20 Years Ago Today: Bill Belichick Arrives In New England
The Patriots dynasty had to start somewhere. New England needed a culture change. What the Patriots organization didn’t know was that Bill Belichick would be both the change of the organization and the beginning of an impressive dynasty. 20 years ago today, Bill Belichick was named by Robert Kraft to be the head coach of the New England Patriots.
To many people, this was a move that didn’t seem like much on the surface. Sure, Belichick won two Super Bowls as a defensive coordinator with the Giants. Yes, he had minimal success as head coach of the Cleveland Browns. But, none of us could have seen what would happen next.
Winning The Super Bowl In His Second Year
The Patriots were 5-11 in 2000. 5-11! Imagine that type of season now for the Patriots? You honestly can’t! The next year, the Patriots started off 0-2, lost Drew Bledsoe, and hope seemed lost. We all know what happened next. Enter Tom Brady, an 11-3 regular season record, and an improbable upset of the highly favored Rams for their first ever Super Bowl title. That’s quite the turnaround for any NFL franchise. This should have been a sign of things to come.
Winning Five More Super Bowls in 17 Seasons…And Being In Three More
The Patriots won five more Super Bowls in their next 17 seasons. Just for good measure, the Patriots also were in three more Super Bowls and could have won those ones as well. The first Giants Super Bowl? You’re a sack and batted pass away from probably winning that game. The second one? It took a perfect ball to Mario Manningham to set up a last minute winning drive. The second Eagles Super Bowl? If Brady doesn’t fumble, the Patriots have a legitimate chance of scoring with barely any time for the Eagles to retaliate. Besides those mishaps, the Patriots have had great success in the Super Bowl. Bill Belichick has been the mastermind behind it all. Sure, Tom Brady has been along for the whole ride too. However, it takes a great head coach to have all of those pieces fall into place.
What a move by Robert Kraft! This is arguably the best move he’s made in his tenure as owner. He brought on a head coach that had a decent past track record. Now? Belichick will go down as one of the best head coaches in NFL history. I think I speak for Patriots nation when we say: thank you Robert Kraft for bringing Bill Belichick into New England via trade, exactly 26 years ago today. That was a very smart move!
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-Al Nahigian (@BigAl2793)