FOXBORO, Mass. -- New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick joined an exclusive club Sunday by earning the 300th win of his legendary career, joining Hall of Famers Don Shula and George Halas as the only head coaches to achieve this milestone.
The historic victory earned Belichick plenty of praise from his own players and opponents, including Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
“I've seen that, and I didn’t want him to have his 300th on us, but he did have it," Beckham said at his locker after New England's 27-13 win at Gillette Stadium. "He’s a phenomenal coach. I was looking at Don Shula, I don’t know how many wins he has -- 340? -- and I’m thinking, ‘Is Belichick trying to surpass that?’ And I just didn’t want to give him the 300th win today. But he went out and got it. He’s a phenomenal coach. You could argue if he’s the best ever.”
Beckham is right -- you certainly can argue Belichick is the best ever. He's won 269 regular season games and a record 31 playoff wins in his 25 years as a head coach. His nine conference championships and six Super Bowl titles also are records for a head coach.
Belichick's 300th win fittingly came against the Browns. Cleveland game him his first head coaching job in 1991, and his first career win came versus the Patriots at the old Foxboro Stadium in Week 2 of the 1991 campaign.
The 67-year-old coach, unsurprisingly, bestowed much of the credit for his latest accomplishment to the players and assistant coaches he's worked with over the years. But it's quite clear to all football fans, especially those who watched Belichick run circles around Browns coach Freddie Kitchens on Sunday, that coaching is a significant part of winning and losing in the NFL. The Patriots are very fortunate to have had the most detailed and prepared coach in league history running their organization for 20 seasons.
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