We have said this maybe five or six times at least in the past 10 years and still here it comes again. Is this Bill Belichick’s best coaching job? Maybe 2001 was Belichick’s best, taking 27 free agents and turning a 5-11 team into improbable super bowl champions.
How about 2008 when Tom Brady went down with a season ending knee injury in the 1st quarter of the first game and Belichick went with unproven Matt Cassel and went 11-5? Could it be 2010, when he booted Randy Moss off the team, and while everyone bashed him, the Patriots finished 14-2 after returning to the old Patriot way.
Wait a minute, could 2011 be his best? Well that story isn’t finished, but the point is Bill Belichick always seems to get better that you have to say “is this his best?”
When you are coaching guys like Sterling Moore or Antwuan Molden or keeping the center position steady through a rash of injuries, people notice. By the way, there hasn’t been one botched snap under center and only one missed shotgun snap.
The Patriots are so fundamentally sound year from year that the model has been set. When things get rocky, New England fans don’t worry much, citing “in Bill we trust”. But seriously, what was Bill’s best coaching job? How about 2007 when the Patriots pounded the NFL into submission, going 16-0 in the regular season? Remember NFL crying about how the Patriots were running up the score.
Could it be 2003? 42 different starters or after a 2-2 start the Patriots went on a 21 game winning streak that went into 2004 that included a super bowl win. Do you remember the Monday night game where Belichick had the offense take an intentional safety in order to get the ball back with time to win the game against the Broncos.
What about 2004? We know they were loaded, but an unproven Asante Samuel and Randall Gay as starting corners and using Troy Brown defensive back? Remember Hank Poteat, the original Phillip Adams (released yesterday, but he'll be back).
Maybe it was 2006 when Belichick went 12-4 and went into the playoffs with only three wide receivers; a tough as nails team that went to top seed San Diego and stomped on their logo, then got beat by the flu and the thermostat Bill Polian turned up in Indy.
There are so many places you can point to and say “Yeah, that was the best”, but it's hard to single one team out. Isn't it funny that you can just keep rattling off teams and moments to put up against each other?