. Harbaugh, an excellent coach, needed only to take a timeout and set his defense. Instead, he ran on the field to complain because he lost his cool. The refs actually made two huge calls against Revis (of all players) that hurt the Pats and helped the Ravens (the PI that put the ball inside the Patriots five and the defensive holding that took away the Patriots strip sack and recovery inside the Ravens five). Also, the ref not only advised the Ravens of the ineligible receiver he told the Ravens not to cover Vereen. The refs treated the Ravens very well.

  42. Every positive value has its price in negative terms… the genius of Einstein leads to Hiroshima.

    Pablo Picasso

  43. I’d hoped to see another Brady-Manning AFC Championship game but it wasn’t in the cards. I was virtually shocked watching Manning yesterday. He looked terrible. He missed receivers that, at one time, he would’ve never missed. I thought to myself that he must be playing injured.

    Luck is going to be something special if he isn’t already. He’s what Manning and Brady were 10 years ago.

    I have to agree with the author, Belichick is a pure football genius. Year after year his teams are in playoff contention. Having McDaniel as an OC isn’t hurting either. Hoping for a Pats win in the SB so Brady can go out a winner.

  44. Bill Belichick may be the greatest genius that the game has ever seen. Thank you Florio for having the intelligence to see it and the courage to give the man some credit.
    Leonardo Da Vinci was also hated by his peers because his talent exceeded theirs.

  45. He may be a genius but something about scouring a rule book for loopholes seems like a grimy way to win, especially with his history.

    Hard to call him the best ever with the stains on his record.

  46. yes after he got caught cheating they won 17 games in a row but now he had Randy Moss and Wes welker so your argument is BS. The fact is the cheating put him over the top as in Three Super Bowls. HOW MANY HAVE THEY WON SINCE??? No one is denying he is a good coach, however he or brady will get my respect until they can win post spygate. Think about it, the cheating was so bad the NFL had to burn the tapes???

  47. Bull hockey…..Bellacheat can’t man up and beat you man for man….he has to come up with some gimmick, a scheme to beat you. The Patriots were manhandled by the Ravens in the first half. What the Patriots do always has to be on the fringe of the rules, it’s like a ponzi scheme, somehow doesn’t matter who puts on the uniform, Santa Claus could play QB, but Bellacheat always finds a way to win. They will always have an asterisks next to their name in the record books and everyone outside of Boston knows it. Too bad some of you Patriot fans don’t remember when you were the laughing stock of the division and always finished in last place. Won’t be long, you will be back there.

  48. This will be Belichick’s 9th AFC Championship game as the Patriots coach…….genius.
    Fourten years in a row with 9 or more wins…genius.
    Thirteen seasons with 10 or more wins as Pats coach.
    Eleven seasons with 11 or more wins as Pats coach.
    Nine seasons with 12 or more wins as Pats coach.
    Five seasons of 13 or more wins as Pats coach.
    Four seasons of 14 or more wins as Pats coach.
    One season of 16 wins as Pats coach.

    GENIUS

  49. If he can figure out how to beat that Seattle defense ENUFF and slow down russell Wilson just enuff to scratch out a win…he is no doubt a genius

    I’m a Pats fan and I just don’t see it. For the last month I’ve been thinking that these playoffs are a mere coronation for the new NFL dynasty and how fitting it will be over the last one.

    I truly hope I’m wrong.

  50. Creative thinking with that formation. California High Schools came up withthe A-11 Offense and this is really a variation on that. So he didn’t invent it.

    Kinda against the spirit of competition and it will be addressed by the competition committee this offseason for sure.

  51. So someone who manages to undercut the whole “eligible receiver number” concept is a genius?

    He’s a great coach and no one can argue he’s HOF, but I don’t equate deception with genius.

  52. Professionally, without the man the trophy is named after there would be no Belichick, so no he isn’t the greatest professional coach. He one of the best but c’mon the damn trophy is named after Lombardi. I thought it was well known that Lombardi had a “pet” player at St. Cecilia’s (like Hornung was later at Green Bay) was a kid named Mickey Corcoran. The name Corcoran might not be well-known in coaching circles. But he became a New Jersey high school coach and, according to Lombardi biographer David Maraniss, passed Lombardi’s lessons and coaching strategies on to his players and “to his own disciple … a North Jersey boy named Bill Parcells.” Of course Lombardi owes his coaching to a man named Frank Leahy and from there to Knute Rockne but that is bringing college coaches into professional ranks.

    For those of you too young to know, Vince Lombardi was a real guy who really coached the Green Bay Packers to 5 World Championships including the first 2 Super Bowl wins ever.

  53. I can’t stand the Patriots, but Belichick is the best head coach since Vince Lombardi, but do we know for sure that this tricky formation was his idea, or Josh McDaniels?

  54. Harbaugh’s comments, while not intended to be, are actually the highest praise one could give. The total surprise at a legal tactic that had never been tried before, and the only response is to play the “deception” card. That is high praise. Belichick is a football genius, and who wouldn’t want their losing opponent to whine about how you did something so smart that it’s never been seen before and that’s why you won. That’s awesome.

    Yes, one can be a football genius or a floor-mopping genius or a blogging genius, etc. Are YOU a master genius of whatever it is you do. You CAN be for sure. A mechanic genius, a cook genius, a shipping warehouse genius. It just means you’re a student who cares to master whatever it is.

    Most likely, if you are a master of what you do, you are above most others that do the same work.

    Congrats to Belichick. Shula can suck on that.

    (This coming from a Lion’s fan who typically adopts the Pats come playoff time.)

  55. He might be a genius. Every coach or GM that has left the Patriots for another job has not done well at all. Bill was even a genius before Tom Brady started playing, he just didn’t win enough games to get noticed.

  56. No fan of either coach, but the referees did a huge disservice to the Ravens by not reporting which player was actually ELIGIBLE. Just because they reported which player was INELIGIBLE, doesn’t mean that the play should have been allowed to commence. And not only did they get away with it once, but 3 times. Belicheat didn’t do anything wrong, but the nfl sure did. Shame on the shield

  57. Stealing a wrinkle that Nick Saban used first, and then giving the Ravens no time to react to it is clever, but not genius.

  58. Belichick is the NFL equivalent of a chess master. Against most of the other coaches he is many moves ahead of what they’re seeing. And he often sees opportunities that no other coach does.

  59. see Ernie Adams for the genius behind the”genius”…The officials screwed Harbaugh by not announcing Vereen as ineligible..Whenever there’s a lineman deemed eligible they announce it, same should have been done here for Vereen

  60. Belichick is obviously a very good coach, but Brady made him. He failed in Cleveland (but then, who wouldn’t?), then went 5-11 in 2000 (with Bledsoe), then went 0-1 with Bledsoe in 2001 and then 11-4 with Brady. The only other time he had to make do without Brady was in 2008 when he went 11-5 with a stacked team that had just gone 18-1 the year before and that was playing against an extremely weak schedule. That great coach would have lost by two touchdowns last Saturday with almost any QB other than Brady. The fact that the Pats were able to beat the Ravens this year with absolutely no running game, very poor pass protection, and an underachieving defense is just one more case of Brady making Belichick look much better than he really is.

  61. Seriously. I’m a HUGE Cowboy hater. But Dez Bryant not only made that catch but I thought the replay would change the call to a touchdown. At no time did I ever think it would be reversed and ruled an incompletion. GB fans like to cry about the fail mary, but that call in the Dallas game was ten times worse.

  62. There were alot of bad calls by officials in these playoffs so far..What needs to be changed is this stupid rule that the refs dont travel with their normal team of officials from the regular season..Just as players build chemistry, so do the officials..Blandino Should Be Fired!

