EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

January 3, 2013

Time to reflect on Belichick's greatness

It’s been a wild few days all around the National Football League, beginning around 9:45 a.m. Monday when the guillotines started falling like snowflakes, one after another.

There were seven coaches and five general managers fired, including those with big names in big NFL cities. There are three more coaches in Jacksonville, Hempstead, N.Y., and Detroit who very easily could have (and should have) brought that number to 10.

It’s been ESPN’s and the NFL Network’s dream. There have been breaking news stories, press conferences, tears, big tabloid headlines, rumors, owners in hiding, etc.

But there might as well be a bubble around the six-state New England region, where there has been zero anxiety surrounding their favorite football franchise. There has been no drama and no big news splashes.

Which means one thing: Business as usual.

Well here’s some business that slipped under the radar this week after the Philadelphia Eagles canned Andy Reid three days ago: Bill Belichick is the longest-tenured coach — 12th season with the Patriots — in the NFL.

But here’s even better news:

Belichick’s team might be as good now as it has ever been, with one of the youngest defenses in the league and one that may not be far from being one of the best. And we all know the offense is not going to struggle putting points on the scoreboard for another handful of seasons with Tom Brady still bringing his “A” game.

Sure, there have been some “recent” low points.

It’s been three years since Belichick and “Fourth-and-Two,” when he chose to go for it on fourth down from the Patriots own 28-yard line with 2:08 remaining against Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. The decision was called “wreckless,” “arrogant,” and “football suicide” after it failed to work and the Colts eventually scored the winning touchdown to win 35-34.

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