A fascinating oral history of Bill Belichick produced by ESPN’s David Fleming reveals the obsessive, mind-bogglingly detail oriented nature of the football genius and how the culture he’s created has directly affected the unparalleled success the Patriots have had over the past 16+ years with Belichick at the helm.
In Belichick’s tenure, the Patriots have won 13 division titles (a record seven in a row), six AFC championships, and four Super Bowls. He’s amassed all that success while playing coach and General Manager. Dealing with the players and the business. Balancing emotional relationships and the organization’s bottom line. Bob Quinn, the Detroit Lions General Manager, claims “There’s only one person who walks on this earth that does it at this level.”
Aqib Talib, who played corner for the Pats in the 2012-2013 season, revealed that Belichick was not afraid to eviscerate his Golden Boy publicly if Brady screwed up.
“Once, in practice, Brady threw a seam ball that was intercepted, and Bill, man, he chewed Tom out, saying, ‘You got 130 career interceptions,’ or whatever it was, ‘and half of them are on this route. You keep doing the same shit over and over and this is what happens.’ Right then you know two things about the Patriots and Bill Belichick: Everybody is treated the same, and you better get your shit together.”
Patriots all-time great Kevin Faulk shared one of the barbs Belichick tossed at Brady.
“I loved when Bill would yell at Tom Brady and say, ‘Hey, Tom, I could go get the quarterback at Foxborough High to do it better than that.'”
The second string QBs didn’t have it made in the shade either. Former backup Matt Cassel, who led the Patriots to an 11-5 record when Brady was injured in 2008, shared a particularly hurtful jab, even bringing Cassel’s mother into it.
My rookie year, I got crushed in the back by a corner blitz against the Giants. We’re playing them the next year in the last preseason game. He asks me, ‘OK, Cassel, what front do they like to bring the corner blitz from?’ I had looked it up the night before, anticipating it. I said, ‘Coach, it’s an over.’ And he goes, ‘Brady?’ Well, you know immediately when he goes to the next guy: ‘Oh, no. Oh, no.’ And Brady says, ‘An under.’ And he goes, ‘Brady’s right. I don’t want to have to send your mother another note that says, ‘Dear Mrs. Cassel, we regret to inform you that your son got killed being a dumbass.'”
If you’ve got the time, I highly suggest checking out the Belichick piece over on ESPN. The dude is an absolute psycho. And I think that’s a compliment.