  63. Genius isn’t the word you use to describe a guy who cowers behind bending the rules to confuse the refs. “Glitches” doesn’t equate to out playing or out smarting your opponent. The Ravens lost, but it wasn’t because they were out-coached. It’s because Tom Brady is arguably the best if not one of the most clutch quarterbacks of all time and brought his team back to win on a game clinching final drive.

    Without Brady, Belichick wouldn’t even be in the same conversation of best ever. Look what he was in Cleveland and look how to this day he still has to find ways to “get away” with things. Great coaches compete on an honest playing field. Don Shula was one of those greats, so when he calls Belichick out, maybe you should take note and realize maybe there really is something fishy about the way New England has found success over the years?

    That being said, the Ravens went into this thing with one of the worst secondaries in the league, gave it their best try, competed to the end and ultimately were beat by the greatest Quarterback of my generation.

    They weren’t out coached. Don’t start beating that drum cuz it sounds ridiculous to those who actually know what’s what.

  64. Enjoy reading your observations on these past weekends games. I agree with everything you said.

  65. Belichick is not the greatest coach of all time. The only people saying that aren’t over 30 and he’s basically one of the only coaches you’ve watched dominate. He hasn’t won a championship in a decade and he was CAUGHT cheating when he did win.

    He’s a great coach, but he’s not the greatest. Just stop it.

    Do you think had every team filmed other teams practices those years the patriots would have still won? They definitely wouldn’t have that advantage anymore, and as you can tell from this past decade when they don’t have that advantage they haven’t won the super bowl.

    THINK

  66. Yesterday was Luck’s “I’ve arrived” game.

    By the 4th quarter manning’s fastball was COMPLETELY gone. He can get by one season just on accumulated smarts from the previous 16 or so seasons, but he is not MANNING any more.

    He should just call it quits – don’t embarrass yourself, don’t draw it out, don’t pull a Brett Favre, just quietly go.

    Belichik pulled a fast one on Baltimore and I loved it. Throw in Edelman’s 1st NFL pass of his career and we’re on to the next one.

    Another example of the wisdom of my brother-in-law’s saying “Remember the seven Ps.”

    Proper
    Prior
    Preparation
    Prevents
    Piss
    Poor
    Performance

    “Bad rule negated a great play.” Agreed, and I am a Packers’ fan.

    The Cowboys are BACK, and I’m not too thrilled with that, but facts are facts.

    The Seahawks are scary, but if there is anyone who can devise a plan to beat them if he has 1) 2 weeks to get ready and 2) the greatest QB in the game, it’s Belichik.

  67. Who has Seattle played in it’s last few games? lets see…

    San Fran twice lol and Arizona twice in which they have a winning record but NO QB. The Rams… and Carolina who does have a good defense but it’s obvious Cam Newton has a little ways to go… GB will be a test no doubt

  68. Since Brown? What about Bill Walsh, who not only won titles, but fundamentally revolutionized the way offenses operated, on a league-wide scale? Walsh’s family tree has spawned legions of winners, while all of Belichick’s disciples have fallen flat on their faces when given a chance at a HC gig.

    For that matter, heck, what about the guy who’s name is on the trophy? He was pretty solid, too. Belichick is obviously a great coach, but c’mon…

  69. Bill Belichick a football genius? Yes
    …an actual intellectual genius? No
    Best modern era coach? Yes
    …of all time? No

    Now please, can the media please stop blowing smoke up the smug bandwagon Patsie fans rear ends.

  70. over a decade later people still complain about the correctly called tuck rule (as it existed then).
    there is precedent for assuming people won’t stop complaining, ad nauseum, about a correct call just because it was correct.

    It will be good to see the catch rule changed to something 50 drunks in a bar could see was obvious, the way the tuck rule was. but it will be complained about as a bad call and even a conspiracy for a very long time.

  71. Belichick is a genius. Yet, he’s ringless in the last decade with supposedly the best QB off all time in his prime.

  72. Cowboys fan here. I agree that Dez didn’t make the catch according to the rule book. No complaints here. We had plenty of opportunities to beat GB, but we didn’t get it done. Good luck to the four remaining squads.

  73. Bellicheck was a terrible coach before he went to Patriots.. Kraft buys the team he turns into a “Genius”?
    Hmmm Sounds a but strange to me… Maybe it’s because this guy just cheats.. He has already been caught cheating twice. One when Kraft PAID off the Refs (Coleman) for the “Tuck Rule” Then the whole spy gate thing, if the NY POST did not get a hold of that NFL would of never EVER have released that info. Ever since then The Patriots have YET to win a Superbowl, Kraft is still paying off these refs here and there but he does not have EVERY single ref like he did 10 years ago in his pocket. Now Kraft only has 85% of them which STILL should be good enough to win a superbowl every year BUT STILL Patriots Don’t win!!!!!
    That does not make Bill a Genius, that makes him a complete idiot..
    Kraft will never fire him, Kraft never wants the secret out but I doubt Bill will ever spill the beans. A Guy like Rodney Harrison would never do it.. I think the one that might but it will take a few years is Randy Moss.. But I think Patriots (Kraft) are the ones that got him a job POST NFL

  74. “he leapt impossibly high into the air, grabbed the ball, controlled it, rolled over and then held it up to show that he still had it. ”

    —————-

    Weird that you omitted the part where he allowed the ball to bounce on the ground before he “held it up to show that he still had it.”

    I’m not a big fan of the Calvin Johnson Rule, either. But the problem is that any way that you define a “reception” will be (i) difficult to define, (ii) subject to marginal cases that screw somebody over at some point, and (iii) ambiguous and open to interpretation.

    If you don’t like the CJR, come up with your own definition of a “reception.” If you want to make what Bryant did a catch, describe what he did and base a rule off of it.

    It seems to me that the best way to do that would be to say that it’s a reception if someone who gains control of a passed ball for any amount of time makes a football move, even if that move is made while going to the ground as part of the process of the catch. I’ve heard people argue that Bryant stretched the ball downfield. Perhaps he did, in which case my rule would make that a catch.

    BUT that’s more of a judgment call than the present rule, which has the benefit of being less ambiguous. Under any rule, there will be a big play in a big game that the rule doesn’t seem to fit well. That’s just the way it is.

  75. Belichek is a very good coach. He is not a genius. Belichek will “cheat” in order to give himself an edge to win a championship. He has been blessed with having a great quarterback, thus making every year a potential Super Bowl champion.
    Peyton Manning is a great quarterback who has one only one Superbowl. Do you think Manning would be ok with the garbage the Patriots pulled on Saturday? I don’t thinks so. What the Patriots did was “legal” for now, but will be changed this summer. I believe the Pats figured out this “advantage” but was apprehensive to use it because they knew it was unfair and also knew they would take crap for it. Why would the Patriots wait until being down 14 points in the playoffs to run this offense?
    I believe most coaches in the NFL are shaking their heads at this crap pulled by Belichek. I don’t think they are looking at him as a genius!

  76. Did Baylor run this type of play/formation first? In he Cotton Bowl against Michigan State this past year, I remember they ran something similar and scored a TD. They had their back-up Tackle where number 80 (an eligible receiver number) and run off the line in the seam. I think Belechick may have altered it a little, but it seemed similar.

  77. He’s a great coach but I think he’ll be remembered more for his GM skills overall. He has somehow managed to keep his teams not only good but competitive for a long time. As for this game, it’s a sandlot line-up. Harbaugh figured he had Belichick beat this time. He had a master game plan and had everything covered. He was going to go to Foxboro and stick up the Pats, and BB’s, rear end. But, the ‘Fox of Foxboro’ pulled something out of his hat that showed that the Raven’s coach isn’t as smart as he thought he was.

