Bill Belichick spent exactly one day as head coach of the New York Jets back in 2000. And he’s able to laugh about it now — 19 years, five rings and nine Super Bowl appearances later.
Belichick, who will be gunning for his sixth title as head coach of the New England Patriots in two weeks when his team faces the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII, poked fun at himself Monday on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni & Fauria” when asked about the 25th anniversary of Robert Kraft buying the Pats.
Belichick noted Adam Gase, who was hired as head coach of the Jets a couple of weeks ago, already has lasted much longer than his own one-day tenure in East Rutherford.
Belichick shocked the football world back in 2000 when he resigned as head coach of the Jets during what was supposed to be his introductory press conference. He subsequently became head coach of the Patriots. The rest, of course, is history.
Belichick’s 2000 arrival in New England actually represented a reunion of sorts, as he spent the 1996 season as the Patriots’ assistant head coach and defensive backs coach under Bill Parcells. It was then that Belichick met Kraft, ultimately setting the stage for his return to New England after three seasons as the Jets’ assistant head coach and defensive coordinator (1997-99).
“That was a great year for me coming here in ’96,” Belichick said Monday, per WEEI.com. “We had a good year. I certainly experienced things from a different perspective after being a head coach in Cleveland for five years. I worked with the secondary, I worked with the defense with Al (Groh) and Bill (Parcells). Just being in another organization that was run differently than obviously the Cleveland organization was. I developed a relationship with Robert and his family. So when I was able to come back here three years later, in the 2000 season, things had changed quite a bit as far as the team went, but our relationship and I think the bond that we constructed in ’96 really paid off and grew and it’s continued to grow. Very fortunate to have the opportunity to be the head coach here. I try to give my best every day and hopefully we can win one more game this year. That is our goal.”
Gase is the Jets’ sixth head coach since Belichick scribbled his resignation on a napkin and stunned everyone upon taking the podium. One can’t help but wonder how the past two decades would have unfolded had Belichick stayed put.
The Jets haven’t advanced to the Super Bowl since the 1968 season. They haven’t made the playoffs since the 2010 season.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images