Bill Belichick praises Adam Vinatieri as “greatest kicker of all-time”

NE Patriots Vs. Indianapolis Colts At Gillette Stadium
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Bill Belichick is a six-time Super Bowl champion head coach. But without Adam Vinatieri, he may have a couple fewer rings in the safe at home.

With Vinatieri announcing his retirement on Wednesday, Belichick released a statement praising the accomplishments of the former New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts kicker.

And Belichick wasn’t shy about expressing just how significant a player Vinatieri was during his 24-year NFL career.

“Adam Vinatieri is the greatest kicker of all-time who made the greatest kick of all-time in the 2001 divisional playoffs,” Belichick said. “His consistency, mental toughness and performance under pressure was legendary. I am honored to have coached Adam, going all the way back to his rookie year in 1996 and through some of the most special moments in Patriots and league history. Adam is in the rarest of echelon of athletes whose career accomplishments may never be matched.”

Belichick is referencing Vinatieri’s 45-yard field goal in the snow against the Oakland Raiders that helped the Patriots get to their first Super Bowl with Belichick as head coach. A 48-yard field goal clinched a victory in that year’s Super Bowl against the St. Louis Rams and a 41-yard kick broke a 29-29 tie against the Carolina Panthers two years later to give New England their first two Super Bowl titles.

He has the NFL’s all-time record for most points scored (2,673), most field goals made (599), most total games played (397) and most consecutive field goals made (44).

78 responses to “Bill Belichick praises Adam Vinatieri as “greatest kicker of all-time”

  1. On the “greatest kick of all time”, John Gruden couldn’t be reached for comment.

  2. I’ll never forget that Saturday night in January of 2002. The snow coming down outside my house was miserable. Later I witnessed the greatest kick of all time. Elam kicking his ball was amazing, Adam kicking his jump started a dynasty.

    I’d argue Tommy was #1 in sales in 2001/2002, but Adam was right behind him.

    And to think we went from Adam to Ghost. 20 STRAIGHT years of fluid kicking…that doesn’t happen to the same team, ever. Janikowski was the raiders is close.

  3. More proof that the dynasty wasn’t all tom brady ! it took alot of great players coaches and the organization from top to bottom to accomplish what the Patriots have done.

  4. I think most people will agree that he’s the greatest kicker of all time and should 109% be inducted to the NFL Hall of Fame on the 3rd or 4th ballot.

  5. without cheating and help from the league and ref’s he may have fewer rings as well

  6. Why did Belichick let the greatest kicker of all time walk out the door? Terrible decision not to pay him. It may have cost the Pats an undefeated season.

  7. There is an opera singing University of Texas grad in Baltimore that would beg to differ

  8. Belichick calls Vinatieri the NFL’s greatest kicker of all time and Vinatieri calls Belichick the NFL’s greatest coach. Brady is the greatest player.

    Vinatieri credited Belichick with getting the most out of players, whether they were average or great. Both Belichick and Parcells instilled confidence in him early in his career by not treating him special, putting him in pressure situations (e.g., having to make kicks or all his teammates had to do extra conditioning). He treated Adam like the athlete he is. He treated Tom like the eager student and competitor he is, put him under the same pressure and never treated him like a star. I will never forget the Patriots being announced as a team at the super bowl and the Rams individual stars.

    The Colts had Manning and Vinatieri and won one super bowl against weak Bears team and Rex Grossman.

    It goes without saying the Patriots are the greatest team. If Vinatieri is right about Belichick getting the most out of players it bodes well for the 2021 season.

  9. Dude was clutch as hell but his kick against the panthers is overrated.

    He missed two field goals earlier in the game which was a significant reason the panthers hung around.

    That being said he was solid for damn near 25 years and had he been healthy in 09 the Colts may have beat the Saints as their backup missed a huge field goal up 1 before the Saints go ahead drive which would have changed the complexion of the game.

  10. If you want to see Bill’s nice side, do something impressive with your life. That’s why you’ll never hear him compliment Goodell for example.

  11. Adam Vinatiri, Justin Tucker and Morten Anderson are the top 3 in no particular order

  12. NFL Films quoted him saying in 2001 Adam was the best player on the team that year.

  13. Vinatieri ws a complete football player I remember many tackles on blown kick off coverage by him.

    I was also at the 2004 playoff game in Foxboro vs Titans, the coldest game in Pats history. Someone near me in my section had a thermometer was consistently -12 and my beers were frozen slush by the time I had them half drunk.

    Adam kicked a crucial long field goal in that game and it sounded like he was kicking a piece of wood yet right down the middle. His many clutch field goals won many games for the Pats.

    Indeed the greatest kicker in NFL history but also a complete player

  14. Game manager Brady says thank you to Adam as well!

    Some of us weren’t in diapers when the rules were different under Tagliabue and football was football, and Brady wasn’t the stat hound and lesser postseason QB he became, making it tough on his Ds but giving up field and stopping the clock by passing too much.

    Thank you, Adam!

    One of the many hall of famers that have surrounded Brady, the latter Bb drafted and developed before promoting him.

    Up next into the hall, Seymour, Wilfork and Gronk.

    All hail BB and the great supporting casts in the cap era around Brady for decades.

  15. Little shout out to Parcells too. He signed Vinitieri as an UFA to compete with Matt Bahr(think Nick Folk) on the advice of a friend. Vinitieri had kicked at one of the Dakotas in college and Amsterdam in Europe. Parcells took a chance and gave him his shot. Much like Troy Brown’s story.

    The Panthers only hung around with the Pats in that SB because half the D got hurt. Including Harrison breaking his arm.

  16. one of the clutchest kickers for sure. his right foot helped give birth to a 20 year dynasty. the question is, does he go in as a colt or patriot? this is really a tough one….to me, when i think of vinatieri, i think of the pats so…

  17. It’s fun watching the clip of Vinatieri running down Herschel Walker on a kick return. Yes that happened! 🙂

  18. bjwbrown2011 says:
    May 27, 2021 at 8:16 am
    Dude was clutch as hell but his kick against the panthers is overrated.

    He missed two field goals earlier in the game which was a significant reason the panthers hung around.

    —–
    He made the most important one. Also went 5 for 5 in the AFC Championship game the week before. Scored 16 of the Patriots 24 points.

    GOAT.

  19. It’s either him or Morten Anderson. Probably Adam. Dude has broken MANY Raider fan hearts.

  20. Certainly nobody has ever been better under pressure, not ever. Even in a foot of snow, if the game was on the line, he was by-God making the kick. Didn’t matter the distance.

  21. He was actually a great athlete and not just a kicker in his younger days. He had played soccer so he could run like a deer when he first came into the league.

    One play stands out in that regard and was the game when he chased Hershel Walker down from behind on a kickoff.

    I don’t think Walker’s teammates ever let him forget about it either. One of the best plays I’ve ever seen a kicker make. All out hustle and then to have the speed to catch up to him.

  22. Daddy Batz says:
    May 27, 2021 at 2:22 am
    Justin Tucker is better.

    —-
    Tucker has been in the league for 9 seasons. Not counting last season Vinatieri has been in the league 24 years and has 4 Super Bowl rings in in 5 appearances. One could say he was directly responsible for both Brady and Manning winning their first rings.

  23. dw11 says:
    May 27, 2021 at 9:57 am
    Someone has Brady envy.

    —-
    Nothing yet from Tampa Bay Tommy on Vinatieri’s retirement. I hope it doesn’t stay that way. He deserves an acknowledgement from Brady.

  24. The Panthers only hung around with the Pats in that SB because half the D got hurt. Including Harrison breaking his arm.

    ——————————-

    No, the defense was so bad because the plan of the “genius” was to put the balls in the hands of Jake Delhomme, who was an average passer at best.

    The “genius” was completely unprepared for that John Fox kept putting balls in Jake’s hands. The same happened in 2007 AFCCG that the “genius” was completely unprepared for that Peyton started throwing to Clark. He became a “genius” because his believers ignored the times he failed to prepared.

  25. Nothing yet from Tampa Bay Tommy on Vinatieri’s retirement. I hope it doesn’t stay that way. He deserves an acknowledgement from Brady.

    Yes he did , he put it out on social media

  26. The best part of the Vinatieri tackle of Walker was the replay. The color commentator didn’t realize until the replay that Adam didn’t an angle on him, he had the closing speed to catch him.

    Look for it on the we. It’s ot only a great play, it’s my favorite commentary. The play is right up their with Ben Watson catching Champ Bailey.

  27. patsrule says:
    May 27, 2021 at 6:42 am
    Why did Belichick let the greatest kicker of all time walk out the door? Terrible decision not to pay him. It may have cost the Pats an undefeated season.

    —/—-

    BB’s defense lost that SB. Despite getting pummeled all game Brady marched the Pats down the field and threw the go-ahead TD to Randy Moss giving the Patriots a 4 point lead with 2:37 to go. And BB’s defense came up small

  28. Too bad Brady threw the 4th qtr ing in the end zone when it was 21-16.

    Too bad Eugene Wilson was also hurt.

    Too bad Pats had to cover TEs with Derrick Alexander because if injuries against the Colts. Too easy

  29. Much like how Paul Brown is the greatest HC in history….

    Otto Graham is the greatest QB in history….

    And Jim Brown is the greatest RB in history….

    Lou Groza is the greatest kicker in history.

  30. Giants had a great game plan in 2007 and deserved to win. But, they had a lot of luck too. Not just the helmet catch. ASamuel missed an INT(Tough catch, but still). Manning fumbled and had it bounce right back to him. I think everyone on the Pats front 7 had a chance to sack Manning on that play. Just wasn’t meant to be. Hardly a D collapse. Their record setting offense didn’t get it done

  31. Nothing yet from Tampa Bay Tommy on Vinatieri’s retirement. I hope it doesn’t stay that way. He deserves an acknowledgement from Brady.
    ——————

    You mean this – “Congrats @Vinatieri on an incredible career,” Brady wrote on his Instagram story. “When you look up clutch in the dictionary it should have your picture. An incredible teammate with an incredible work ethic. Honored to have played with the GOAT.”

  32. tedmurph says:
    May 27, 2021 at 11:27 am
    Giants had a great game plan in 2007 and deserved to win. But, they had a lot of luck too. Not just the helmet catch. ASamuel missed an INT(Tough catch, but still). Manning fumbled and had it bounce right back to him. I think everyone on the Pats front 7 had a chance to sack Manning on that play. Just wasn’t meant to be. Hardly a D collapse. Their record setting offense didn’t get it done

    ——

    Lots of things happened. But with 2:37 left in the game Brady had them up by 4. The Pats has the lead. All the defense needed to do was hold the Giants to a FG….but they didn’t

  33. tedmurph says:
    May 27, 2021 at 11:27 am
    Giants had a great game plan in 2007 and deserved to win. But, they had a lot of luck too. Not just the helmet catch. ASamuel missed an INT(Tough catch, but still). Manning fumbled and had it bounce right back to him. I think everyone on the Pats front 7 had a chance to sack Manning on that play. Just wasn’t meant to be. Hardly a D collapse. Their record setting offense didn’t get it done
    —–
    Is there any doubt Belichick sends out Adam Vinateri for a field goal instead of going for it on 4th and 13? And Vinatieri makes that kick.

  34. Tucker is nowhere close to Vinatieri. The context behind each clutch game-winning kick is important. Vinatieri kicked field goals in the snow, during the final seconds of two super bowl games, and in a different era of football in the late 90s and early 2000s. Kickers were not as protected back then than they were when Tucker first came into the league.

  35. Sorry Brady was not a deserving MVP in Super Bowl 36. 145 yards passing and 1 TD? Cmon. That’s not why the team won.

    Vinatieri was second on my Super Bowl 36 MVP ballot. As clutch as it gets.

    Ty Law would have been first on my ballot for obvious reasons.

    Brady was an iffy third. Could also argue for Smith there. 5+ YPC against what might have been the best run defense in the league.

  36. I think if Bill showed Brady a fraction of this love, TB would’ve stayed in NE.

  37. jameshodges says:
    May 27, 2021 at 11:59 am
    Tucker is nowhere close to Vinatieri. The context behind each clutch game-winning kick is important. Vinatieri kicked field goals in the snow, during the final seconds of two super bowl games, and in a different era of football in the late 90s and early 2000s. Kickers were not as protected back then than they were when Tucker first came into the league.

    10 1 Rate This

    ——————-

    The arrogance of Baltimore fans. They are insufferable. Next they will claim Flacco is elite. Oh wait…

    bawahah

  38. trentdilfer08 says:
    May 27, 2021 at 12:44 pm
    Pele > Vinitati

    ———

    Not in snow!

