Bill Belichick is one of the only NFL head coaches with ultimate power of his team’s roster.
The Philadelphia Eagles’ Chip Kelly, who will match wits with Belichick on Sunday when his team faces the New England Patriots, is the only other head-coach-slash-general-manager in the league. Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher also have power over their rosters, but they’re officially listed as executive vice presidents.
Belichick’s power and success as a general manager sometimes goes underappreciated when discussing his legacy. He not only has coached four teams to Super Bowl titles, but he built them, as well.
Belichick discussed what goes into his decisions in his dual role Friday morning.
“They’re all interrelated to me,” Belichick told reporters. “I’m fortunate that I have input in really all those decisions and I just try to do what’s best for the team, that’s all. I’m not trying to hurt anybody. I’m not trying to help any individual. I’m trying to help the team. My decisions are based on what’s best for the team. I made that clear to the team on numerous occasions in no uncertain terms.
“My decisions are easy. They’re what’s best for the team. That doesn’t mean everybody likes them. That doesn’t mean everybody thinks that they are the best for them individually or maybe even their unit, but in the end the overall decisions are made for the overall betterment of the team. Sure, there may be some that are right, I’m sure plenty are wrong. Regardless of whatever we think about them, that’s the intent behind them. I don’t think that’s hard. I think that’s easy.”
One of Belichick’s keys to success has been avoiding me-first players.
“Frankly, I think the harder thing is to make the decision that’s good for an individual player which, then, really isn’t the best thing for the other 52 guys,” Belichick said. “So you’re picking one guy to say, ‘OK, well, we’ll do this for him so he’s happy,’ but in the end if you’ve even marginally affected the other 52, I think that’s really acting irresponsibly as a coach. I don’t believe in that. That’s the way I look at it.”
The Patriots have one of the best young defenses in the NFL, and Belichick built it up through homegrown talent. Starting safeties Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung, cornerback Logan Ryan, defensive linemen Chandler Jones, Malcom Brown and Dominique Easley and linebackers Jamie Collins, Dont’a Hightower and Jerod Mayo all were Patriots draft picks, while No. 1 cornerback Malcolm Butler was signed as an undrafted free agent last season
Thumbnail photo via Chris Humphreys/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Nov 29, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick before the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports