Most people are surprised that the New England Patriots are 3-0 at this point in the season. They were expected to lose the season opener on the road against the Arizona Cardinals and no one would have been surprised if they lost with a third string quarterback on Thursday Night against the Houston Texans.
Just don’t count a pair of Hall of Fame coaches among the surprised, according to USA TODAY’s Tom Pelissero.
“It certainly doesn’t surprise me,” Bill Parcells told USA TODAY Sports. “I think one of Bill’s great strengths is to take what he has momentarily, figure out who he’s playing against, and then devise something that gives his team the best chance to be successful against the opponent — that week, in that moment.”
“They do a great job of getting the players to adapt and understand that they can do different things,” Tony Dungy said. “Those kind of situations, they don’t bother them. He’s the best adjustment coach in football, in adjusting to the strength of his players and masking the weaknesses of their team. It didn’t surprise me at all.”
Parcells and Dungy will be regarded as two of the most influential head coaches when we reflect on the rivals and mentors that shaped Bill Belichick’s career. Belichick rose to national acclaim under Parcells, while Dungy might be considered Belichick’s only peer (and that might be a stretch) over the past twenty seasons.
The two head coaches highlight the traits of a Belichick team and what makes them so difficult to defeat, even with Tom Brady on the sideline.
Dungy notes that the Patriots take away what teams do best, that they surprise teams with new schemes every week, and that the Patriots never beat themselves on the field.
Parcells highlights Belichick’s flexibility to change the system at the drop of a hat or a suspension.
The Patriots need to survive one more week against a Bills team clawing for life before they can move forward with Brady under center and an eye towards the back stretch of the season. Belichick’s ability to adjust the team over the first three weeks just adds to his mystique.
Check out the article here, including a quote from a third Hall of Fame coach in Marv Levy.