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View Poll Results: Is this Belichick's best coaching job yet?
Is this Belichick's finest coaching job in New England to date?
Personally, I'd say yes. The offense is missing only a flanker who is an actual deep threat, but is otherwise among the best in the league. The defense, however, has been another story throughout this season. Aside from Wilfork, Mayo, Spikes, and Chung, this has been an otherwise patchwork defense throughout the season. Yet they have made steady improvements in the playoffs and, arguably, won the AFCCG for us when Brady had an off day. No matter what your opinions on the defense have been (and most of you know mine), you can't deny that they have played steadily better in the two games we've had throughout the playoffs than they did in, say, November and December. In the regular season, the team allowed 411.1 YPG and 21.4 PPG. In the playoffs (granted, a smaller sample size, but you can feel free to take any two games in a row throughout the season and compare), they've allowed 322.5 YPG and 15 PPG. That's a difference of 88.6 YPG that correlates to the difference of 6.6 PPG.
On top of that, this is a new and younger team that only has 11 guys with Super Bowl experience on it. For the most part, a lot of these guys have been inexperienced with the stage of the playoffs (which is also a reason for blame when it comes to the Jets loss last year). Belichick and his staff have coached this guys up to be AFC champions with a very realistic shot of winning the Super Bowl if our interior O-Line can protect Brady. For my money, this has to be Belichick's best coaching job yet with the 2001 and 2008 seasons not far behind. Hopefully this year has the same end result as the '01 campaign did.
P.S. - Keep in mind I'm talking about Belichick as a COACH, not a personnel evaluator. Please keep your opinions about that aspect of his job out of this thread. And please specify why you do or don't think so after your vote. This, IMO, is an interesting debate.
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CREDIT - Sicilian
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Re: Is this Belichick's finest coaching job in New England to date?
You know, Kontra I have been wondering that same question lately.
With the remarkable job that he's done all year with the following issues, I think it's a great question. I do think that we have to win on Sunday though, for us to be able to say that it was his greatest job ever.
Consider the following:
---probably the best job ever at free agency
with misses of Ochocinco and Haynesworth
---The draft, and continuing to set up the team's future
AND future 1st and 2nd rounders for this 2012 draft...all impressive
---the managing of the injury situation
Losing the starting Center, the starting RT, the starting RCB, the starting LDE, and getting rid of such guys as Meriweather, Taylor Price, Sanders, etc has been an impressive feat. He has also managed the situation of very key players such as losing Chung, Spikes, Fletcher for long 1/2 season stretches this yr.
---The DL has been outstanding, and he completely retooled and improved the secondary, which still has problems but has drastically improved by moving around players, and getting the most from a lesser talented group than most of the 32 NFL teams. (there were plenty of times this yr that many wondered if this was our worst 'talented' group of secondary players ever)
---getting the most from the positions
All of the following have been just fine, if not better than the 2010 versions, and certainly the 2009 versions:
(OL, TE, WR (Branch has been effective and had a fine yr, coupled with Welker), DL, LB, ST)
---getting the team to believe in itself, and show non-stop commitment
I don't remember another yr's team who had the guts to come back from several majory deficits in the same yr
---The utilization of the UDFA's
With 1/3+ of the overall roster and 8 starters as UDFA's, this has certainly been impressive
---One of the better ST units in the entire league
With all of these focuses on key areas, I would certainly say that another win on Sunday will put him as the best coaching year in his career. Another loss however, and many people unfortunately lose a lot of these feelings. A loss Sunday, and his great 2011 campaign goes unnoticed by many.