One could describe Bill Belichick in any number of ways.
He’s The Hoodie. The GOAT. A legend whose football acumen is renowned across the NFL.
But for some, a nickname given to Belichick early in his coaching career might perfectly encapsulate the New England Patriots’ head man.
Here’s an excerpt from “The Dynasty,” by Jeff Benedict, which The Athletic shared Wednesday in wake of the book’s publication:
One of Belichick’s nicknames was Doom. Bill Parcells had given it to him when Belichick was his defensive coordinator for the Giants. “We used to call him Doom because every time he walked around it was the end of the world,” ex-Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor said. “‘Ah, you didn’t make this play.’ ‘Ah, you didn’t go over here.’ It was the end of the world.”
The nickname fit Belichick’s dour demeanor, which fed into his tendency to focus on and prepare for scenarios that most coaches overlooked. “Looking at the negative side and preparing for the negative has made him a better football coach, because he prepares for all of the things that can go bad,” said Patriots defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel. “And to tell you the truth, I think he kind of halfway liked the idea that people were calling him Doom because that way, he didn’t have to be nice to anybody.”
Benedict’s book goes on to describe the situation that existed when Drew Bledsoe went down with a scary injury in 2001, paving the way for Tom Brady to become New England’s starting quarterback.
Rather than project doom and gloom — as had typically been the case with Belichick — the Patriots coach chose to express confidence in his new signal-caller. The rest, of course, is history.
So, does the “Doom” nickname still apply today? It probably depends on who you ask, especially with his occasional press conference grumpiness, but there have been plenty of players throughout Belichick’s successful run in New England who’ve said he’s far looser, funnier than what most of the public has come to recognize as his usual demeanor.
Nevertheless, Belichick’s “utter glee” probably doesn’t look like yours.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images