    The catch, if you read the rule and the intent, is to determine possession more than if it is actually a catch. Possession is a major element in the NFL rules, and catching a ball part of that. The NFL could change the rule to please Jones and the others, but then the refs are going to go nuts trying to figure out what a catch is vie possession. Don’t know if that’s something they want to do just to please Jones and Cowboy fans, who would be supporting the rule big time had it effected the Packers.

  78. Gronk’ is truly the only one who is “un-coverable”, because even when you cover him he makes the play. All the others make great plays even when teams key on them, but teams simply have to devote too many resources to try to stop Gronk, and they always fail. Gronk’ is the best weapon in any teams arsenal.

  79. The NFL has structured rules to ensure offenses do not gain a competitive advantage during substitutions. Although what they did currently is not illegal, it does not follow the NFL’s pattern of rules regarding competitive balance during substitutions. NFL will look at this and adjust the rules.

    I think Belicheck is more Andrew Golota than Albert Einstein.

  80. Belichick may be a “genius” but he’s also not a very good sport and he was getting help from the refs. The defense is supposed to have a chance to substitute for ineligible and eligible receivers, so maybe Brady’s “gotta learn the rules” before he spouts off like a smug DB next time. It would be one thing if the Pats were doing it more honestly, but shouting to the ref who is eligible or not and then immediately snapping the ball is bending the rules at best, and cheating at worst.

    And no, I’m not a Belichick or Pats hater. I would just like to see competent officiating. I’ve learned those are impossible expectations in the NFL after this season.

    Smart move by Bill, but the officials helped immensely….for one series.

  81. Sadly, Don Shula isn’t reading this because he’s busy cutting Bill Belichick’s lawn.

  82. Is Belichick a genius like Einstein? No – that’s just plain silly. But the man is a football genius. No one can argue that. Thank goodness he’s the coach of my team. I would probably hate the guy if he wasn’t and that would be based on pure jealousy.

    Don Shula: you have embarrassed yourself, sir, and lost the respect of many with your petty ramblings.

  83. if Harbaugh doesn’t whine like a baby afterwards, no one talks about this play at all. It was one play for nine yards. It really wasn’t that big of a deal.

    The real story should be Harbaugh – he was caught off guard by something and was so unprepared that he thought he had no choice but to get a penalty. I have heard from many former players who say what should have happened is an audible to a zone/safe defense. To complain because you were “deceived” is beyond stupid. It would be like teams that play Oregon complaining because they go too fast, or next time a team runs a fake punt/fg and the opposing coaches gets upset because he was deceived. Deception is part of the league and Harbaugh’s comments were irresponsible.

  84. Belichek love needs to be tempered by the fact he lucked into one of the best qbs ever to play the game. Before Brady, belichek did what, exactly as a head coach? He got fired for being ineffectual right? Look I’m not sayig he’s a bad coach, but he’s not one of those coaches that had to make due with mediocrity at qb. I know he had that one season with Brady hurt. Didn’t win the Super Bowl though did he? A lot of coaches have survived with back ups. But before we start anointing belicheck, maybe we should wait a few years to see what he does w/o Brady.

  85. There’s no question that Bill Belichick is a great coach. But I think it’s funny how the label of genius is applied in this instance. In 2007-2008, the Buccaneers took advantage of a salary cap loophole by including huge bonuses in new contracts for players who would never be able to earn them. Under the CBA, teams could carry over these unearned amounts to the next contract year, resulting in huge surpluses of cap space. Other teams followed suit and eventually the League eliminated this loophole. Genius, right?

    In 2010 Bruce Allen likewise tries to take advantage of a loophole to get his team some breathing room under the cap and the League slams him for it, claiming “unfair competitive advantage” Not so genius?

    And the Dolphins deliberate & obvious circumventing of the Rooney rule hire? Genius? (I’ll stop beating this horse now.)

    NFL really needs to figure out where it stands on these issues, instead of doling out punishment based on whatever PR/CR/BS agenda it decides to have on a given day.

  86. Belichick is a genius….who hasn’t won a Super Bowl since spy-gate, and won’t win one this year either.

    The Dez Bryant catch was spectacular, and highlights a rule that desperately needs to be more clearly defined. How many steps can a receiver who is “falling to ground” make before he’s considered to have made a “football move”?

    Bryant took two steps, and had clear control of the ball as he fell to the ground. If he had stumbled and taken five steps and then fell and lost the ball, it would have still be considered an incomplete pass based on that rule.

    That needs to be changed, or at least more clearly defined. It’s one thing to hold a receiver to that rule who headed out-of-bounds and trying to tap his feet in-bounds and then falls immediately to the ground. But Bryant caught that ball and made two steps before falling. There needs to be a cut-off line somewhere (catch and control and two steps?) to better define this rule.

    That said, if the Cowboys score there, I still like the Packers to rally and win. I just would have preferred to see that instead of what was called.

  87. People who don’t hate Belichick call him a “cheater, blah, blah, blah”. They’d also give their left nut to have him coaching the team they root for.

    For those who say Belichick/Patriots haven’t won a Super Bowl since Spygate, well, the Broncos haven’t won a Bowl since they cheated the salary cap, too.

    Fact of the matter is this guy is, perhaps, the greatest sports coach in American history and to succeed in a salary cap era is something that may never be seen again.

    Hate him all you want, but appreciate and recognize what he has done.

  88. “The NFL fined Belichick and stripped the Patriots of a first-round draft pick, and that was appropriate. He broke the rules and deserved to suffer the consequences.”

    You do realize how badly they suffered from this right? so bad that they actually had 2 first round draft picks from TRADING for them…

  89. Even if they rule The Dez Bryant play a catch and they punch it in on the next play, something tells me that, with close to 4 mins left, Rodgers finds a way to get them into field goal range to win it the game. Hell he got them into range anyway by just trying to run the clock out.

  90. True story, Joe Theismann’s high school class valedictorian was Norman Einstein. Theismann may not have been very smart, but I’m guessing the “he’s no Einstein” saying that is popular was used at his school with a slight change to “he’s no norman einstein”

  91. Is Belichick a genius like Einstein? No – that’s just plain silly. But the man is a football genius.
    —-
    Actually, they can be compared. Einstein was a genius when it came to physics but the guy could barely figure out how to brush his teeth or complete basic tasks that we all take for granted.

    For all the “he hasn’t won a SB since spygate”, you’re all morons. He was 2 lucky plays away from winning both giants sbs. Smarten up.

  92. Everybody saying the Pats rushed the res through substitutions – every ineligible receiver was announced over the PA just like any other game when such substitutions are made at times by all teams. On one play the ref in addition to that was playing defensive coordinator for the Ravens screaming out “don’t cover 34, 34 is ineligible”.

    Nothing was rushed Harbaugh simply wasn’t paying enough attention and got outcoached.

    The other difference was teams often have a player report as ineligible once on a drive, the Pats did it several times which is entirely legal.

  93. Can you get anymore in the tank for a guy? Next report will be he’s staring in the next Dos Equis beer run as the most exciting man in the world or on the cover of GQ for mark he has made in men’s fashion.

  94. .
    Belichek is known for coming out of halftime with some crazy adjustment that wins the game…

    The only time his halftime changes failed were um….
    18-1 GIANTS WIN!
    and then the repeat GIANTS WIN!

    We all can thank Eli and the Giants D for stopping Belichek from being the greatest coach ever for now…

  95. I’ve asked for years why people don’t use fewer lineman and more skill players, alternating their eligibility to confuse a defense… Thanks for taking my idea, Bill.

  96. “If you can’t beat em trick em!! Wooooo!!”

