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Bill Belichick no longer says he’ll retire by 70

The 49ers and Patriots are beginning to separate from the rest of the NFL, but there are question marks surrounding both teams that keep could keep them from an undefeated matchup in the Super Bowl.

A decade ago, Patriots coach Bill Belichick once said he would retire before he was 70. He no longer feels that way.

Belichick was reminded today on WEEI that in 2009, he said, “I won’t be like Marv Levy and coaching in my 70s,” in reference to the Hall of Fame coach who retired from the Bills at age 72. Belichick now says he was only joking.

“When I said it, maybe I didn’t know what 70 felt like. So not really sure if that’s an accurate statement,” Belichick said.

Now 67 years old, Belichick could easily coach to age 73, which would make him the oldest coach in NFL history. (It’s also possible that Pete Carroll, who’s seven months older than Belichick, could still be coaching at age 73.)

Belichick earned his 300th win on Sunday, and would surely love to win 48 more games to pass Don Shula for the most wins in NFL history. Belichick will have to coach to at least age 70 to do that, and it’s looking more likely that he’ll do it.