Bill Belichick isn’t just the New England Patriots’ head coach. He’s also their de facto general manager, the final say on all personnel moves.
Belichick’s work in the latter earned him a postseason honor from the Pro Football Writers Association.
The PFWA on Thursday announced Belichick as its 2021 Executive of the Year. It’s the first time he’s received that award, which was established in 1993.
Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel and Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn were voted Coach of the Year and Assistant Coach of the Year, respectively.
Belichick led a full-scale overhaul of New England’s roster that included the most expensive free agent class in franchise history and the best Patriots draft class in recent memories. After going 7-9 and missing the postseason in 2020 for the first time in more than a decade, the new-look Patriots improved to 10-7 and earned a wild-card playoff spot, finishing a game back of first place in the AFC East.
Impact veteran newcomers included edge rusher Matthew Judon, tight end Hunter Henry, wide receiver Kendrick Bourne, offensive tackle Trent Brown, cornerback Jalen Mills, linebacker Kyle Van Noy, defensive tackle Davon Godchaux and guard Ted Karras, with a few pickups (namely tight end Jonnu Smith and wideout Nelson Agholor) failing to live up to their hefty contracts.
Quarterback Mac Jones headlined a promising crop of Patriots rookies that also featured defensive tackle Christian Barmore and running back Rhamondre Stevenson. Jones and Barmore both earned spots on the PFWA All-Rookie Team.
The last Patriots representative to win PFWA Executive of the Year was former vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli, who did so in 2003 and 2007.