    ———————————————-

    You just want pre-season football all the time. That’s where no one bothers with x’s and o’s. This entire sport is predicated on trickery, or else we’d have no need for signal-calling. There would also be no gadget plays. No shovel passes. No timing plays. No screen passes. No flee-flickers. No end-arounds. No run-blocking. Nothing. No football.

  97. It doesn’t take a genius to fool the NFL refs, which is what Belichick did here. If the refs allowed time for subbing against the four eligible receivers after one of five eligible receiver numbers declared eligible or ineligible, it’s quite easy to defend. Belichick was counting on the refs being overwhelmed. Perhaps Harbaugh should have called a timeout, but the refs did such a poor job of announcing (inegligible or an eligible with a stadium PA with the DC in the crap coaches boxes), and allowing the PatPats to move so quickly, calling a timeout was hard to get to these refs.

  98. I am not sure a “great” coach would have to troll through the rule book and come up with crap the gets in the game based on loopholes in the rules. Cheaters are, always looking for ways around the system. Consider the only thing he is doing is paving the way for other coaches to do the same thing with “chessy” things like this. “Well the rules don’t say you can’t do it.” Meanwhile the game suffers and so will the viewers while they sit there wondering why things like this happened. So a “great” coach or a “great” rule book reader you tell me…

  99. What does “spygate” have to do with anything? LOL filming where the pats did it wasn’t illegal until 2007, pats didn’t get penalized for anything that happened prior to 2007 and the league has never accused them of breaking a rule that didn’t exist prior to 2007. The pats got penalized for breaking the rule during the first game of the first year it was enforced. The other really funny thing about people who keep on bringing it up is that there is and never have been a rule in the nfl against stealing signals and every team in the league employees a number of people who at least part of their job is to do things like that. LOL!!!

  100. A large factor of Bill’s genius and success is paying attention to college football. Because there are just so many more teams at the college level, most of the innovation in the game occurs there. By staying tapped in with college coaches he learns about new tactics early, and also gets the inside track on obscure but talented players. All that college style maneuvering you saw against the Ravens, plus Rutgers guys picking off Flacco, was no accident.

    As for his persona, most folks know he’s quite funny when not dealing with people he hates, like the media that turned a random extra camera in the back of a football stadium into Teh Spygate Der Scandal! Pretty normal, really.

  101. “For those who say Belichick/Patriots haven’t won a Super Bowl since Spygate, well, the Broncos haven’t won a Bowl since they cheated the salary cap, too. ”

    —————————————

    Only 1 team out of 32 has a successful season. And no dynasty has repeated itself after it ran the course, by which I mean the careers of its players. This is what happened to the Patriots after the 2004 season. Bruschi promptly suffered a stroke. Ty Law went to the Jets. The Patriots would eventually lose Vrabel, R. Harrison, McGinest, J. Green (who always had that timely sack of P. Manning), etcetera. Belichick was never able to find the right mix of players to duplicate the loss of those skills and intelligence.

  102. I think the Saturday Fox broadcast hit a little on Seattle’s recent success and the top tier QBs they’ve faced during such an impressive winning streak:

    Arizona w/ Drew Stanton
    49ers train wreck
    Philly w/ Mark Sanchez
    49ers again
    Arizona w/ Ryan Lindley
    St. Louis w/ Shaun Hill
    Carolina and Cam Newton

    Impressive yes, to win seven in a row, but those aren’t exactly QBs with a whole lot of experience or ability to light up the scoreboard, let alone put up any fight if they get down by more than 3 points. Now they get Green Bay with a very, very less than 100% Rodgers. I’m not saying they’ll absolutely win that game, but I don’t think you can call Seattle’s defense the best ever when 7 of the games are against QBs that are not even 2nd tier, and another game against a one-legged QB. Their defense is excellent, but best ever, not so much. Don’t forget they lost at home to Dallas and also beat Oakland 30-24 against a rookie QB, also at home. What was their excuse after the loss in San Diego? “C’mon you guys it was too hot, it’s not fair!”

  103. ..if you can’t beat your opponent straight up, resort to tricks and sleight of hand…

    What Belicheat does is the equivalent of a sucker punch – and just as cowardly.

  104. “It doesn’t take a genius to fool the NFL refs, which is what Belichick did here. If the refs allowed time for subbing against the four eligible receivers after one of five eligible receiver numbers declared eligible or ineligible, it’s quite easy to defend. Belichick was counting on the refs being overwhelmed. Perhaps Harbaugh should have called a timeout, but the refs did such a poor job of announcing (inegligible or an eligible with a stadium PA with the DC in the crap coaches boxes), and allowing the PatPats to move so quickly, calling a timeout was hard to get to these refs.——————————————-

    Baloney. Turkey baloney. They had 7-10 seconds. The refs not only announced Vereen was ineligible, they also announced to the Ravens that they did not have to cover him. That nearly negated every advantage for the clever substitution.

    Harbaugh should have called a timeout. The play was run 3 times. None for more than a 15 yard gain. Meanwhile the Ravens were up not one TD, but 2 TDs — not once — but TWICE.

  105. Genius. You don’t even know what the word means. There is a reason why the NFL puts numbers on players. What Belichek did was use the rule to run a trick play. Big deal. It worked until Harbaugh convinced the refs that when the Patriots made made their substitution, the defense had to be allowed to substitute also.

    Never worked again. It shouldn’t have worked the first three times. Again the referees are involved. Go figure.

    I wasn’t rooting for either team.

  106. The guy who invented electricity is a genius, not a guy who can exploit rules. I’ll give you cunning, maybe even smart? But Genius? Com on man.

    The Pats one the game and hats off to them, but it took trick plays and loopholes to beat a team with 20 guys on IR.

    Innovative? Sure. Genius? Hell no…

  107. Has there been clear confirmation that the play was drawn up by Belicheck and not McDaniels???
    ——————————————————
    Yes Brady said it this morning on the Radio.

    And this formation has been fooled around with in the past in College, and Philly has been skirting the edges of this also in the past year.

    Formations change. Styles change. Did you see Bill come to the podium when the Wildcat was reintroduced to the NFL and kicked our asses? Nope. That is what makes any game that requires strategy awesome, be it Chess, Football, Soccer exc. The game changes. If this gets ‘ruled out’ that is a real shame. It would be like ruling out the West Coast offense, or overload defenses. There was a total risk/reward on that formation. If the Ravens blitzed…it would have been a bad play.
    But…what if you have number 80 on in the X position as ineligible…there is some interesting possibilities here.

  108. Only 1 team out of 32 has a successful season. And no dynasty has repeated itself after it ran the course, by which I mean the careers of its players. This is what happened to the Patriots after the 2004 season. Bruschi promptly suffered a stroke. Ty Law went to the Jets. The Patriots would eventually lose Vrabel, R. Harrison, McGinest, J. Green (who always had that timely sack of P. Manning), etcetera. Belichick was never able to find the right mix of players to duplicate the loss of those skills and intelligence.
    ——————————————————–
    It is really close now. And unlike that group…80% of these guys are really young.
    Jamie Collins is going to be an all-pro.
    Chandler Jones would have been an all-pro this year if he didn’t get hurt.
    McCourty is becoming one of the better safeties in the game. Perfect for this defense with Revis and Browner.
    Really up the middle of this defense is as good as it gets-Vince, Collins, McCourty.
    To look all the way to the draft—
    NT and OL.
    And Fitz trade with Az.
    Dynasty II began Saturday.

  109. I wonder what people would be saying if Harbaugh had come up with these wrinkles and the Ravens had won.

    They’d be proclaiming him the smartest man on the planet and spend weeks talking about how brilliant those plays were.

    Belichick does it and its dismissed as trickery, etc.

