Super Bowl 53

Bill Belichick gives great insight into Julian Edelman's Super Bowl success

Bill Belichick gives great insight into Julian Edelman's Super Bowl success

Want Bill Belichick to give you detailed, insightful answers?

Just get him in a room with an NFL Films crew and start rolling some game tape.

NFL Network will air two New England Patriots-centric documentaries Wednesday night: "Do Your Job Part III: Bill Belichick and the 2018 Patriots" and "America's Game" which focuses on the Patriots' postseason run to Super Bowl LIII glory.

If NFL Network's teaser videos are any indication, the documentaries will be must-see TV. Exhibit A: This 38-second clip from "America's Game," in which Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels break down why Julian Edelman was so successful against the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII.

Belichick's explanation is actually pretty simple: By putting Edelman in the slot, the Patriots forced the Rams to either move a cornerback inside in man coverage or match him up with a linebacker in zone coverage.

Most importantly, Belichick and McDaniels were in lock-step with the strategy of feeding Edelman, as McDaniels adds the Patriots' mindset was to "ride this until we can't."

The result? Edelman tortured the Rams in the middle of the field to the tune of 10 catches, 141 yards and a Super Bowl MVP award.

If you want to see more of Belichick and McDaniels, you're in luck: "Do Your Job" focuses heavily on the relationship between head coach and offensive coordinator.

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NFL Network's Patriots 'Do Your Job Part III' focuses on Belichick-McDaniels relationship

NFL Network's Patriots 'Do Your Job Part III' focuses on Belichick-McDaniels relationship

The NFL Network documentary "Do Your Job Part III" that debuts on Sept. 4 on NFL Network chronicles the Patriots' journey to their sixth Super Bowl title, but in doing so, it also focuses on the relationship between Bill Belichick and his top assistant, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

That collaboration began in 2001, when McDaniels was an entry-level assistant for Belichick on the Patriots' first Super Bowl-winning team.

"He was basically teaching me how to work at his level," McDaniels recalls in the documentary, "[By saying] 'no, it’s not OK to be good. It’s not OK to be detailed most of the time. What I want is as close to perfect as you can make it.’ ”

“It’s hard for me to imagine anybody being a better leader and a better role model for a young coach,” McDaniels says “He gives you responsibility, and then he lets you do your job. Because we’re not being micromanaged, that gives you confidence, and then you start to build trust. That’s just how a good organization works, and he fosters that every day.”

In turn, the teacher says he's taken lessons from the student.

"I've learned a lot from him," Belichick says in the film. "He has a perspective that's valuable for me to understand."

The defensive-minded head coach said he rarely sees things differently than his offensive coordinator when it comes to game-planning.

Pats acquire offensive line help: 

“I give him a little bit of input, but 90 to 95 percent is his plan, his vision,” Belichick says. “Rarely do we see things that differently. But sometimes there will be things that I suggest. Sometimes he’ll say, ‘I think that would be great,’ and sometimes he’ll say, ‘I don’t really think this is the right time for us to do that. Here’s the reason why.’ And he’s usually right.”

The inside look at the relationship - as well as this week's retirement of Colts' quarterback Andrew Luck, may help explain McDaniels' last-minute decision last offseason to turn down the head coaching job in Indianapolis.

In fact, the film opens with the ring ceremony at Patriots owner Robert Kraft's house earlier this summer, where Belichick is seen saying, “Josh, I’m glad you didn’t go to Indianapolis. Let’s start with that.”

It's a Patriots night on NFL Network Sept. 4 with "Do Your Job Part III: Bill Belichick" at 8 p.m., followed by "America's Game: 2018 Patriots." 


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Great Patriots Debate: Who deserves more credit, Brady or Belichick?

Great Patriots Debate: Who deserves more credit, Brady or Belichick?

If there’s a more apt metaphor for building a football team than Bill Parcells’ famous “groceries” line from 22 years ago, I can’t think of it.

A refresher – when Parcells quit the Patriots in January 1997 he alluded to personnel meddling as the main reason, saying, “If they want you to cook the dinner, at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries.”


Makes sense. Players and coaches are the ingredients. The head coach/GM spreads them on the counter and knows in a glance how well he shopped and what he’s capable of presenting.

