Inside Patriots coach Bill Belichick's coaching mastering
June 10, 2019 9:00 PM   Subscribe

The New England Patriots coach, who has took the Patriots to 9 Super Bowls has a degree in economics and has NO time to waste. The New England Patriots have ruled the NFL since 2001 and it seems that they are not going anywhere. They are here to stay.
posted by YankeeKing6700 (55 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
#gradualdecline
posted by ominous_paws at 9:38 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


He's obviously an amazing coach for strategy on the field and getting players to stay in their lane in order to execute that strategy. He obviously achieves this through an iron hand and an asshole interpersonal relationship style which intimidates his players and also drives them into their lane. He's also obviously someone who is willing to cheat anytime he can gain an advantage, and sometimes he gets caught but how many times has he not been caught? Nobody can tell.

He's basically anyone I've ever known about running a business, only his currency isn't money it's wins, and so that's what he strives to gain more than anything else. And so that's what he does.

I can't fault him for what he's doing because it's his worldview... but I do find that particular worldview and the associated "extracurricular activities" immoral and not to be tolerated, even while he manages to do them sometimes in plain view.

It's a world I don't really participate in, but when people using dirty methods can manage to achieve acclaimed glory in any venue, it brings to question the entire validity of the world in which that exists.

I'm not a football fan for #reasons, but this one guy, he manages to prove that being dirty wins above being clean and the dirty won't be stopped if you're clever enough... which to me means it's a sport with problems well beyond my #reasons.
posted by hippybear at 9:44 PM on June 10 [17 favorites]


Professional sports in general and in America especially are a sleazy, corrupt, reactionary, violent and environmentally damaging activity that is economically viable only because of massive public subsidies and monopoly exemptions. The New England Patriots represent the worst of these cowardly tax cheats and political grifters. They have an over-inflated obsession with winning; contempt for long-standing norms, rules and institutions except those that are in their own interests; billionaire Trump-supporting owners who blithely patronize illegally trafficked prostitutes who themselves are owned - I use that word without quotes - by an enthusiastic Trump supporter; deployment of lawyers and legal resources to avoid consequences of obvious criminal activity. If the earth opened up in Foxborough MA and swallowed Gillette Stadium into a deep dark hole I would consider it an act of grace and justice, and give me hope that the same would one day happen to the Yankees and their almost as odious organization. The fact that their coach has a degree in economics isn't worth a bucket of warm Gatorade.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 9:47 PM on June 10 [43 favorites]


Brady is about winning championships. That's the goal. To win.
posted by YankeeKing6700 at 9:51 PM on June 10


This article isn't about Brady? It's about Belichick. Brady is merely Belichick's tool toward his goals.
posted by hippybear at 9:55 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


[Moderator here, sorry for the confusing situation. YankeeKing6700 , I'm emailing you.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:05 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


Still, Bill Belichick is amoral capitalism personified and he's the reason I don't watch football anymore.

Yes, professional sports is all about money and money corrupts everything, but even in the English Premier League or the NBA there is still room for athleticism and strategy and heart. I watch the Patriots and I think "Now here's an organization that was built to use money and rule bending to exploit every angle to create a winning record." That's not sports, it's not good for the NFL, and it's not something I am interested in watching.

And it makes perfect sense that Kraft, Belicheck, and Brady love Donald Trump and vice versa. They play the same game.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:26 PM on June 10 [11 favorites]


Belichick, Like Micheal Jordan, Is what happens when all the things fans and sports radio people say they want in sports metastasizes into a person.

"killer instinct" "hyper competitive" "ruthless" "Only cares about winning" "cold blooded" "hard working" "relentless" etc etc

All these cliches sound good until you actually see it in one human person.
posted by French Fry at 12:18 AM on June 11 [9 favorites]


"Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." - Vince Lombardi
"Never give up, never surrender!" - Napoleon, Hitler, Galaxy Quest
"There is no deodorant like success." - Elizabeth Taylor, paraphrased
And, paraphrasing Robert Reich vs Dick Morris from memory::
- "What's the point of winning if you abandon your principles?"
- "What''s the point of running on your principles if you never win?"

We need to be careful, aliens might be watching our football games and taking notes.
posted by zaixfeep at 12:40 AM on June 11


"There's only one game he thinks he must win to get respect."

But the article didn't go on to talk about lacrosse? I'm confused.
posted by ominous_paws at 12:51 AM on June 11 [3 favorites]


Yankees fans used to say that.
posted by spitbull at 1:54 AM on June 11 [3 favorites]


I guess I have to post this in every thread about the Patriots.