    That’s called a double standard by the way.

  110. Belichick is a really good coach, but for his entire Patriots career, he’s played in the weakest division with Tom Brady as his QB. Does anyone really think he would have one ring w/o Brady? He would most likely never even reached the superbowl. Spygate was a real thing too. He didn’t deny it, he was fined by the league, and even his owner denounced him for it. If it didn’t help, they wouldn’t have gone to such great lengths to do it. I give Brady all the credit in the world – not Belichick.

  111. “It doesn’t take a genius to fool the NFL refs, which is what Belichick did here. If the refs allowed time for subbing against the four eligible receivers after one of five eligible receiver numbers declared eligible or ineligible, it’s quite easy to defend. Belichick was counting on the refs being overwhelmed. Perhaps Harbaugh should have called a timeout, but the refs did such a poor job of announcing (inegligible or an eligible with a stadium PA with the DC in the crap coaches boxes), and allowing the PatPats to move so quickly, calling a timeout was hard to get to these refs.——————————————-

    ___________________________________
    And the Refs had these plays run by them BEFORE the game to make sure they were legal. (again Brady just talked about this on the radio)
    They already knew what was up. The refs were not fooled, the Ravens were.

  112. The Ravens weren’t entitled to be allowed for extra time to make subsitutions due to a player being ineligible.

    The rule states the ball can be snapped once the officials are set. Pay particular attention to the last sentence.

    “Article 1 An offensive player wearing the number of an ineligible pass receiver (50–79 and 90–99) is permitted to line up in the position of an eligible pass receiver (1–49 and 80–89), and an offensive player wearing the number of an eligible pass receiver is permitted to line up in the position of an ineligible pass receiver, provided that he immediately reports the change in his eligibility status to the Referee, who will inform the defensive team.

    He must participate in such eligible or ineligible position as long as he is continuously in the game, but prior to each play he must again report his status to the Referee, who will inform the defensive team. The game clock shall not be stopped, and the ball shall not be put in play until the Referee takes his normal position.”

  113. It sure is getting harder & harder to determine what a catch is in the NFL anymore.

    When I was younger, it was simple… If you had possession, 2 feet down, and you got crushed by a defender & dropped the ball… It was a fumble. So, later because this seemed to be unfair that a guy could catch the ball and not even be ready for a hit, they added the “football move” provision.

    Here’s my problem with it… I think it should only apply if you only have 2 feet down… I have seen many instances where a guy had 3 or more feet down & then dropped the ball when he hit the ground or was hit by a defender & they still said he didn’t complete the catch… It’s a joke. If you have time to get 3 feet down… In my opinion, you have completed the catch, no matter what happens after that.

  114. I still argue that spygate had the potential to destroy the NFL as we’ve known it.

    The fact that the evidence was destroyed with 48 hours of receiving it, is a GIANT red flag for me.

    The Pats won their 3 SB’s by an average of 3 points per game. Did cheating make the difference. We can’t say for sure, but if cheating was the difference the Pats should have been stripped of their SB wins.

    So now the proverbial Pandora’s box is opened. Do you give the SB wins to the loser or to the team that lost in the AFC/NFC championship. How do you reconcile that. I know Pats fans will cry, “well everyone was doing it, we just got punished for it”

    and I will rebut, name one thing that BB does halfheartedly. They knew what plays were being run by the opposing team before the ball was snapped. That is definitely more than just a little video piracy.

  115. Be honest. Love him or hate him, you would love to have him coaching your team.

    —————————————————

    Completely honest, no I wouldn’t. He’s a great coach & I’m not saying I need or necessarily want a likable guy to run my team. But I would want our accomplishments to be untarnished, otherwise what’s the point? I do not want to have to defend him or the team’s accomplishments. I’d rather just have a bad team, which I do.

  116. People love to trash on New England and claim the fact that they play in a weak division as a major factor in their success. Those same people also either ignore, or simply don’t know that the Patriots, in the last 14 seasons, have won 82% of their games against the NFC, 79% against the AFC South, 75% against the AFC North and 65% against the AFC West. So essentially they’re averaging 8.2 wins a season against non-AFC East teams. That’s damn impressive.

  117. Great article, but the bitter, jealous fans of other teams will never acknowledge the facts. After being “caught” filming the Jets from the stands, in broad daylight, in week two, Belichick’s team went on to win the next 17 straight games. After losing Brady in the first game of 2008, Belichick went 11-5 with a QB named Matt Castle. Yeah, he’s no good without Brady and he could never win a game without knowing the other team’s signals. When blinded by jealousy, the ignoramus stays his course. Fourteen years with the Patriots and nothing but winning. Yeah, he stinks.

  118. Bill is a genius because he copied a formation that Alabama used in college football? Gees, I don’t even want to know what you would call Nick Saban/Lane Kiffin then.

  119. WRONG,,,CBS now has shown the REPLAY of the player indicating to the HL “I”M inelidigble”, youy then see the HL hit his mike,,,point to the player “34 is inelidgible” and even point it out to the DEFENSE…the ratbirds once again want to blame their lack of mental accumen,,,(ignorance), on why they lost..PERIOD
    ALLLLL they had to do was call a timeout,,,but they didn’t

  120. Ravens fan here…

    I think Bill found another way to twist the rules…once again! But I don’t think any other coach could have done any differently than Harbs because the refs were not allowing the time needed – plus most teams would have to devise a scheme for that and practiced for weeks. So…Belick IS a genius!
    Harbs still could have won the game if they would have stayed with a “play-action” game instead of leaving an empty backfield, thereby announcing a pass play every down.
    How stupid!? What was the rush to score anyway. Why leave 1:30 on the clock for Brady to just march down the field again.
    So, Ravens, why can’t we get an OC that uses the clock and sticks to the game plan, instead of getting pass-happy all of a sudden?
    You could/should have won!

  121. He left an elite coach confused and angry, I’d say that’s validation enough that what he did was effective and downright genius. Reminiscent of playground spats when that one kid would always cry, “but but…you can’t do that!”… I still don’t like him but he’s beat me down into respecting him.

  122. Bravo… Thanks PFT for finally paying due respect.
    BB’s earned it. He is a true blue football guy, with an old school approach to running his program. He understands that pro football is about winning games.
    That’s it … he does that better than everyone else who’s ever coached in this league.

  123. As a Jets fan I can’t stand the child like Pats fans who gloat when they win and pout when they lose.

    Brady is a very smart NFL QB and deserving of a spot in the HOF. But he ain’t the greatest not even close.

    Bill on the other hand is among the best in the business today and maybe the greatest innovator to live in my life time.

    Yes he cheated and the league burned the takes to hide the extent of the cheating but that doesn’t change the fact that Bill is a genius.

    He innovates, comes up with different game plans every week and stocks his team with smart players who learn and adapt.

    He changes with the times to best you week in and week out.

    Damn I wish he had stated with us.

  124. The thing that bugs me most about the spygate thing is in reality the rule broken was a procedural thing- no cameras on the sideline. That is what the rule was.
    The memo wrongly stated taping the other team sideline–which GASP is still legal from an enclosed location–like the press box.

    Signal stealing still goes on folks. In football, in soccer, in baseball- hell in baseball it’s a fine art.

    No one brings up George Hallas hiring private investigators to go through trash bins and locker rooms, the Pats playbook being stolen at Green Bay, FA tampering by Don Shula before/during going to Maimi, Tampering in Denver. Radio signals being stolen by Tom Landry.
    In this day and age any of those would be just as huge as spygate. Football has always had the seedy underbelly. Are Landry’s wins dismissed with an asterisk now because he admitted to stealing helmet signals..proudly admitted. Or Halas dismissed for being..well, a psycho. The Jets just got away with tampering again, no fine nothing.
    And let’s not forget who was taping who’s sideline in the playoffs in 2006–right the Jets.