But who really does the cooking, the coach or his most important players?

And who is most responsible for a perfect dinner, the guy who did the shopping and came up with the recipe or the guy who actually stood over the flame and cooked it?

We close our Great Patriots Debate series with this Gordian Knot question: Who deserves more credit for the Patriots success, Bill Belichick or Tom Brady?

They are strands of DNA joined in 2000 now intertwined for 20 seasons. None of the great quarterback-head coach marriages – Montana-Walsh, Marino-Shula, Starr-Lombardi, Bradshaw-Noll, Staubach-Landry, Brees-Payton, Holmgren-Favre and Manning-Dungy – got to the same plane as Brady-Belichick.

When it comes to longevity, Lombardis and annual excellence – 13 times in the 17 seasons Brady has played more than one game, the Patriots have been in the NFL’s Final Four – it will never be matched.

Chew on this: the Patriots have been so successful in an NFL rigged for parity that the league has intervened multiple times since 2004 in an effort to bring them back to the pack, changing rules, confiscating draft picks, suspending Brady, etc. And still? Same as it ever was.

This is a collaboration like Lennon-McCartney or, maybe even more accurately, like Auerbach and Russell. If Auerbach had Wilt Chamberlain instead of Russell would the Celtics have won eight titles in nine seasons? If Belichick had Peyton Manning would the Patriots have sustained this long?

I would say no in both cases because the vision of Auerbach and Belichick needed the ethos, ego and mental makeup of Russell and Brady to achieve what they have.

But for the sake of debate, let’s try to split this atom.

The case for Belichick begins with the fact he drafted Brady. And, while he took him after 198 other players in the 1999 draft, Belichick, Charlie Weis and Scott Pioli were sharp enough to see what they had.  

Despite having an established, favorite son franchise quarterback in Drew Bledsoe, Belichick did what was best for the football team in 2001 and pried the offense from Bledsoe’s entitled hands and gave it to Brady. In doing so, Belichick had to stare down his Cleveland past and his decision to bench beloved Bernie Kosar and do the same thing again. He had to be prepared to be framed as a cold, out of touch, control freak bent on self-sabotage. And he was framed that way.

“Who benches a Pro Bowl quarterback with a $103-million contract who was forced from the field by a sheared artery in favor of a chubby checkdown expert? Someone who doesn’t learn.”

But the team-building brilliance of Belichick overwhelmed the inch-deep analysis that followed the Brady-Bledsoe decision.
The 2000 to 2004 seasons were master classes in economics, psychology, sociology and management, never mind the sublime, bottom-line, no-frills football Belichick and his staff embraced.

The first five years of this collaboration were all thanks to the architect and that was Belichick.

Those teams were carried by the New England defense. But that’s because they didn’t have the offensive firepower to put the game in Brady’s hands on a week-to-week basis. And maybe he wasn’t quite ready to hold it.

But when the defense sagged in the 2005 and 2006 seasons and Brady’s surrounding personnel got even worse, the team dipped.

Then, in 2007, when Brady was given the toys necessary to excel, he showed he was ready to take ownership of the Patriots week-to-week fortunes by having a historic season.

That’s when he became the straw that stirs the Patriots drink.

And he’s remained that for the past 12 years. He’s the one who takes the personnel equivalent of a poop sandwich with no bread – like last season – and figures it out. He’s the one who can have a player like Randy Moss exiled, see Deion Branch inserted, and be named unanimous MVP as he was in 2010.

He’s the one who can orchestrate 2014 – leading the offense to 14 points in the fourth quarter of a Super Bowl against a generationally great defense to cap a season that began with the stunning trade of Logan Mankins with a championship.  

He’s the one who threw for 505 against the Eagles in SB52, keeping the Patriots afloat while their defense got shredded. And he’s the one who authored the SB51 comeback.

He does his job for less money than the other “elite” quarterbacks and he does it under circumstances that would leave the Rodgers, Roethlisbergers and Mannings in the fetal position weeping about a lack of support or protection.

Bill Belichick is the greatest coach there’s ever been in any professional sport. But he’s put five loaves and two fishes in front of Brady and asked him to perform a miracle several times. And Brady’s the one that ultimately feeds the multitude.

Agree? Or Disagree?

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