Your Team Cheats
posted by Rock Steady at 2:50 AM on June 11 [8 favorites]


I say this with full disclosure that I’m a long suffering Dolphins fan: given the futility of the rest of the AFC East, the Patriots are essentially spotted at least 4 if not 5 wins each season. Hard not to win a lot that way. Move them to a more competitive division and make them have to try for more of the season and I’m guessing there are a couple fewer rings.
posted by schoolgirl report at 4:12 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]




(1) ESPN generally pushes anti-Patriots hit pieces like this one. So take this opinion piece as it should be - an opinion.

(2) This is from 2008, more than 11 years ago.

(3) Spygate was bullshit. Taping was allowed in specific locations and a memo was sent out clarifying this. Patriots were taping in a location not allowed by the NFL and got slammed as a result. It was a way of handicapping the Patriots to make other teams more competitive.

(4) There are plenty of players who admire and respect Belichick because he places the team first. His dad coached at the Naval Academy and from a rare talk he gave recently:

He talked about how at the Naval Academy the priorities were, "The ship, my shipmates, myself." and that he "stole" that and turned it into, "The team, my teammates, myself."
posted by kuroikenshi at 5:26 AM on June 11 [7 favorites]


I dunno. I still want to see what happens when Belichick's greatest weakness (his year-over-year refusal to address the future after Brady retires) suddenly and predictably bites him in the ass. Brady has surpassed all hopes of longevity, but he's not going to play until he's 50. And Belichick has never* coached to any success without having the greatest quarterback of our generation on his roster. We don't know what will happen when he has to make his system work with an unproven quantity under center, and we DEFINITELY don't know what he'll do as GM when he doesn't have a quarterback willing to play for a 50% hometown discount and he can roll the salary cap savings into other places.

* The wild-card berth they secured the year Brady shredded his knee was impressive, but that roster was one year removed from the best offense the league has ever produced
posted by Mayor West at 5:29 AM on June 11 [4 favorites]


> schoolgirl report: Move them to a more competitive division and make them have to try for more of the season and I’m guessing there are a couple fewer rings.

The Myth of the Easy AFC East
posted by Rock Steady at 5:30 AM on June 11


...given the futility of the rest of the AFC East, the Patriots are essentially spotted at least 4 if not 5 wins each season. Hard not to win a lot that way. Move them to a more competitive division and make them have to try for more of the season and I’m guessing there are a couple fewer rings.

It's a myth that the AFC East is a weak division.

https://mobile.twitter.com/FieldYates/status/1088901374820130816
posted by kuroikenshi at 5:31 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


It was a way of handicapping the Patriots to make other teams more competitive.

Only a Boston sports fan could have such a massive inferiority complex that, after their team enjoyed the greatest twenty-year run in league history, they still needed to go looking for Bolsheviks in their washroom.

Giants fan here. Man, 2007 was great. I'll cherish those moments forever, while our once-proud franchise gets ground into the dirt by incompetent ownership
posted by Mayor West at 5:34 AM on June 11 [15 favorites]


Easy to win when you cheat.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:42 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]


I dunno. I still want to see what happens when Belichick's greatest weakness (his year-over-year refusal to address the future after Brady retires) suddenly and predictably bites him in the ass.

He's tried at least twice to develop a Brady replacement. While Brady helps him game the Salary Cap to manage the roster better, he's also the only player it seems can tell Belichick to go take a walk.

Belichick like all nearly great sportsfolks is essentially a psychopath. Only in this case Brady is even worse.
posted by JPD at 5:47 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]


Why isn't every NFL organization run as ruthlessly well as the Patriots? It's not like they're all doing it for the love of the game.
posted by whuppy at 5:48 AM on June 11


Why isn't every NFL organization run as ruthlessly well as the Patriots?

Possibly my favourite thing about All or Nothing Hard Knocks is seeing how badly so many of these billion dollar businesses are run! They've got bullshit businessspeak slogans all over the wall just like your or my terrible office! There's public, embarrassing management conflict just like your or my office! Must be that it's harder than just deciding to *be* ruthlessly effective.
posted by ominous_paws at 5:53 AM on June 11 [12 favorites]


Its way harder than you think. The players and management are ultimately people and this is their job. Its just hard to be as brutal as he is. Belichick is only able to do it because he can essentially say to them "Do you want a ring? "

Also don't sleep on the cap benefits of Brady's below market contract. They functionally get an extra 10-15 mil a year extra to spend. (Brady "only" makes 20 mil, vs Rodgers and Wilson @ 35) The total cap is <200 mil - so that's a lot to save. Put another way, the second most expensive position is left tackle, and that delta is basically what an all-pro free-agent signs for.
posted by JPD at 5:54 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]


(3) Spygate was bullshit.

