Belichick can still diagram his dad’s Navy plays from the 1950s

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Bill Belichick became a football savant long before he was head coach of the Patriots. His education in football dates back to the 1950s, when Bill was just a tyke and his father, Steve Belichick, was an assistant coach at Navy.

For this year’s Army-Navy game, CBS brought together Bill Belichick and perhaps the best player his late father coached at Navy, Heisman Trophy-winning halfback Joe Bellino, and asked Belichick to diagram one of Bellino’s plays.

Although Belichick was 7 years old in 1959, he had no trouble diagramming a play from that season, 27 F Trap.

“I remember my dad sitting there going through the film, talking about if the tackle is split a little wider, if the back is in T formation, halfback-fullback-halfback, a lot of teams run it straight, if the back is tilted up run to that side, if the back is tilted back, run away. Teams ran the Power-I formation. He would show it on the film: On this play the back is split it’s going to be here. On this play he’s not split it’s going to be there. The same thing defensively: When the defensive lineman would stunt down he’d go outside, when he’d not stunt he’d play it straight. That’s where I started to learn to identify line splits, backfield alignments, wide receiver splits to run crossing routes from tight splits and things like that.”

Although the game has evolved a lot since the 1950s, Belichick said 27 F Trap isn’t much different from a handoff to LeGarrette Blount the Patriots could run in their 2016 offense.

“Football is football,” Belichick said. “Off tackle power? Every team in the league runs off tackle power.”

But not every team has a coach whose education in the off tackle power dates back quite that far.

56 responses to “Belichick can still diagram his dad’s Navy plays from the 1950s

  1. Yep. He is a walking encyclopedia. By contrast, Jeff Fisher doesn’t know where his challenge flag is even if he wants to throw it.

  2. Belichick is the definition of a football lifer. I always laugh at the clowns that think he would walk away tomorrow if Brady retired. As long as he has his health The Hoodie isn’t leaving the game anytime soon, it’s too much a part of who he is. Anyone that hasn’t already should read Halberstam’s great book on him. Like all of the late Halberstam’s stuff it is a fantastic read but unlike most his writing it is a relatively fast one..

  3. Belichick and Brady will always be cheaters in the minds of those who:

    1.) don’t believe that the cold affects PSI, and

    2.) are unaware that all teams in the NFL film and analyze all play calling

    These same people think that because Belichick violated a new 2006 rule in the first half of the first game of the 2007 season, that invalidates all Super Bowls from 2001-2004, before the rule even existed.

    These same people probably think Goodell is doing a great job

  4. Bill Belichick:

    Greatest NFL Head Coach of All-Time…
    Greatest NFL GM of All-Time…
    Greatest NFL Interview of All-Time…

    and, by all accounts, and most importantly…

    a Great Dad…

  5. war27 says:
    Dec 10, 2016 2:35 PM
    This is why TB isn’t the best ever.
    ++++++++++++++++

    Yeah, Montana and Starr sure got screwed only having Walsh and Lombardi as coaches. Or are you saying the Lombardi trophy should be renamed? The guy who really got screwed on the coaching front was Marino. He was stuck with the Dirty Don. That tampering field flooding pill pushing hypocritical fraud couldn’t carry Belichick’s hoodie.

  6. j0esixpack says:
    Dec 10, 2016 2:31 PM

    Belichick and Brady will always be cheaters in the minds of those who:

    1.) don’t believe that the cold affects PSI, and

    2.) are unaware that all teams in the NFL film and analyze all play calling
    These same people think that because Belichick violated a new 2006 rule in the first half of the first game of the 2007 season, that invalidates all Super Bowls from 2001-2004, before the rule even existed.

    These same people probably think Goodell is doing a great job

    ———————————————————-
    Anyone believing #1 or #2 would have to be stupid. If someone believes both #1 and #2 they would need to be extremely stupid. I doubt that anyone believing #1 or #2 would even be capable of thought, so your Goodell comment may be off the mark.

    The world does need enough clueless dopes to fill the left side of the Bell Curve, which explains whey there are still ignorant people believing that the patriots are cheaters.

  7. chippys lost binky says:
    Dec 10, 2016 2:50 PM
    war27 says:
    Dec 10, 2016 2:35 PM
    This is why TB isn’t the best ever.
    ++++++++++++++++

    Yeah, Montana and Starr sure got screwed only having Walsh and Lombardi as coaches. Or are you saying the Lombardi trophy should be renamed? The guy who really got screwed on the coaching front was Marino. He was stuck with the Dirty Don. That tampering field flooding pill pushing hypocritical fraud couldn’t carry Belichick’s hoodie.

    33 1
    Report comment

    Funny how guys who started watching football yesterday are such objective evaluators of past talent…..just another paranoid Pat’s fan whining about nothing.
    BB is certainly one of the best of the modern era….supported by an overly delusional and paranoid insecure fan base…great comedy.

  8. Nothing like destroying what was once a fine heritage in one–sealed with a kiss–letter of adoration to the most infamous bigot, racist, and misogynist in the history of the modern world. Bill will regret writing that letter one day, and probably sooner rather than later.

  9. Belichick is a football savant. Al Davis should’ve signed him back when. Because, they’re both obsessed with the game.
    But, Al would’ve probably fired him after a year, if he didn’t show any instant improvement or success.

  10. war27
    Dec 10, 2016, 2:35 PM EST
    This is why TB isn’t the best ever.
    **********

    OR..

    Or.. maybe. When you get the best coach and best QB at all time… at the SAME time..

    You get an unprecedented 15+ year dynasty like New England is on. An entire generation of championship contention football.

    See, I’m a GIANTS fan. And I can’t stand Patriots fans (like most of you), but I damn sure do know greatness when I see it.

    When I hear people discredit Bill or Brady, it kind of pisses me off. Partly because it takes away from what mine team did by slaying the dragon TWICE, and partly because greatness should be recognized while it’s happening. Not a decade after it’s gone.

    I watched the same thing happen to ALI, the 90s Cowboys, and Jordan’s Bulls. It’s just silly to deny it.

    Tom Brady is the greatest QB I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen most in the discussion)

    Bill is the greatest coach I’ve ever seen in any sport (though I didn’t see Lombardi).

  11. Asked what Knute Rockne had for breakfast on November 10, 1928, Belicheck replied “Two eggs over hard, dry wheat toast and four cups of black coffee. The bill came to a dollar and nine cents. Rockne left a sixteen cent tip.”

    When asked what he (Belichick) himself had for breakfast, he said, “We’re on to Baltimore.”

  12. Asked what Knute Rockne had for breakfast on November 10, 1928, Belicheck replied “Two eggs over hard, dry wheat toast and four cups of black coffee. The bill came to a dollar and nine cents. Rockne left a sixteen cent tip.”

    When asked what he (Belichick) himself had for breakfast, he said, “We’re on to Baltimore.”

    lol

  13. nhpats says:
    Dec 10, 2016 4:38 PM
    BB has forgotten more about football than Jeff Fisher will ever know….

    —————————————–

    I would agree, but I’m not sure BB has forgotten ANY football.

  14. tattooit says:
    Dec 10, 2016 5:34 PM

    See, I’m a GIANTS fan…

    When I hear people discredit Bill or Brady, it kind of pisses me off. Partly because it takes away from what mine team did by slaying the dragon TWICE, and partly because greatness should be recognized while it’s happening. Not a decade after it’s gone.
    ________________

    I think being Giants fans also gives us a measure of objectivity that the insecure fanboy portion of the fan bases of the AFC teams whose lunch money the Patriots routinely take and the NFC teams that have lost to them in Super Bowls just can’t manage to find in themselves. I know it comes in real handy when I am dealing with my Boston fan wife (Yankees/Sox and Giants/Pats are the bane of our children’s existence if her guys don’t win). You couldn’t be more right about appreciating greatness when we see it. We also respected the hell out of Walsh and Montana’s Niners to the point we made jokes about the hypocrisy of Parcell’s popping a gasket over the way they routinely cheated with their headphone scam while we knew he had guys opening the tunnel doors during opposing FG attempts. Starr and Lombardi ripped my youthful heart out in the 60’s regularly besting an amazing Giants team but I still had to tip my cap to them too. For a true sports fan it’s impossible not to give the devils their due. I was fortunate enough to see all three coach/QB combo’s in their primes, Belichick/Brady supplanted Walsh/Montana 2 years ago and they are still going strong. Someday all the fools dissing them now will be telling their grandkids how great they were.

  15. The reasoning for saying TB is not the all time best is, name one coach who could take those Patriot squads, with many holes in them just dominate on defense for years.

    Name one coach that could match this guy on both sides of the ball. One. I’ll wait…..

    Now insert a list of 20 (maybe 30) QB’s that would plug and play on BB’s teams and not skip a beat.

