In September of last year, Bill Belichick went on a quality rant when asked about the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The question posed to him was about career assistants and if some were deserving of more consideration for induction.
After explaining the importance of having good assistants on staff, Belichick steered his comments toward the Hall of Fame in general and his feelings on the selection process.
"Yeah, you know, I mean the Hall of Fame is a tough one," he said. "I don’t even know what the criteria is for the Hall of Fame. You’ve got guys that have played 15-20 years that aren’t in the Hall of Fame and you’ve got guys that have played four or five that are and vice versa. You’ve got guys that have had great short careers and aren’t, guys that have had ‘OK’ long careers that are. You’ve got guys that haven’t won championships that are. You’ve got guys that have won a lot of championships that aren’t. I mean, I don’t know. What are we basing it on?
"I don’t know . . . You’ve got different sets of rules for everybody too – coaches, players, contributors. Really I don’t understand it. I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it but what little I know about it is pretty confusing to me. I have no idea what the criteria is and if you talk to people that have been in that room, which I’m sure you guys have, it sounds like there’s a lot of confusion in there, too, about who we’re voting for or what we’re voting on. How much of it is political? How much of it is a campaign trail? I don’t know. It’s not really my thing. The whole process I’m saying is not really my thing."
What's interesting is that lately he has informally inserted himself into the process, casting a few informal Hall of Fame votes for men he considers deserving. Last month it was former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison, who Belichick described as, "you're talking about a Hall of Fame-level player, in my opinion."
On Monday morning, during a conference call, Belichick was at it again. This time it was former Cowboys vice president of player personnel Gil Brandt, who Belichick lauded as deserving of a bust in Canton, Ohio.
Belichick was asked about being one win away from tying Cowboys Hall of Fame coach Tom Landry for third-most wins in NFL history, and he mentioned Brandt as part of the reason Landry's teams were as successful as they were.
"They had great players on offense. They had great players on defense," Belichick said. "Looking at Gil Brandt and the job that he did with the personnel, he certainly should be in the Hall of Fame based on his contributions to this game and contributions to the personnel and scouting side of it. He’d probably be the first guy I would put in there.
"The combination of the personnel that they had, and the coaching, and their system and their I would say, development of it, development of younger players through the system, which at that time without free agency they had the ability to take a little bit extra time to get those players to fit into their system. But it was very well thought out, very disciplined."
Brandt, who is now an analyst for NFL Media, held his title of VP of player personnel from 1960 to 1989. The scouting and evaluation systems he developed in Dallas are still used today by many clubs and, as his bio on NFL.com states, considered "standard operating procedure."