Spygate was bullshit. The Patriots had an organized, systematic cheating scheme going on for years, cataloging opponents’ plays, formations and defensive signals in detail. They had employees and facilities specifically devoted to this ongoing scheme. When they were caught, they were given a slap on the wrist, and the NFL immediately and secretly destroyed ALL the evidence to avoid the disgrace the Patriots would have brought to the league and its darling franchise. So yeah, total bullshit.

And don’t get me started on how they’re circumventing the salary cap by funneling millions of dollars into Brady’s personal business.
posted by gnutron at 5:58 AM on June 11 [16 favorites]


Dynasties are boring.
posted by a complicated history at 6:00 AM on June 11 [5 favorites]


Why isn't every NFL organization run as ruthlessly well as the Patriots?

What makes you think they aren't? If they all cheat, the results just show that the other teams aren't as good at it.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:44 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


Slarty Bartfast: "Still, Bill Belichick is amoral capitalism personified"

Allow me to introduce you to Dan Snyder...
posted by schmod at 6:52 AM on June 11 [4 favorites]


> cataloging opponents’ plays, formations and defensive signals in detail

You're talking about watching the plays and what the sidelines were doing in plain view of everyone in the stadium? Which part of that was cheating? How many teams were not doing that?
posted by Turd Ferguson at 6:55 AM on June 11


What irritates me about Belichick is that I don't think he needs to cheat to win, but he does anyway. His dad is universally regarded as the best scout in football history, and Bill clearly inherited that. The guy understands watching film better than anybody, and he's also one of the best at taking what he's seen on film and developing it into a coherent, adaptable game plan. He's got one of the best eyes in history for undervalued talent that he can acquire cheaply and then develop into stars. And on top of that, he gets everyone around him to buy in to his vision. It's exactly what you'd want in a coach. But then there's the cheating on top of it. It's too bad.
posted by kevinbelt at 7:00 AM on June 11 [5 favorites]


Only a Boston sports fan could have such a massive inferiority complex that, after their team enjoyed the greatest twenty-year run in league history, they still needed to go looking for Bolsheviks in their washroom.

All teams play by the same rules, have the same salary cap - and when specific teams are targeted - Saints, Patriots (Gatebros4life!) - it's unfair. It doesn't and shouldn't matter that the Patriots have had unheralded success in the cap era.

This has nothing to do with an inferiority complex.

(Yeah, Giants won both times against Patriots - good on you to cherish it, won't happen for some time now it seems...)
posted by kuroikenshi at 7:05 AM on June 11


For all the ludicrous salt of the fans, I have a soft spot for the determined crankiness of Belichick. It was so disappointing that the wetly sycophantic, floralishly worded letter praising Trump turned out actually to be from him. WYD Bill?
posted by ominous_paws at 7:24 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


Why isn't every NFL organization run as ruthlessly well as the Patriots?

It turns out you can still make piles of money as a not very well run franchise, so why work hard?
posted by Chrysostom at 7:27 AM on June 11 [10 favorites]


I don't give a flying fuck about football. The Patriots' winningness has lead to a bunch of annoying parades that interrupt my work day. But they're not cheats.

Or at least, no more than any other team.

Spygate and Deflategate both were drummed up distractions whenever the heat regarding other embarrassments to the NFL started gaining news traction. Deflategate specifically buried a ton of headlines about CTE in football players.

There's a lot to hate about the person (and fucking Robert Kraft), but his success is due to doing what everyone else is doing, better. Not by doing anything that no one else is doing.
posted by explosion at 7:28 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


It turns out you can still make piles of money as a not very well run franchise, so why work hard?

Sadly, I think Chrysostom has it. All that sweet TV money flowing in combined with loyal fanbases that not even the likes of Snyder could alienate. Why try indeed?

Maybe it sounds silly, but it rankles me when owners don't recognize any obligation to their fans. OTOH, why bother if suckas be payin'?
posted by whuppy at 7:36 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]


Another Boston area non-fan (that secretly cheers other teams to keep the crazies a bit quieter) (omg this should be anonymous:) but I think a big part is Belichick having the utter arrogance to not trash talk the other team, admit to errors and not working hard enough. I think it just confuses other teams and fans to not have a loud "we're the best" pushed in their faces by the Pats team players. Although Pats fans certainly do crazy to more than make up for that.
posted by sammyo at 8:04 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Sadly, I think Chrysostom has it.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:06 AM on June 11 [13 favorites]


Sadly, I think Chrysostom has it. All that sweet TV money flowing in combined with loyal fanbases that not even the likes of Snyder could alienate. Why try indeed?

