The New England Patriots entered the 2018 season as a team in apparent turmoil — from stories about internal disarray to offseason departures to rumors surrounding star players Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. Through it all and an inconsistent start into the year, however, the Patriots train kept rolling. First to another division title, then to the playoffs, then to the organization’s third Super Bowl title in the last five years.
Conducting the machine was once again Bill Belichick, and he did so in masterful fashion and despite all the stories swirling around his club. Despite all the challenges from inside and outside the organization, Belichick kept his team focused and prepared — and still ahead of the curve in a year when the NFL’s youth movement seemingly tried its best to force a generational change upon the league.
In the end, Belichick and the Patriots reigned supreme once more. It is therefore no surprise to see him receive a familiar honor: just like he did the last three offseasons, Rotoworld’s Patrick Daugherty ranked the future Hall of Famer as the best head coach in pro football — ahead of upstarts like the Los Angeles Rams’ Sean McVay (#3) and the Philadelphia Eagles’ Doug Pederson (#4), or veterans such as Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid (#2).
“Belichick’s death star has no design flaws. There are only strengths to be improved upon,” Daugherty writes in his rationale explaining Belichick again coming out on top in his rankings. “On the rare occasions Belichick loses control, order is immediately restored. Seth Wickersham exposed some nasty behind-the-scenes dysfunction in January 2018. Belichick’s response? Make the Super Bowl twice in the next 13 months.”
“Challengers come and go. Occasionally, a Nick Foles or David Tyree pulls a fast one. More typical is what happened to Andy Reid and Sean McVay’s ‘future of football’ in the postseason. Reid and McVay really are moving the game forward, but it’s to a place Belichick has already been. He is the sport’s all-seeing eye. Only he will decide when to close it,” the author concluded about New England’s head honcho.
Belichick, of course, is the most valuable asset in all of football and 2018 proved it once again. With other teams investing in the passing game on both sides of the football, he modeled his team to be an identity-shifting hybrid on both offense and defense — one that was able to outgun Reid’s high-flying Chiefs in the AFC title game, two weeks before stifling McVay’s equally productive Rams in Super Bowl 53.
Even though last season saw some outstanding coach jobs, Belichick again showed why he is the master and in a class of his own.