  125. You know who else is 0-2 since Spygate? Peyton Manning. Two elite HOF QB’s are 0-4 since Spygate? What does this mean? Winning a SB may determine your legacy but just because you lost doesn’t mean you are a failure. The Patriots are in their 4th consecutive AFC Championship game and are favored to go to their 3rd SB since Spygate yet people still claim the Pats can’t win without spying.

  126. Also in the baseball version of this- kids on good LL teams know how to steal signals. Be it coaching ones or pitch signals.
    Should every runner on second base be fined and sent home without supper?

  127. The Seahawks have been playing sub-par offenses the past several weeks. I don’t think that makes them the best team in football. They’ll be facing a real challenge next week.

  128. I wonder what people would be saying if Harbaugh had come up with these wrinkles and the Ravens had won.

    They’d be proclaiming him the smartest man on the planet and spend weeks talking about how brilliant those plays were.

    Belichick does it and its dismissed as trickery, etc.

    Belichick is a football genius and a great motivator of young men without a doubt. The reason he gets criticized by the fans of other teams is the Pats arrogant immature entitled fan base. They asked to be hated for their superior and dismissive attitude so the Pats as a team will always be easy to hate, but it’s better to be hated for that than to be a Raven fan and hated for hiding abuse and fostering dirty play and a lack of sportsmanship.

  129. To all the people stating that it was unfair that Belichick ran these plays with the ineligible receiver, and the refs played along and let him do it – MMQB had a piece on this… and Peter King stated that the ball was snapped 7-10 seconds after the PA announcer stated the ineligible receiver. Plenty of time for the defense to reset, or for Harbaugh to call timeout – he just was out-coached, plain and simple.

    And I agree with the poster that stated that would be like OSU tonight saying that Oregon is cheating because they run plays every 12-15 seconds or so, and they don’t have time to reset their defense… it’s called a competitive advantage. Those who call it cheating are just petty and jealous their team aren’t smart enough or talented enough to do the same.

  130. Many forget that Belichick has more than three rings.

    He was also the DC for the Giants in the 80’s.

    Defense was the strength of those teams.

    Parcels never made it to a Super Bowl without Belichick as DC.

    So that has to be part of his coaching CV as well.

  131. How could anyone be foolish enough to think Goddell would destroy evidence of the very thing he was penalizing the Pats for? The only reason to do that is if other teams were implicated on those tapes.

  132. BS call on Dez
    He catches the ball gets 1 foot, 2 foot – then makes a football move by diving at the goal line. That in my mind and in keeping with the rules is a catch.

  133. I never could stand Bill Belichick (even back when he was “HC of the NYJ” for , like, one day. Remember that?). I despise his boring brand of football and his crybaby quarterback. But there is no denying that he is a great coach. I watch in amazement at some of the things that he has done, especially when he’s faced adversity. I’m sick of him but I admire him.
    But what this article fails to mention regarding the Ravens game is the failure of the officials to alert the Ravens as to which receivers had become ineligible, thereby allowing them to make adjustments. I’m no Ravens fan but it sounds to me like they were hosed regarding that strategy. Not sure if the league has resolved that but it sounds a bit shaky to me. Genius is a relative term.

  134. Rule changes in 2006 do not invalidate wins in 2005, 2004, 2003, 20002, 2001, etc… no matter how much you would like it and no matter how much you cry about asterisks.

    There are no asterisks as a result of rule changes. Just like when the Steelers and Raiders won Superbowls because of rampant and well documented steroid use. Don’t forget when the 49ers and Broncos won them by circumventing the salary caps.

    The NFL changed the rule in 2006, the Patriots thought they could argue that they were still behaving within the new rules in 2007, but they lost the argument and paid the price, and went on the finish the best regular season in NFL history regardless. And, they have the best record in the league since then.

    as for how much Belichick stunk in Cleveland, he took a 3 win team to the playoffs in three years and turned an average roster into probowlers. What has he done without Tom Brady? Plenty. In fact, that playoff win with the Browns was the last playoff win they ever had.

    Ask yourself this, what has Parcells done without Belichick?

    Finally, the Seahawks will be favored if the Pats and Seahawks make it to the Superbowl. Remember when the Pats were two TD underdogs to the Greatest Show on Turf?

    I Believe!!!

  135. Much as I wonder about Dez’s tatrums, he caught the ball…no question. He may have fumbled near goal line, but he had controlled the ball long enough after catch to have gotten those yards.

  136. Be honest. Love him or hate him, you would love to have him coaching your team.
    ———–

    Sure. But I’d rather have Jim Caldwell coaching Tom Brady than Bill Belichick coaching Matthew Stafford.

  137. rgarbonzo says: Jan 12, 2015 7:59 AM

    Professionally, without the man the trophy is named after there would be no Belichick, so no he isn’t the greatest professional coach. He one of the best but c’mon the damn trophy is named after Lombardi. I thought it was well known that Lombardi had a “pet” player at St. Cecilia’s (like Hornung was later at Green Bay) was a kid named Mickey Corcoran. The name Corcoran might not be well-known in coaching circles. But he became a New Jersey high school coach and, according to Lombardi biographer David Maraniss, passed Lombardi’s lessons and coaching strategies on to his players and “to his own disciple … a North Jersey boy named Bill Parcells.” Of course Lombardi owes his coaching to a man named Frank Leahy and from there to Knute Rockne but that is bringing college coaches into professional ranks.

    For those of you too young to know, Vince Lombardi was a real guy who really coached the Green Bay Packers to 5 World Championships including the first 2 Super Bowl wins ever.
    ——————————————————-
    Personally, I’d put Lombardi 4th on the all time coaches list. I’d have Paul Brown, Bill Walsh, and Bill Belichick battle it out for the top 3 positions. Lombardi was great at what he did, but he didn’t have all of the responsibilities that the others did. Nor did he permanently impact the way the game was played. Lombardi was phenomenal at getting his players ready to go and putting them in a position to win, but he didn’t really pick his own roster. Furthermore, the way the league was set up back then, the Packers (much like the Steelers dynasty) were able to stockpile talent to the point that they were like an all-star team. Just take a look at how many HOFers that team produced in that era.

    Brown goes in the top 3 for both his on the field success and the fact that he completely changed the way teams prepared for games. He instituted the football classroom, and was the first to institute an extensive use of position and situational football drills. In fact, much of what we consider universal practice and prep today was pioneered by Brown.

    Walsh created a rather impressive dynasty in San Fran, and developed offensive schemes that have every bit as much impact today as they did then.

    Belichick has a higher winning percentage than any of the other coaches. He’s now tied with Landry for most playoff wins. I believe he’s maintained this level of success for longer than any of the others. Oh, and he’s done it in an era of free agents and a salary cap. He can’t simply refuse to let players ever leave like Lombardi and Brown could, and the salary cap means he can’t just keep stockpiling all-star talent at pretty much every position. The fact that he’s been able to maintain such a high level of performance with so much personnel turnover is simply amazing. Sure, he’s had Brady all along; but Walsh had Montana and Young, Brown had Otto Graham, and Lombardi had Starr. None of them were slouches either.

    Still, I’d say you could easily debate what spot in the top 3 Walsh, Brown, and Belichick should each occupy. I’d drop Lombardi to 4th, not because of any (relative) lack of performance on his part, but simply because the others have done things (and/or done them under more difficult circumstances) that earn them bonus points for lack of a better term.

