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Saturday, Feb. 4, 2008. What's really going on in New England? With salary caps, franchise tags and compensation draft picks, the NFL has made itself the most competitive league on Earth, and is designed to prevent dynasties from taking place. Yet there are the Pats, poised to win their fourth Super Bowl in seven years. They laugh at the idea of league parity and scoff at those pathetic underdogs America embraces.
Along their sidelines paces a hooded, morose-looking man staring silently at the ground and scheming of world domination. He is Bill Belicheck, and he apparently knows more than anyone else in the football world.
There has to be more to their dominance than what we see on film and paper. They have a secret ingredient, an invisible hand making it all possible. Conspiracy Slow down. Let's look closer.
Bill is the son of Steve Belicheck, who wrote a book in the '60s called Football Scouting Methods , and knowing that helps explain why Bill can see talent in players like he's detecting it through a CAT scan. He is genetically predisposed to find and mold great football players.
His closet working companion is a mysterious man named, Ernie Adams. They met in college in 1970 and have been a symbiotic brain-trust ever since. Adams is in the booth during games observing and instructing into Belicheck's headset. Most people, even most players, have no knowledge of this man or a clear idea of his role and impact to the team. Adams official title is Director of Football Research, but it helps to think of him as the common sense coach.
Why don’t more teams have a common sense coach? I’ve always thought that Marvin Lewis, of all people, could use another brain during games. A brain that has no coaching, or play calling responsibilities. Marv needs a person who watches the game objectively and is removed from the passion and egos of the sideline. A cool-headed voice of reason.
The Patriots have stayed one step ahead of the league because they continue to change their model of success. Instead of remaining satisfied with the blueprint that has won them multiple championships, New England tears down the walls of conventional thinking and pushes the boundaries of how football should be played. Old-timers look at one another astonished that they just watched a linebacker catch his 10th career touchdown. They gape at the television stunned that a fifth-string receiver preserved perfection with a blocked punt.
The Patriots game preparation borders on telepathic ability. Their in-game adjustments seem like their reading from a recipe book. The rest of the NFL scurries behind New England, imitating their every move like an older brother they idolize. While Belicheck is heralded as the miracle worker behind the blitzkrieg, it’s his other mental half, Ernie Adams, who balances the weight of the tandem’s genius. Now that the world knows of Belicheck’s secret weapon, look for the rest of the league to hire their own common sense coach.
Mojokong - I have one. His name is Ming Krosky. He's nothin' special but he comes cheap.