  16. j0esixpack says:
    Dec 10, 2016 2:31 PM
    Belichick and Brady will always be cheaters in the minds of those who:

    1.) don’t believe that the cold affects PSI, and

    2.) are unaware that all teams in the NFL film and analyze all play calling

    These same people think that because Belichick violated a new 2006 rule in the first half of the first game of the 2007 season, that invalidates all Super Bowls from 2001-2004, before the rule even existed.

    These same people probably think Goodell is doing a great job

    —————————————————————-

    Agree with all your points. Let me clarify for the weak minded who think research is “too hard” and just latch on to inaccuracies.

    It wasn’t a rule, at least not in the rule book. It was a memo from the league front office (read: Goodell). It was not in any rule book. That is significant because teams are not actually bound to anything other than the rule book. The memo would have to be converted to be part of the rule book to be binding. So, Belichick essentially disregarded it since it was not an actual rule. Rules were not supposed to be handled that way.

    Think of it like this. All legistation must be ratified through Congress. Imagine if one Senator sent out a “memo” and expected it to be treated as a law passed by Congress. That is how much presumptuousness Goodell has.

    Its always the good guys who get smeared by the bad guys and the gullible believe it; hook, line, and sinker.

  17. war27 says:
    Dec 10, 2016 7:12 PM
    The reasoning for saying TB is not the all time best is, name one coach who could take those Patriot squads, with many holes in them just dominate on defense for years.
    +++++++++++++++++

    Off the top of my head Lombardi, Gibbs (won SB’s with 3 different QB’s) and Paul Brown could all have won championships with those team and it took more time to type their names than to think of them. Belichick’s real genius lies in how competitive he kept that team after the Goodell/Polian/Manning rule changes designed to eviscerate them.

  18. I think being Giants fans also gives us a measure of objectivity that the insecure fanboy portion of the fan bases of the AFC teams whose lunch money the Patriots routinely take and the NFC teams that have lost to them in Super Bowls just can’t manage to find in themselves. I know it comes in real handy when I am dealing with my Boston fan wife (Yankees/Sox and Giants/Pats are the bane of our children’s existence if her guys don’t win). You couldn’t be more right about appreciating greatness when we see it.
    ******

    Exactly. And I’m basically in the same boat. I’m also married to a Pats/Sox fan. We met while attending RISD (In RI), and currently live about 20mins from Foxoboro. So basically, I’m living right in the heart of Patriot country.

    Living here I SHOULD hate them like the plague. But I can’t. I have nothing but respect for what they’ve been able to accomplish. The only team that compares (as you mentioned) were those miner teams of the 80s/90s. And they did it with two QBs and multiple coaches.

    Anyone who thinks Brady can just be swapped out for any old Jag, i write off immediately as having zero true knowledge of the game. It’s such an asinine opinion that deserves nothing more than to be dismissed.

  19. scottjameswebdesign says:
    Dec 10, 2016 6:31 PM
    nhpats says:
    Dec 10, 2016 4:38 PM
    BB has forgotten more about football than Jeff Fisher will ever know….

    —————————————–

    I would agree, but I’m not sure BB has forgotten ANY football.

    ———————

    Well that would seem about right for what Fisher knows.

  20. The top 25 all time passing yardage leaders, minus Brady. How many of them would win multiple championships in New England?

    Peyton Manning Brett Favre Drew Brees Dan Marino John Elway Warren Moon Eli Manning Fran Tarkenton Vinny Testaverde Ben Roethlisberger Philip Rivers Drew Bledsoe Carson Palmer Dan Fouts Kerry Collins Joe Montana Johnny Unitas Dave Krieg Boomer Esiason Donovan McNabb Matt Hasselbeck Matt Ryan Aaron Rodgers Jim Kelly.

    That list doesn’t even include Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Kurt Warner, Len Dawson, Terry Bradshaw, Ken Stabler and a longer list of older greats.

    Tell me again well over half of those listed wouldn’t have won 4 super bowls in New England also.

  21. Brady did more with less than any quarterback in NFL History. If Brady got to retain all his big time players like Montana got to it would be like playing popwarner for him. Brady is the GOAT hands down. If he wins another Super Bowl it’s not even a conversation to be had.

  22. All those morons who think soccer is a better sport than (real) football – simply do not grasp how subtly nuanced the differences in winning and losing are on a (real) football field.

    Belichick gets it. Lombardi got it. Landry did too. (Real) football is a lot more than soccer fan Klaus from Schemmingsteinauschburghaus, Germany can fathom. They’re contented with kicking a round ball around and passionately believing it’s meaningful in some way. Boring.

  23. Tom Landry is the greatest ever. 20 straight winning seasons as the HC, OC and DC all at the same time. He was an innovator. Belichick has innovated nothing.

  24. THE WHOLE COLD WEATHER FOOTBALL PSI GOES OUT THE WINDOW BECAUSE THE COLTS BALLS WERE PERFECTLY FINE!!!! YOU PATRIOT FANS ARE DELUSIONAL !

  25. tattooit says:
    Dec 10, 2016 7:53 PM
    Exactly. And I’m basically in the same boat. I’m also married to a Pats/Sox fan. We met while attending RISD (In RI), and currently live about 20mins from Foxoboro. So basically, I’m living right in the heart of Patriot country.

    Living here I SHOULD hate them like the plague. But I can’t. I have nothing but respect for what they’ve been able to accomplish.
    _________________

    We met as college students in Boston. Our careers took us elsewhere for a while then ironically sent us back there. We even had season tickets for the old Sullivan/Foxboro stadium and man did it suck. Even with a deplorable owner and a 1-15 team she and her family went to every game although I was lucky to dodge a number of them and get to use my share of what were once our Dad’s Giants season tix that I still split with my brother. For 20 years we have been safely (for me) back in Big Blue country but I will never forget the way that region embraced that team overnight when Kraft bought it. They hadn’t won a damn thing yet and their stadium still stunk but putting an end to 30+ years of wondering if they would leave was all it took. I understand them even if most of them hate our team lol.

  26. Now insert a list of 20 (maybe 30) QB’s that would plug and play on BB’s teams and not skip a beat.

    ————–

    Wrong. Maybe Peyton Manning in the modern era. Obviously Montana and probably Marino. I’m positive that you underestimate the small nuances of Brady’s accuracy and decision-making because you clearly don’t watch him week in and week out. Clutch play as well. He’s not the over-glamorized gunslinger at the helm yelling “Yee-hah!” as he throws the ball at the wrong time, in the wrong place, at the worst moment while he piles up stats. The stats just sort of happen for him. They are not important. Wins and championships are.

    That, by the way, is the only knock I have on Peyton. He was much too aware of his personal numbers when it may have nothing to do with the game plan in that particular week to put your team in the best position to win. Belichick would have trained him out of that and Dungy didn’t.

  27. jjfootball says:
    Dec 10, 2016 8:55 PM
    THE WHOLE COLD WEATHER FOOTBALL PSI GOES OUT THE WINDOW BECAUSE THE COLTS BALLS WERE PERFECTLY FINE!!!! YOU PATRIOT FANS ARE DELUSIONAL !
    ++++++++++++

    Except they weren’t. Anderson stated the Colts balls were all within a ‘tick’ of 13 PSI and the Pats were at 12.5 to start the game. When measured at halftime using the most likely gauge the Colts balls were all measurably lower (12.35, 12.30, 12.55 and 12.15) than they started in spite of having had time to warm up. Yet there was no punishment for the Colts using them.

    All the caps in the world don’t make bs a fact

  28. Chippys –

    Brady lost his case in federal court. He chose not to take it up with the U.S. Supreme Court because he’d already made such a clown of himself.

  29. Unbelievable that some posters still don’t understand cold weather causes pressure to drop in football & tires . And yes 3/4 Dolts balls were under regulation.

  30. With BB’s knowledge of football and with hardworking Brady, the Patriots remain top contender consistently for years even without the elite super weapons other teams have. Just imagine if BB gives the team elite players instead of scrounging the bargain bins.
    Poor losers. You know the Patriots don’t cheat. The NFL cheats them.

  31. The meatheads all think that football is just a game for tough guys. That’s why they all cry like babies when they get outsmarted, and as a result, outplayed and beaten by BB and NE time and time again.

  32. paulieorkid says:
    Dec 10, 2016 8:32 PM
    All those morons who think soccer is a better sport than (real) football – simply do not grasp how subtly nuanced the differences in winning and losing are on a (real) football field.

    Belichick gets it. Lombardi got it. Landry did too. (Real) football is a lot more than soccer fan Klaus from Schemmingsteinauschburghaus, Germany can fathom. They’re contented with kicking a round ball around and passionately believing it’s meaningful in some way. Boring.

    And as a fan of both sports and a soccer official, it is clear to me that you fail in the same way with your criticism regarding soccer by not acknowledging the nuances within that sport for example, a good touch, settling balls, putting a ball into space, switching the field, using support to maintain possession, probing for defensive weaknesses, a skillful feint to create time and space to attack, etc. I would also argue that professional soccer players are some of the best conditioned athletes in the world due to the amount of running combined with physical strength that it takes to play at that level.

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