FanDuel - WFBC

January 17, 2012

Bill Belichick: "the NFL's last real anarchist."

posted by yerfatma to football at 10:31 AM - 20 comments

It's like every press conference of his is a practical joke, on the press.

posted by apoch at 10:48 AM on January 17

For a second there, I thought YFM's post read "Bill Belichick: the NFL's last real antichrist"

posted by NerfballPro at 11:05 AM on January 17

I love Charlie Pierce.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:29 AM on January 17

"This is a man who thinks in one platoon, but with a million different variations."

Brilliant. Tough for the pundits to predict much of any long-term plans with Belichick. As a fan of the franchise since the 1960 Boston Patriots, the only thing I rue now is Belichick's retirement.

posted by Leominster at 11:49 AM on January 17

Charlie Pierce is winning the internets right now. He's not the first to think of Flutie's drop-kick, but I love how he wraps it into a wider argument about Belichick's why-the-fuck-not-ness.

The analogy that springs to mind is Total Football -- which is crazy, but just about holds within the constraints and specialisations of American football.

posted by etagloh at 01:17 PM on January 17

I was going to come here and say I wish Belichick was the Broncos coach and then I remembered we just had Josh McDaniels and that didn't end well. McDaniels isn't Belichick but he sure tries to be and things went about as badly as they could have went. I think you need a lot of political capital (and Tom Brady) to be as creative as Belichick has been.

posted by tron7 at 01:18 PM on January 17

I think you need a lot of political capital (and Tom Brady) to be as creative as Belichick has been.

It certainly needs buy-in throughout the organisation, given the personnel decisions. (See also: Charlie Weis.)

posted by etagloh at 03:20 PM on January 17

...the whole operation is grimly determined to combine the unpredictability of an Amway seminar with the giddy good humor of the North Korean army...

What a beautiful line. This sort of writing is guaranteed to make aspiring journalists everywhere throw their pencils into the nearest trash can as they give up hope of ever coming close.

By coincidence, I watched an episode of America's Game today on the NFL channel. It was the one featuring the 2003 Patriots, with commentary by Willy McGinest, Rodney Harrison, and Charlie Weiss. In the episode, There was a bit about Tom Brady insisting in practice after practice that he was the team's best punter. Lo and behold, in 2003, facing a 4th down at their own 37 with 2 minutes left in the game vs Miami and leading 10-0 '03, Tom Brady quick kicks, and pins the Dolphins at the 1 yard line. An ensuing safety sealed the game. This was also the season when Belichick had his team take a deliberate safety with 2:49 left in the game while trailing by one point against Denver. Before the fans could finish their WTF???s, the free kick pushed Denver back to its own 15, Pats' defense got a 3-and-out, and Brady engineered a 58-yard drive that ended with an 18-yard TD pass.

McGinest and Harrison made the point that Belichick has a different game plan for each opponent. He is fully aware of what his own players are capable of doing, even though it may not necessarily be what their listed position calls for, but he is confident that if each "does his job", the overall plan will work.

Many forget that Bill Belichick is the son of a football coach, he has lived for football coaching all of his life, and he has made a life-long study of football history, techniques, systems, and coaching methods. Is he an anarchist? I think not; he is really the most prepared kid in the honors class, and the results show it.

posted by Howard_T at 03:39 PM on January 17

Is he an anarchist? I think not; he is really the most prepared kid in the honors class, and the results show it.

Yeah, I think Pierce's point is more that the NFL so prizes conformity above all else that smarter coaches (who are lucky enough to have enough of a track record to get away with things) are one of the few things they still can't perfectly control.

posted by yerfatma at 04:16 PM on January 17

The departure of McDaniels for the Broncos was a rare moment where we got to see a fleeting glimpse of the interior Belichick. He was pissed. He knew there was no way the kid was ready to take a head coaching job.

I would have loved to have overheard the McDaniels rehiring conversation. Can't imagine Belichick wanting to take him back unless he thought that the kid had been sufficiently humbled and made wiser by his experiences.

One of the things I like most about Belichick is that I don't think he gives a damn about his coaching tree, which is not a thing of beauty. He hires guys that he thinks will make good position coaches and coordinators, not guys who he thinks will make good future head coaches.

posted by beaverboard at 08:56 AM on January 18

He was pissed. He knew there was no way the kid was ready to take a head coaching job.

I don't recall anything but good things being said at the time. Are you thinking of Mangini?

posted by yerfatma at 10:46 AM on January 18

Yeah, he is a great coach, I won't deny it. But he wears socks with sandals.

posted by steelergirl at 04:22 PM on January 18

Belichick is hands down the best coach in football today and possibly of all time.

posted by ic23b at 04:26 PM on January 18

What about Odysseus?

posted by yerfatma at 05:16 PM on January 18

Are you thinking of Mangini?

You are correct - my bad.

And Mangini gave him good reason as I now recall.

So interesting that after both McDaniels and Cassell left, there was a period of time where the Pats went without a true OC, and with only two QB's on the roster.

It is my fond hope to someday get to see Bobby Hoyer play QB (but not due to a Brady injury), because from the little I've seen to date, the guy looks like he can play. I'd love to see a Pats-Packers exhibition game featuring Hoyer and Flynn.

posted by beaverboard at 05:20 PM on January 18

What about Odysseus?

He didn't know a damned thing about special teams.

posted by cobra! at 05:33 PM on January 18

What about Odysseus?

He didn't know a damned thing about special teams.

And Pandora is no Giselle.

posted by tahoemoj at 07:18 PM on January 18

That's sort of funny. I deleted that comment shortly after I made it (after I realized that it was a Brady reference rather than a Belichick reference), yet there it is.

posted by tahoemoj at 11:12 AM on January 19

What about Odysseus?

He didn't know a damned thing about special teams.

Maybe not, but his offense made mincemeat out of The Suitors.

posted by Howard_T at 05:23 PM on January 19

He didn't know a damned thing about special teams.

I would argue that Odysseus only knew about special teams.

posted by Joey Michaels at 03:15 AM on January 20

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