MMQB's Peter King accidentally misquoted Bill Belichick in his weekly column, interpreting a quote from 2009 as Belichick expressing an interest to coach into his 70s.
"I won't be like Marv Levy and coach in my 70s," Belichick expressed in the 2009 documentary A Football Life. "You don't have to worry about that."
King interpreted that as Belichick deciding he was going to coach forever, and King even threw together some numbers to show how close Belichick was to being a league leader in many categories. The reason this is interesting is that in the upcoming documentary Do Your Job, all of the Patriots staffers express a believe that Belichick will reconsider his target of retiring in the 70s.
That said, I think King hit the nail on the head for giving a reason to the New England Patriots head honcho coaching for the next forever. It's all about history.
Belichick has been a coach for 40 seasons, and a head coach for 20 of them. He's the active leader in pretty much everything- wins, playoff wins, winning percentage, playoff winning percentage. He's not the leader in regular season losses (Jeff Fisher and Tom Coughlin) or playoff losses (Andy Reid).
Most impressive of all? Belichick was the last head coach to bring a playoff victory to the Cleveland Browns, and he did it against the New England Patriots.
As Belichick currently stands, his 211 regular season wins rank 6th in league history, while his regular season + playoff win total of 233 help him jump Packers legend Curly Lambeau and Browns legend Paul Brown into 4th place.
Former Bills great Marv Levy retired at the age of 72. Let's set that as our retirement age for the 63-year-old Belichick, providing him with nine more seasons in charge of the Patriots.
Belichick only needs two regular season wins to pass Paul Brown, and 15 to pass Curly Lambeau, meaning that two more seasons of Belichick will move himself into the top four by regular season metrics. Cowboys great Tom Landry is 39 regular season wins ahead of Belichick, meaning it will take four more 10-win seasons for Belichick to move into third, behind Colts and Dolphins head coach Don Shula (328 regular season wins) and Bears great George Halas (318). Let's assume that Belichick passing all but Shula and Halas is a certainty.
To pass Halas, Belichick would have to average 12 wins per season until a retirement at the age of 72 to move into second. He would require 13 wins per season to pass Shula.
Belichick has averaged over 12 wins per year over the past decade, and 12.6 wins per year over the past five seasons. If Belichick won at that rate through the age of 72, he would pass Halas and sit four wins behind Shula in the regular season rankings. There's no way that Belichick would let the record sit one season away from him.
Heck, if Belichick's winning rate slipped to 10 or 9 wins per season, he would still just sit a maximum of four seasons away from the regular season title.
In order to pass Halas in total wins, Belichick would have to average slightly over 10 wins per year, which, including the playoffs, is something Belichick has failed to do just twice in his Patriots tenure. He would need to average just under 13 wins per season to pass Shula in total victories by the age of 72.
If we bump Belichick's retirement age out to 75, he will have to average just 10 wins per season to pass Shula in both regular season and total victories, and just eight wins per year to pass Halas in total victories and nine wins per year to pass Halas in the regular season.
Essentially, 75 is the new 72. Even if Belichick falls off his torrid victory pace with the retirement of Tom Brady, achieving the #1 spot in coaching victories isn't just possible- it's probable.