As I savored the final moments of Bill Belichick’s A Life in Football, I realized that the 2009 Patriots season now had a new special place in my heart. Before this show, 2009 was the most disappointing seasons of the Belichick coaching era but now it will forever be the one (and perhaps only) season that we got a small glimpse behind the curtain of the Bill Belichick-New England Patriots machine.
In a strange way it was almost more poetic to see a horror show season from the inside. We already have some some small glimpses the scenes for the seasons that went right. They’re called the Three Games to Glory DVDs.
You truly see what teams and coaches are made of when their backs are against the wall and we saw plenty of that with the 2009 Patriots season. Belichick couldn’t find the answers. The team couldn’t battle through adversity. And it was clear that changes were needed.
The best parts of the documentary for me were seeing Belichick speak to and about his team. Hearing how he motivates. And how ruthless his critical eye can really be when he turns it on himself and his operation.
These are the moments that make great coaches, and they’re the ones that we on the outside never get to see. To be a fly on the wall for some of those moments was truly fascinating and special.
I am greatly appreciative to NFL Films for making such a definitive piece on Belichick that should put to rest a lot of the clueless speculation as to what Belichick is really like off the field.
Regardless of how much effect it did or didn’t have, Spygate tarnished Belichick image for a lot of NFL fans. But I believe that this documentary should win him back some of the good will he lost. Those who previously saw Belichick as an evil genius who lived in a cave with nothing but game film, playbooks and a burning hatred of the media now have a new appreciation and understanding of the kind of coach that he is.
The bottom line: Bill Belichick is one of the all time great NFL coaches. He has his own style, but it’s clear that it works. And it seems like he will continue to make it work for the foreseeable future.
We’ll have our quick hit thoughts on part two coming later today.