  138. Congrats to the Patriots. You won based on the rules fair and square.

    They (the competition committee, which I believe John Harbaugh is on) may need to look at the rules here. Running unbalanced formations and then putting eligible players in ineligible positions on the fly (but within the current context of the game…I understand that) seems like it creates some unfair mismatches.

    But to be objective, I recognize I may feel this way just because my A$$ is still sore from losing. My guess is, if this formation was used more, teams would be prepared to deal with it and to exploit it in reverse. Kudos to Patriots for using this as a surprise. It worked.

    Kind of sad they could just line up and beat the Ravens running their conventional offense, but I know that is sour grapes. Given the patch work secondary the Ravens had you’d think that was enough to aim at.

    Nonetheless, it is what it is. Wear it well NE. Part of the game is mental. You won that on Saturday. You won’t have that to roll out as a surprise this week.

  139. It’s funny to see how jealous jets and fins fans are, chipwood hasn’t slept since Friday night, realnflmaster and Rexcancoach are on their “I hate Belichick and Brady” soapboxes.

    I can’t imagine how frustrated and furious they are.

    Life is good.

  140. This is not genius, this is just playing the game. I dont know why more teams dont mess around like this. I mean this is a game where the introduction of “passing” was a revolution at one point. Move the x’s and o’s around the board in a legal way. This is why hes the cream of the crop, but lets not confuse football and physics. You have finite rules in football, if you arent using them to your advantage, you’re an idiot.

  141. I don’t see that this rule should be changed (re: Dez’s dropped ball). If someone jumps up and comes to the ground “falling” and the ball is knocked loose by the ground… why should it be a catch? I also think some of the rules regarding what is a TD are extremely “lax”.

    Bottom line is that if Dez just catches the ball instead of trying to get it into the endzone, we aren’t having this conversation today. Everyone wants to be the “star”. Just catch the damn ball, Dez.

  142. The Pats won the best record in the AFC while playing at least 5 division leaders. Including drubbing teams that have already beat the Ravens this year (Bengals 2x, Chargers, Colts)

    They put up more points on the Ravens than any team this year, and they picked off Flacco twice.

    That’s not cheating.

  143. Ever notice guys like Crennel, Weis and McDaniels all looked brilliant….. until they no longer had a Brady in their equation?

    Same for BB, a career loser until Brady came along. Great coach, but you can only do so much without the all-time great players.

    Rex had it right. If he had Brady the records would have been quite different.

  144. as a steeler fan who also believes his ‘taping’ practice was not on the UP and UP… but in this case…. I have no problem any Coach thinking outside the box….

    whats the saying in ‘business’… they want me to think outside the box but I work in a cubicle !!!

    and for the claiming you don’t many receivers throwing TD passes… ha ! Steelers did it in Super Bowl against Seattle ! and when Holmgren took the President of Cleveland Browns later, when Steeler immediately played that year in Cleveland, the Steelers reminded him again of that play by successfully doing it again ! Ha… the media in Cleveland didn’t touch it… too bad… Cleveland continues to be the Factory of Sadness

  145. Wow…how bout those SOUR GRAPES that Harbough was munching on? The taste was so bad that he had to talk about them during his post game press conference! I suppose it’s not cheating when you try to play a player that just smashed in the face of his fiance? A fitting end to a horrible season for the Ravens. Nevermore.

  146. My only question to the Dez Bryant non-catch is this – the call was, although he didn’t make a football move (which even that is questionable, since it kinda looks like he was starting to reach the ball out to the goal line, which caused the ball to jar loose), if a QB flips a ball to a RB, who catches it cleanly and stops in his tracks (and gets 2 feet down) because a LB is barreling in on him, and the ball comes loose, that would probably be called a fumble, right? By stopping in his tracks, he wouldn’t make a “football move”, and by rule, it should be a incomplete pass, per what we saw last night. But it wouldn’t be, because it is obvious that the RB had possession and took 2 steps – no different than what happened to Bryant.

  147. Much respect to a great team up in Seattle, but you are kidding yourself if you are a Seattle fan and you were not a little nervous through 3 quarters of that game…. Saying that game “was never in doubt” is a joke.

  148. Any coach that cheats is a genius. Again, the only coach and franchise to be accused, found guilty of and penalized for cheating at the highest level at the ultimate game. Its funny how much the east coast and ESPN want people to forget this. That team used radio frequencies and other things that were illegal. Goodell destroyed evidence. Frankly as fans we should file class action suits against the NFL until Kraft is stripped of the team and Bleicheat and Brady are banned from the sport ala, Pete Rose

  149. I want to add that among the many times Don Shula cheated to gain an advantage, like removing tarps from the field during rain storms leading up to the game to nullify an opponents speed advantages, he is the author of the Clock Play, where the QB fakes a spike to stop the clock and throws for a winning TD. I’m just saying, it is outrageous that a coach like Don Shula would say what he said about Belichick. It shows a total lack of class and respect. I always knew this about Shula. Now the world knows too.

  150. No other coach in the salary cap/free agency era comes close. He is also the GM and has his staff plucked by other teams on an annual basis.

  151. loyalraven says:
    Jan 12, 2015 8:13 AM
    Genius isn’t the word you use to describe a guy who cowers behind bending the rules to confuse the refs. “Glitches” doesn’t equate to out playing or out smarting your opponent. The Ravens lost, but it wasn’t because they were out-coached. It’s because Tom Brady is arguably the best if not one of the most clutch quarterbacks of all time and brought his team back to win on a game clinching final drive.

    Without Brady, Belichick wouldn’t even be in the same conversation of best ever. Look what he was in Cleveland and look how to this day he still has to find ways to “get away” with things. Great coaches compete on an honest playing field. Don Shula was one of those greats, so when he calls Belichick out, maybe you should take note and realize maybe there really is something fishy about the way New England has found success over the years?

    That being said, the Ravens went into this thing with one of the worst secondaries in the league, gave it their best try, competed to the end and ultimately were beat by the greatest Quarterback of my generation.

    They weren’t out coached. Don’t start beating that drum cuz it sounds ridiculous to those who actually know what’s what.

    ———————————————————————-

    Did you not know that the Dolphins were found guilty of tampering with Don Shula? Did you not know the Dolphins under Shula’s direction left the tarps off of the field so the 1982 Jets were deprived of the running speed of running back Freeman McNeil and wide receiver Wesley Walker.

    But you go ahead and keep playing like Shula never broke the rules. Cry all you want but the “refs” weren’t confused, the Ravens were. The refs had been notified before the game that the Patriots intended to run these formations.

    Coached look for any advantage they can get. Remember this is not college, every player out there can play and is getting paid to perform at a high level. Every coach looks for advantages, heck that’s why they watch tape all of the time, to learn tendencies and exploit them.

    In summary, those of you who think you know what’s what are starting to bother those of us who really do.

    –Mike

  152. Gravity is NOT a football move..
    =======

    Great line.

    And for all complaining about who Seattle’s faced, I’m sure every defense in the NFL except Seattle always faced HOF QBs every game.

  153. Look. All the coaches mentioned, Lombardi, Noll, Walsh etc were great coaches because they had great players at just about every position and were able to keep the teams together for years because there was no such thing as free agency. That New England has been to 9 GD conference titles under Belichick is nothing less than amazing considering the turn over of players and quite frankly the lack of a number of marquis, pro bowl type players. Many teams in the last 15 years were loaded with pro bowl players and still couldn’t match Belichicks achievements. He won 11 with a back up, with a 30 something wide receiver playing DB, a college QB at slot and the list goes on. Yeah, he got caught filming something he really shouldn’t have. Something that until that year was totally legal. I will never forgive him for that just because his arrogance cost the players and the fans the right to enjoy a truly remarkable dynasty. But, in the end there is no doubt he is second to none in his football IQ.

