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Patriots Links 6/26/09 - Patriots Sweep All-Decade Team, Coach, MVP

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<em>The Patriots won three Super Bowls in four years during the 2000s, leading to all-decade honors for the team, coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.</em>
The Patriots won three Super Bowls in four years during the 2000s, leading to all-decade honors for the team, coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.

Tim Graham ESPN.com selected Belichick as its all-decade coach for guiding the New England Patriots to three Super Bowls and four AFC championships and at least tying for the AFC East's best record each year since 2001.

That same résumé is why ESPN.com also chose Tom Brady as its MVP and the Patriots as its team of the decade. The honors were bestowed with consultation from NFL general managers, coaches, scouts and players.

"You have to recognize championships because, ultimately, that's what we're playing for," Belichick said when informed of ESPN.com's selections.

Belichick is more than a head coach. When the Patriots hired him in 2000, owner Robert Kraft essentially gave Belichick total control over football operations. Belichick handpicked his supporting cast and signed off on every major decision.

"He's made some great moves, brought in some players who had been released from other places. And he's done it year after year," said Ted Marchibroda, the coach who gave Belichick his start with the Baltimore Colts in 1975.

Mike Reiss notes Matt Light chose to attend the NFL's Broadcast Bootcamp for the same reason he’s enrolled three times in the NFL’s Entrepreneurial program:

"As a player, you get some unique opportunities to learn from some of the best, and I thought this was a great opportunity to learn,’’ he said. "It’s a chance to find out if this is something you want to do when you’re done playing. A lot of the guys here, including myself, kind of feel like this is something they might be interested in, but they really don’t know where they would fit in or what they really want to do, so you come to a broadcast boot camp and get thrown into the fire, and you go through a lot of different scenarios.’’

LOCAL SHOTS

Patriots all-time leading receiver Troy Brown, center, enters the Sport Museum’s The Tradition sports gala at TD Banknorth Garden with sons Sirmon and Sanjay Wednesday.

"The guy’s just a winner," Taylor told Graham. "He knows how to win, period.

"He’s got the talent. But everybody at this level has talent. … Maybe he does have a little more God-given ability than some others, but between the ears he’s as good as they come."

LONG SHOTS

"I wanted to do it," he said. "I met with David Moores [the former Liverpool owner], who is a fine gentlemen, and we came very close to buying it, very close. But in the end, my instinct was - not without a salary cap. If a salary cap come to the English Premier League, I’d buy a team in a minute."