Monday, Apr. 26, 2004

Bill Bellichick

He's so unhip, he's cool. after you win two super Bowls, a quirk in your personality becomes endearing. If Bill Belichick, coach of the New England Patriots, did not win, people would say he was not flamboyant enough, that he couldn't relate to the pro football player. That was said during his tenure with the Cleveland Browns in the early 1990s. And it was wrong.

He has learned from his early mistakes. Bill is innovative because he has a fine-tuned plan and doesn't vary from it. Now teams are starting to copy the Belichick model: Don't just go after the big-time free agents; find players who really complement your team. Rings spawn imitation. I've covered some 20 Patriots games over the last three years, and there is no doubt in my mind that those guys go into each game believing that when it comes to the Xs and Os, no one has a better plan. That gives a player a huge advantage because it lets him think he has secrets. That's what Belichick does for his players. Plus, he's not as dull as people think. Heck, he goes to Bon Jovi concerts! I once told Bill I had a video of him dancing at one of those concerts. He had this frightened look in his eyes, so there must be some tape of him out there.

Simms is a CBS broadcaster and ex-QB for the New York Giants

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