  154. What people don’t get with Belichick is he follows the rules to a T

    And if the NFL has a poorly written rule, he will take advantage of that

    For Spygate, the NFL previously allowed sideline taping in 2006. In 2007 the previous year’s memo was implemented to say “for the purposes of that game day, no sideline taping will be allowed”

    Belichick analyzes the playcalling AFTER the came. No one could turn around that quickly and utilize anything. So he felt he was in full compliance with the 2006 rule (which DOESN’T impact 2001-2004 Super Bowls in any way!)

    But Goodell doesn’t like being embarrassed – hence he had a MAJOR over-reaction that still is a problem for the Patriots today because most fans don’t know the rules

  155. They (the competition committee, which I believe John Harbaugh is on) may need to look at the rules here. Running unbalanced formations and then putting eligible players in ineligible positions on the fly (but within the current context of the game…I understand that) seems like it creates some unfair mismatches.

    ===
    Firstly, it wasn’t on the fly. It was after a huddle containing 4 OL, which meant that there was going to be some back or receiver who was going to be ineligible.

    Secondly, it creates mismatches both ways. Yes, there are additional skilled ball handlers, and that makes it tough on a defense to know who to cover. There were six targets that Brady could have gone to with the ball. Believe it or not, Vereen could have taken a backwards pass or handoff and run with the ball. But imagine what would have happened on those downs if the Ravens played press coverage and blitzed the mike or a safety through the A-gap? This is why the competition committee won’t do anything. This kind of formation can be dealt with by defensive play-calling and coaching, just as the Wildcat was. There’s no need to change the rules, and probably make them even more convoluted.

  156. Of course some idiot mentions Cleveland When was Cleveland’s last win in the post season? Wasn’t Cleveland 3-1 when the move was announced and 1-11 afterwards?

  157. Before we anoint Belichek the best, let’s talk about Tom Landry a bit. Granted, Belichek has done great with the salary cap, but the Cowboys pioneered modern scouting by first using computers to find unnoticed prospects when the weighted draft began. His Flex defense was one of many innovations Landry introduced that helped change the game of football. His coaching tree was huge, and he often had to go against former assistants as head coaches all over the league. There were many fewer playoff games in his era, which began before the NFL-AFL merger. Great, no doubt, but greatest of all time? I’d put ol’ Tom among several that had more impact on the game.

  158. Landry was a great coach yet it took him a long time to get there, he didn’t win more then five games in his first five years. In today’s NFL that will get you fired by year two.

    Shula coached forever and had some very talented teams but he was never a great coach, just good for a long time. With Marino he made it to three AFC championship games and lost two by at least three scores against an AFC conference that could not win a SB for 14 years.

  159. FYI, I take Belichick over Landy & Shula. As a GM he is OK to good. As a coach his teams always get better as the year goes on. No coach is ever perfect and there are only 32 openings so you will always have talented individuals coaching but if I start a team today I want Belichick coaching it.

  160. He’s a genius for basically copying a play Alabama ran early last year? Okaaaaaaaay.

    Why is it the media always gushes over all things Patriots related that work out while ignoring or minimizing things that don’t? In addition to this, why does the media not give the same gushing over non Patriots related things? If someone like Pete Carroll did this then you wouldn’t see stuff calling him a genius.

    They win a superbowl and it is article after article about how amazing they are. They lose a superbowl and it brushed aside. While I think Bill is the best coach in the league and he may indeed be a “football genius”, you never really see anything when he gets out coached or messes up but constant praise when he does something well. It’s the same for Brady.

    The Patriots are a really good team but the way the media goes on about them you’d think they have never lost a game over the last decade and that they are the epitome of football perfection when realistically they’d probably get their asses kicked by any previous great teams from an era that isn’t as pathetic and watered down as this 2000s+ one is.

  161. Love him or hate him but If belicheck wasnt a coach, hed be a general in some branch of the military, there is no other coach id go go to war with, he has a plan for everything.

  162. Too bad for the NFL that the best QBs in the NFL aren’t the final four.

    I don’t want to watch Brady dink’n and dunk’n to Gronkowski and Edelman. It is boring, except for their ineligible hijinks

  163. I agree , let madden rewrite the rules. If one of his players deliberately breaks a players neck , you can say boom ,and pow

  164. The play where you trick the referees by under-reporting and over-reporting linemen and eligibles has been tried by college coaches and it is considered bush league stuff… there is a reason why players have certain designated numbers and to think that you become desperate in a game and start pulling crap out of your rectum in order to violate the spirit of the rules and of the competition requires a deviant and a mental pervert to do such things.

    The stuff that was in those video tapes that Roger Goodell decided to play GOD and destroy without letting the rest of the world know what this mental pervert is doing with his spare time. It takes a cheater to sneak a Patriot employee into an enclosed stadium in order to film and collect data on the walk through for the Super Bowl game. And they did that after they had been already caught and warned. CHEATERS PAR EXCELLENCE!

    At the height of the use of VIDEOGATE by Belichick, there was a time when the Dolphins players kept telling their local newspaper reporters that it seemed as if they Patriots were in their huddle and knew all of the plays that were coming as if they knew the signals as well as the Dolphins players knew them. That went on for seasons in plural until they were caught and slapped on the wrist considering the penalty the Saints got later for something far less egregious. Goodell and Mr. Kraft of the Pats are best of friends and every time that Goodell has needed someone to carry water for him, Mr. Kraft has come in to pinch hit for him as he did recently when Godell had gone into hiding with the lying and bamboozling of the Ray Rice incident.

  165. I want to see how well Belichick will do when he has to coach a team that does not have a HALL OF FAME quarterback. Well, never mind I think I saw what he did in Cleveland and he got fired and in Boston the year Brady was injured he did not make the playoffs.

    The fact is that he coaches a team with a great QB and in a dysfunctional division that has the most dysfunctional teams in the NFL all in the same division in the JETS, DOLPHINS and BILLS. Not only are they bad teams but they have bad owners who have made shambles of the draft and a mess of everything. All Belichick has had to do is win there and it is easy to collect a top bye weekend and play 2 games at home in very cold weather so that whenever indoor teams and West Coast teams come in there in January they are usually unable to perform. It is a golden formula facilitated by the dysfuncitonal teams in that AFC LEAST division. All you have to do is look at the Jets and their owners and the mess that the Dolphins have been now for decades since Don Shula retired and Joe Robbie had to sell the team fist to Huizenga and now to a total clown who had a chance to fix it 3 years ago and decided to keep the GM that Parcells brought in, Jeff Ireland who between him and Parcells set the Dolphins back another decade plus by drafting players for 1980’s football.

    Parcells is a Hall of Famer my arsssse… go study the destructive hand he had in the further destruction of the Dolphins and it is a crime because he had a clause to walk away and collect millions for quitting and he did, exactly the same as that clown coach of the Bills, Doug Marrone.

    I want to see Belichick go to Super Bowls and invent modern football as Tom Landry did… he went to the Super Bowl with Meredith, Staubach, Morton, Danny White and created many concepts in football.

    Don Shula went to the Super Bowl with 4 or 5 QB’s including Earl Morrall and alcoholic David Woodley at Miami and kept on winning when Griese went down to injury completing undefeated year with Morrall at QB. Let’s see Beligenius the Cheater do that.

    Or compare Belicheat to innovators like Hank Stram and Bill Walsh or Madden and let’s see how that compares. Please don’t tell me that Belichick playing in one crap divison and with 1 QB is the greatest ever… because Harbaugh has been winning with a much lesser QB in Flacco and has a favorable record vs Belichick in spite of having to play in a tough division while Belichick is in the AFC LEAST.

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