Snyder almost seems like a test case in just how much you can alienate a fanbase while maintaining profitability. I live in DC and I don't see nearly as much paraphernalia for the local football team as I did 8-10 years ago, but I suspect that if they could put together even 2 winning seasons in a row or make any kind of playoff run, people would get excited again.
posted by Copronymus at 8:33 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]


Washington's a unique case, though. There are undoubtedly numerous fans of the team who do not purchase apparel or other paraphernalia because of the name of the team. Some of it is due to Snyder being terrible, for sure (although you guys killed it in the draft this year), but even if the team experiences some on-field success, I wouldn't expect to see it reflected in merchandise sales the way it would be with, say, the Lions. The team's been bad for much longer than a decade (only five winning seasons and one playoff win since the turn of the century), but the name controversy is comparatively recent.
posted by kevinbelt at 9:00 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


The name controversy is comparatively recent.

It'll be the Broncos Vs. a Racist Slur (Chicago Tribune, 1988) (contains racist slurs). Fans Against Indian Racism flew a banner over RFK Stadium during the NFC championship game. It read "MAKE WASHINGTON AMERICA'S TEAM. CHANGE THE NAME."

(For more detail about the history of the name, check out Appendix A in this document produced by the National Congress of American Indians in 2013)
posted by box at 9:22 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


[Folks let's nudge this back onto Belichick/ coaching style/ some substance about the Patriots etc rather than go over the DC team name thing again, even if I agree with the points made about Snyder/the name.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:28 AM on June 11


Brady is about winning championships. That's the goal. To win.

Really? Because it seems to me that for the owners the goal is above all else to make money, and maybe secondarily to raise status. Winning is a means to those ends, but I guarantee that if there were more money to be made from losing than from winning, Bobby Kraft would do whatever it took to make the Patriots lose as many games as possible.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 12:53 PM on June 11


I think there are a few owners (thinking of the Rooneys, the Hunts, the Maras, and the leadership at the Packers) whose goal is, at least partially, to do right by their fans and cities (for a specific definition of 'right' that I often don't agree with), and leave the next generation with something a little bit nicer than what they themselves inherited.

I think the majority of the owners want to make money, but they also want to win games--we can look at things like their competence, their level of involvement, and their win/loss record to judge where the balance falls between the two.

And, then, there are a few owners that, well, either they're only in it for the money, or they're deeply incompetent (Snyder, Mike Brown, Jimmy Haslam).
posted by box at 1:41 PM on June 11


The way the business works, as best I can tell, is that success comes from either being a highly successful team (spend more, but earn more returns from merchandise), or being a malingering team (spend less, reap money from die-hard fans and profit-sharing).

There's little benefit to being in the middle, as spending more to get from 4-12 to 8-8 won't make your die-hards buy more merch, and no one jumps on the bandwagon just because a team went from terrible to mediocre.

In most cases, once you're a "highly successful team", expenditures to win games aligns with making money. It also explains why Tom Brady takes a lower than market salary. He earns enough on merchandise and sponsorships as a Patriot and championship quarterback to make up the difference, compared to being the best player on a middling team.

He's not some sort of noble guy who cares only about winning so much that he took a pay cut. Winning is his route to wealth.
posted by explosion at 1:56 PM on June 11 [1 favorite]


and that's why I only buy off-brand men's Ugg boots
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:59 PM on June 11 [2 favorites]


His dad is universally regarded as the best scout in football history, and Bill clearly inherited that.

It's good to know that football coaching skills are heritable traits, otherwise it might look slightly inappropriate for the Patriots to employ both of Belichick's sons.
posted by peeedro at 2:16 PM on June 11 [5 favorites]


Football's like any other business. Some people get into it for the money, and some get into it because they like the work. Not every restaurant is a chef using local, organic ingredients, but not every restaurant is a franchise frying up frozen Sysco stuff, either. It's a continuum, and the majority tends to cluster around the middle.

Kraft, in this analogy, is probably like a guy who started a casual dining restaurant to serve burgers and shit, but after it had been in business for a while, it started getting high rankings on Yelp, and he used the opportunity to move more upscale. He didn't buy the Pats to focus only on winning, but once they started winning, it wasn't hard for him to adopt that as his brand. And once they stop winning (which, to bring it back to the OP, will be when Belichick retires), he'll pivot again and go back into budget-consciousness.
posted by kevinbelt at 2:19 PM on June 11


In most cases, once you're a "highly successful team", expenditures to win games aligns with making money. It also explains why Tom Brady takes a lower than market salary. He earns enough on merchandise and sponsorships as a Patriot and championship quarterback to make up the difference, compared to being the best player on a middling team.

He's not some sort of noble guy who cares only about winning so much that he took a pay cut. Winning is his route to wealth.


If you've seen how Tom Brady prepares during the NFL season and as well as in between seasons, then you'd know he's not in it for the money. His wife is Gisele and has made way more money than Brady has ever made, so they're not lacking in that department.

I think he knows money is a trap and a hindrance to playing and winning as it affects the salary cap for the team. He enjoys the process and winning and that's all that matters for him.
posted by kuroikenshi at 2:43 PM on June 11 [3 favorites]


I mean this with all sincerity, please don't read this as snark, but as appreciation for the human animal in all its diversity: I love hearing Patriots/Brady/Belichick apologists defend their team. It's a low-stakes glimpse into a value system that seems utterly alien to me and when I think to myself "ha ha, wouldn't it be a lark to be an ironic Pats fan" I feel like I am coming closer to understanding something important.
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:05 PM on June 11 [1 favorite]


I am a sports fan. I moved to NE about 15 years ago, but never became a pats fan. I think as a smart person in sports you just have to hold the truth in your head that pretty much everyone is cheating. The incentives to cheat are astronomical, the penalties nearly non-existent. What tragedy has befallen Lance Armstrong or every baseball player from the 90's? Why did lebron james lose like 40 pounds when the NBA announced they were going to test for HGH?

I'm just kind of fine with it. I just want to watch the winners of the genetic lottery play a children's game a few hours each week. And every 4 years pretend to care about swimming.
posted by French Fry at 4:47 PM on June 11 [1 favorite]


For the most part, the Pats don't talk shit about their opponents, they don't keep players misbehaving off the field, they don't have endless controversies about players causing trouble on the team. Their star player has chosen to earn probably about half of what he could have so the team can win (yeah, he probably makes up for it on the back end, but it's not guaranteed, and how many other current players do this?). They practice like maniacs and their play reflects intense study of their opponents. In other words, they do all the stuff people say they want their athletes to do.

The cheating--I would feel worse about it if I didn't think they were just better at it, and better at making it pay off, than every other team.
The Trump nonsense--I know I've said this before, but if you think you couldn't easily find Trump fans amongst the white players on your team, you are delusional enough to be committed.

People who find the NFL has too much baggage and corruption to follow, I understand. One of these days I expect I'll join those ranks, especially with the concussion issues. People who will accept the baggage, just not for the Pats, are being silly.
posted by praemunire at 8:28 PM on June 11 [6 favorites]


they don't have endless controversies about players causing trouble on the team

Just the one murderer!
posted by Chrysostom at 11:04 PM on June 11 [1 favorite]


...who was immediately dropped from the team on the day of his arrest. Took the Panthers a month.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:25 AM on June 12


The whole cheating aspect always stuck in my craw. Growing up my father would defend Nixon and Watergate by saying everyone else was doing dirty tricks and they just happened to get caught. I'm sure it's helpful to believe everyone else is on your level, but it's a but rich given that other teams just magically happen not to have scandals about it every decade.
posted by Carillon at 8:02 AM on June 12 [1 favorite]


I can't imagine talking to anyone I know in real life about Gaylord Perry--the hall of famer with a notorious spitball who once offered to be a Vaseline spokesperson--and seeing them get offended by the damage to the integrity of the game or anything. Certainly so far everyone just thinks it's funny.

The whole cheating aspect always stuck in my craw. Growing up my father would defend Nixon and Watergate by saying everyone else was doing dirty tricks and they just happened to get caught

So for me the political analogy is something like the outrage people felt at Hillary's e-mail practices when identical moves from others (Powell to Jared Kushner, for example) are met with indifference. I mean literally identical: the Chiefs had deflated ball accusations a year after the Patriots and the NFL didn't even bother to investigate.

The full catalog of "cheating" I can remember just off the top of my head would be long and boring but for me the key difference isn't they got caught--everyone's gotten caught--but which ones people decide are a scandal. Usually this level of malfeasance is just reported as a clever tidbit in jockeying for position then forgotten. Which is fine with me.

For the record: Not a Patriots fan.
posted by mark k at 11:10 AM on June 12


« Older Reunion   |   Almost as absurd as dressing a chicken in... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments