New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is a student of football, so it's no surprise he's been featured as a regular co-host on NFL Network's "NFL 100 All-Time Team" series showcasing the 100 greatest players in league history.
Belichick, along with Rich Eisen and Cris Collinsworth, have given detailed breakdowns of the best players at each position. The eight-time Super Bowl champion watched a ton of film from different decades to prepare for the show, and he's admitted this work has made him a better coach.
Friday's episode will reveal the 10 quarterbacks on the league's all-time team, and one of the two players already chosen is Tom Brady (the other is San Francisco 49ers legend Joe Montana). The Patriots quarterback has played under Belichick for his entire career, and the two of them have won six Super Bowl championships, nine conference championships and 17 AFC East titles together.
This episode was taped over the offseason, and Belichick talked Monday morning during a media conference call about how much he enjoyed spending time on the NFL Network set alongside Brady filming the program.
"I think I mentioned it was a great experience to be a part of that whole process – the selection process, the revealing shows that they put together, and the opportunity to see those players and go back and watch them and study them a little bit," Belichick said. "And then to see how the game was at different points along the way, how it evolved – not just the players, but the game itself. So, that was all interesting, and certainly it made me – I think I learned a lot in terms of a coach, and getting to know some of those players and looking at their history of how they became great, or what made them great, or a particular aspect to their life and career that was particularly inspiring or enlightening.
"All of that was a great experience for me. I really appreciate the opportunity and was honored to do it, and spending time with Tom on the set was awesome. We’ve been through so many great moments together, both on and off the field, in terms of the actual football game itself, but all the preparation that leads up to it and the competition that’s involved there with other coaches, players, teams, and so forth. Yeah, it was great to talk about those and think back and reflect on some of the great moments that we’ve shared together and how much hard work and the other part of the experiences that went into those moments – not just the result of the play, or a game, or even a season, but all of the things that you think about.
"I mean, those things don’t just happen. There’s miles and miles and miles that are covered before you actually get that final yard, or few yards, or whatever it is that determines games, and ultimately seasons. So, yeah, it was tremendous. It was great. It was great to be with Tom. It was great to be with the other studio guests, as well, because it’s a very, very special group and they all have something in their own personal great history to share that we can all – and I can – learn from."
Brady called his inclusion on the all-time team an "incredible honor," and he detailed how special it was for him to be named alongside Montana. The 42-year-old quarterback grew up as a 49ers fans in California and adored the great San Francisco teams of the 1980s and 1990s.
There's no doubt Friday's special two-hour episode will be must-watch for Patriots fans. It's yet another opportunity for them to re-live the great moments Brady and Belichick have shared over the last two decades.