If the New England Patriots win their seventh Super Bowl this season, blame NFL Films.

It was NFL Films, after all, that tabbed Bill Belichick to be an analyst for its "NFL 100 Greatest" project, in which Belichick and other panelists determined the best 100 players in NFL history.

The result? Belichick essentially spent his entire offseason watching game film from every NFL era. And as you'd expect from the greatest coach of all time, he picked up quite a few observations.

"Oh, I learned a lot. It was a great experience," Belichick said Tuesday on a conference call when asked about his involvement in the project. 

"I watched a lot of film of players in the (19)30s, the 40s, the 50s and the 60s. Watched quite a bit of that over the summer and last spring, and it was very enlightening studying the great players in different eras and how the game was played.

"You see some plays and you see some strategy. ... I learned a lot about the players, learned a lot about the history of the game and how things evolved to a degree."

NFL Films basically gave the smartest kid in the class extra homework so he could get even better grades.

Belichick didn't just pore over film, though. He also picked the brains of great NFL minds like former Green Bay Packers general manager Ron Wolf and ex-Oakland Raiders head coach John Madden and made note of their best practices.

"They all have a lot of very interesting insight into the players and the game, and that sparked me to go back and look more closely at some of the things they brought up and enlightened me on," Belichick explained. "So, the whole process was great.


"In a way, it definitely made me a better coach. ... It was very educational, informative and motivating to indulge in that process."

Belichick's coaching is a big reason why the Patriots are 10-1 right now despite injuries to key players and a mediocre offense. And at age 67, he's still improving -- thanks in part to the task NFL Films gave him this summer.

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