  39. 4th and 13 was a mystery. All I can tell you is Gostkowski had a poor week of practice and they said he had the yips. Gostkowski was a great kicker too. Especially on kickoffs. That was a long FG too. Vinitieri missed his share too. No lock he makes that.

    Brady didn’t want to stay in NE. BB A will show him plenty of love at the end.

  40. This petty nonsense of trying to give more credit to this or that player for the Patriots dynasty is getting old. Vinatieri’s the greatest kicker of all time, he played his part in the first half of the greatest dynasty in American sports history and he should be rightly celebrated for it. Everything else is noise.

  41. Just did the math …. a non-kicker would have to score 446 touchdowns to surpass Vinatieri’s point total. Wow.

  42. They should induct him into the Patriot HOF on October 3rd so Tommy boy can be there!!!

  43. mlhigh77 says:
    May 27, 2021 at 2:40 am
    So Bill, who is the GOAT qb of all time?

    ———-

    Bill will not say. QB position has changed over the years, kicking game not so much.

  44. jackofnotrades says:
    May 27, 2021 at 10:03 am
    “one of the clutchest kickers for sure. his right foot helped give birth to a 20 year dynasty. the question is, does he go in as a colt or patriot? this is really a tough one….to me, when i think of vinatieri, i think of the pats so…”

    ———-

    Relax.

    NFL Hall of Famers don’t go into the Hall as the member of one team, but as a representative for each team they played for. Vinatieri will be a Patriots/Colts HOF’er, which seems appropriate. His HOF bust won’t come with a helmet favoring one team over the other.

    Now baseball HOF’ers have a cap on their plaques, which does lead to some controversy. I know Andre Dawson was not pleased his plaque has him wearing a Montreal Expos cap, instead of a Chicago Cubs cap.

  45. We knew Adam was going to be special when he chased down Herschel Walker at the 20 yard line in Dallas in his rookie year (96), and prevented an 89 yard touchdown return. He had the wrong angle, but he had pure closing speed. It wouldn’t be the last time he made a play other than using his foot. The sticking point on his contract in NE was that he was coming off a hip injury and the contract was not guaranteed. The Colts offered guaranteed money, partly just to pry him away from New England and injure a competitor. He was viewed as an automatic weapon in the most critical moments. He really should have stayed in New England. He was an outdoor kicker from South Dakota. Kraft/Belichick/Brady/Vinatieri. It was the Four Headed Monster, and his departure likely cost the Patriots a couple of Super Bowls. I feel like his legacy would have been larger had he stayed and retired a Patriot, but a Hall of Fame career is nothing to sneeze at. No ill will here, even for signing with The Colts. It helps that the Colts sank into obscurity for the most part, relative to what they were before Vinatieri got there, after they won a Super Bowl.

  46. Has anyone noticed Belichick has been extremely generous with his praise for a lot player’s AFTER Brady kissed him good bye??

    Too Little-Too Late-“Bill”

  47. May 27, 2021 at 12:44 pm
    Pele > Vinitati

    ———

    Not in snow!

    ————–

    Without Belichick, Adam wouldn’t be aware of the snow!!!

  48. Sorry Brady was not a deserving MVP in Super Bowl 36. 145 yards passing and 1 TD? Cmon. That’s not why the team won.

    ——————————–

    Titans #15 defense limited Rams to 24 points.

    What Pats defense did was replaceable as long as coaches could allocate as much resource on defense as Belichick did. What Brady did, top 10 offense and delivering winning drive in SB? was irreplaceable.

  49. William Lee says:
    May 28, 2021 at 10:22 am
    Sorry Brady was not a deserving MVP in Super Bowl 36. 145 yards passing and 1 TD? Cmon. That’s not why the team won.

    ——————————–

    Titans #15 defense limited Rams to 24 points.

    What Pats defense did was replaceable as long as coaches could allocate as much resource on defense as Belichick did. What Brady did, top 10 offense and delivering winning drive in SB? was irreplaceable.

    —-
    16-27, 145 yards passing, 1 TD. Had less than 100 yards passing for the game until the last 2 minutes.

    I will always be one of the biggest Brady fans in the world but Law was the deserving MVP that day not Brady. Sorry. Take Law away and the Rams have their way with the Pats. Bledsoe plays instead of Brady and the outcome is probably the same as it actually turned out.

