New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has done things by the book since his days as the Cleveland Browns head coach nearly 30 years ago.
After a long wait, Belichick finally landed his perfect quarterback in 2000 (though he didn't start him until 2001). Well, at least in relation to a 1991 handout that detailed what he looks for and expects from the ideal QB in his system.
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NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah, an ex-Baltimore Ravens scout, revealed a document he received in his time with the Ravens, who descended from the Cleveland Browns after the owner Art Modell moved the franchise to Baltimore. It details what Belichick's ideal offense looks like. Most notable was Belichick's description of what he's looking for in a QB:
QB: #1 is to make good decisions -- then arm, size, physically tough, leadership, guys look up to and have confidence in, a real competitor. Accurate rather than guy with a cannon. Emphasis on our game will be on decision, timing, accuracy -- guy needs to be confident, intelligence is important but not as much so as field awareness and judgement. Can't be sloppy fundamentally unsound guy w/ ball handling, tech's, etc. Footwork, drops, release, etc. -- QB has to be able to throw the ball with accuracy.
I think you’ll enjoy this... We were given this handout during a scout school from my time with the Ravens. Coach Belichick has held true to almost all of this over the years. pic.twitter.com/pWB3oqo5JU— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) March 31, 2020
Sound like anyone familiar? After 10 years (remember, this document was from 1991), Belichick finally landed his guy in Tom Brady when he drafted the Michigan QB in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft and eventually replaced Drew Bledsoe with him the next season. What's more remarkable is he managed to hang on to his dream QB for 20 years before Brady decided to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency.
Brady certainly fits Belichick's description: He makes extremely good decisions, has a strong arm and is a true competitor. While Brady doesn't necessarily have a "cannon" of an arm compared to other QBs, he's accurate and places a high value on the fundamentals.
The descriptions in the document Jeremiah tweeted definitely still hold true to what Belichick maintains as his standards today. It'll be interesting to see if he does, in fact, draft a quarterback this year.
If he does, you can bet that guy will be someone who makes smart decisions above anything else.