Bill Belichick and The Greatest Coaches Ever

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN is counting down the 20 greatest coaches in NFL History; where will Bill Belichick be ranked?

As someone who mails it in at work on a regular basis, the NFL offseason is tough for me. The amount of reading material available to me is slim, and to be honest there are only so many YouTube searches for the words "fail," "fart," and "prank" that a man can do before he wants something a little more meaningful. And so I was pleasantly surprised recently when I went to ESPN.com, one of the many stops on the Alec Shane Office Slackoff Tour, and discovered that a panel of experts will be counting down the 20 greatest NFL coaches of all time. The countdown officially began today, with Tony Dungy kicking things off at the 20 spot.

Now while this list should be fun to talk about, will possibly ignite some discussion/debate, and should give us all something interesting to read over the coming weeks, I'm very aware that it's ultimately pretty much just filler, a cheap trick by uncreative journalists to fool their audience into thinking that they have more actual insight than they really do. Most of us see through ruses like this, but we don't say anything because we're just grateful to read something football-related. It's actually pretty shameful, to be honest; I mean seriously, who does that?

And since there isn't much else NFL to talk about at the moment, I may as well buy in. While I'm going to hold off on commenting on whether or not Dungy belongs on this list, especially considering some of his competition, I did find myself wondering:

Where will Bill Belichick land on this list?

Obviously, as a card-carrying, out-and-proud Patriots homer and unflinching Belichick apologist, I have to say it's the one spot or bust. Bill Belichick is the GOAT and that's just the way it is. Now to those that think I'm out of my mind, I guess I could take a step back and be willing to consider him for the Top 3. Sure, there are some coaches on the ballot who have had better records than Belichick, and some have won more championships. And yes, some may possibly have had a more profound impact on the game as a whole. But how many have done what Bill Belichick has done in this day and age? How many have found such consistent success in the Free Agency Era without the benefit of being able to slowly assemble a winning team that stays cohesive across multiple seasons? And how many have the winning percentage combined with multiple championships (not to mention even more championship appearances)? None, that's who.

Objectively, I guess I could see Belichick falling as low as 7, but anything lower than that will be a crime. I'll definitely be curious to see how this list ends up - whether they decide to make it an actual representation of the greatest coaches of all time, or if they decide to go the NFL Network route and throw a few curve balls in there to rile up the fans and get a bunch of angry comments on the message boards.

What do you think? Where will Bill Belichick ultimately end up on the All-Time Greatest List?

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