  50. William Lee says:
    May 28, 2021 at 8:36 am
    May 27, 2021 at 12:44 pm
    Pele > Vinitati

    ———

    Not in snow!

    ————–

    Without Belichick, Adam wouldn’t be aware of the snow!!!

    —-
    Brady fumbled. He was responsible for what should have been a loss. Raiders were robbed.

  51. 16-27, 145 yards passing, 1 TD. Had less than 100 yards passing for the game until the last 2 minutes.

    ——————-

    1 drive from own 3 yard line; on drive that scored a TD; one drive the scored a FG; one drive that put team in FG range to win.

    There are 8 first down and 127 yds on 8 completion. Try to find out which drives they came from.

  52. As a Viking fan I could only dream of a kicker like this. Vikings could’ve had a couple SuperBowl wins if they had Vinatieri and New England would have had about 3 less if they didn’t have him.

  53. William Lee says:
    May 28, 2021 at 11:29 am
    16-27, 145 yards passing, 1 TD. Had less than 100 yards passing for the game until the last 2 minutes.

    ——————-

    1 drive from own 3 yard line; on drive that scored a TD; one drive the scored a FG; one drive that put team in FG range to win.

    ———-
    Sounds like a great argument that Adam Vinatieri and Antowain Smith should be ranked over Brady for MVP of that game. I completely agree. 🙂

    It was Ty Law though hands down. His pick 6 changed the entire game. Law was the reason they won, Brady wasn’t. It’s that simple. 🙂 Brady was undeserving of MVP. Oh well it happens. These things do balance themselves out, Brady should have been Super Bowl MVP even on losing team in Super Bowl LII.

  54. It was Ty Law though hands down. His pick 6 changed the entire game. Law was the reason they won, Brady wasn’t. It’s that simple

    ——————–

    What Brady did was far far far harder than what Tylaw did.

  55. Willie McGinest was the MVP of that SBowl. He took MFaulk outta the game by beating the heck out of him. Belichick’s genius game plan addressed the fact that Faulk made the Rams offense go.

    Law’s INT was caused by Vrabel. Vrabel hitting Warner made him throw it right to Law. I could have caught it.

  56. Willie McGinest was the MVP of that SBowl. …..

    ——–

    Do you know what makes winning SB so harder? because the team has to win EVERY ONE of the games, or go home empty-handed. In SB 2002 : one drive from own 3 yard line; on drive that scored a TD; one drive the scored a FG; one drive that put team in FG range to win.

    Those were ONLY 4 drives that Belichick handed balls to Brady, and Brady delivered EVERY TIME. If Brady had failed any one of them, there would be no SB for Pats. What McGinest or Ty law or Vrabel, did was great, but it was a statistic. BTW, Belichick didn’t take MFaulk out of the game, Mike Martz did, might he loved his QB and wanted Kurt Warner to win MVP.

  57. Belichick didn’t hand balls to Brady because at that point in his career, Brady was a green game manager. The 1 offensive Td the Pats scored was a 40 yrd drive after one of the 3 tunovers by the Belichick coached D. Pats offense was 2-11 on 3rd down, had only 15 1rst downs and 267 yrds of offense, and only has the ball for 26 mins. In otherwords, terrible. The Pats won that game on D, McGinerst on Faulk was the biggest reason and any reasonable non delusional FB fan knows it. CASE CLOSED

  58. Belichick didn’t hand balls to Brady because at that point in his career, Brady was a green game manager.

    ———————–

    Game manager? tell a QB to capitalize on both opportunities with that squad.

  59. I thought he created gold out of rocks.

    ——–

    Without Brady, those rocks were still rocks.

  60. Willie McGinest was the MVP of that SBowl
    ——
    Willie had a terrific game. So did Antowain Smith on offense. 5 YPC against arguably the best run defense in the league is nothing to sneeze at.

    Looks like Tampa Bay Tommy is getting bumped out of my top 5 🙂

  61. William Lee says:
    May 28, 2021 at 6:26 pm
    Belichick didn’t hand balls to Brady because at that point in his career, Brady was a green game manager.

    ———————–

    Game manager? tell a QB to capitalize on both opportunities with that squad.

    ——
    Like when Brady fumbled against the Raiders?

    Yes it was a fumble and he even said so.

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