Bill Belichick and his decision making: Have we learned anything?

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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To me, SJH's post was clearly trying to portray it as not really all that unorthodox of a decision, and not only that, a move that would have been readily understood and praised had it been made by another team. I just can't grasp that line of thinking.
It is not all that unorthodox a decision FOR BILL BELICHICK TO HAVE MADE.

It would be unorthodox for almost every other coach in the league since only Belichick has such a long record of doing things against conventional wisdom.

Had the decision worked, of course it would be understood and praised. BB does unorthodox things all the time and they are judged by the results. Not calling time out int the waning seconds of the Super Bowl against Seattle? Unorthodox and brilliant. Hiring Patricia and Judge to run the offense? Unorthodox and not quite as brilliant.
 

Shelterdog

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To me, SJH's post was clearly trying to portray it as not really all that unorthodox of a decision, and not only that, a move that would have been readily understood and praised had it been made by another team. I just can't grasp that line of thinking.
I'll confess I don't read every word of every SJH post--he needs to switch to decaf. Certainly the move was perceived at the time as unorthodox by both national and local nfl reporters. Crucially--and I think this is one of the reasons it flopped--it appears that the _players_ took it as unorthodox from the start (thus Mac Jones's statement on about the first day of training camp saying he looked forward to teaching Judge the offense of whatever, and some of the comments we've seen in the herald article and elsewhere).
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I'll confess I don't read every word of every SJH post--he needs to switch to decaf. Certainly the move was perceived at the time as unorthodox by both national and local nfl reporters. Crucially--and I think this is one of the reasons it flopped--it appears that the _players_ took it as unorthodox from the start (thus Mac Jones's statement on about the first day of training camp saying he looked forward to teaching Judge the offense of whatever, and some of the comments we've seen in the herald article and elsewhere).
You can read my posts in chunks if that helps. They're not going anywhere lol.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I've read a lot of them over the past 20 years! Just not carefully enough to remember how unorthodox you thought the Judge Patricia move was.
I mean, it was certainly a choice, but I understood why it was made.

I would be far more concerned if BB didn't institute changes this summer after this past season. I think his best attribute is not doubling down on sunk costs. I think of teams like the Steelers who couldn't cover Gronk for 15 years because "we play zone" and they never adjust because that's their thing, and I am glad that BB will actually change his methods when they are not working.
 

loshjott

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Imagine if a young head coach who'd failed in his last job, with very limited experience on offense, named himself QB coach after the tragic death of the incumbent.

He's been making these decisions his whole career.
 

SteveF

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Edit: Deleted post for redundancy. My point had already been covered.
 
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Ed Hillel

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Imagine if a young head coach who'd failed in his last job, with very limited experience on offense, named himself QB coach after the tragic death of the incumbent.

He's been making these decisions his whole career.
I actually didn't realize that. BB was the QB coach in 2001?
 

BaseballJones

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The amazing thing about BB is that, even though he's human and makes mistakes (obviously), he pretty much is an expert in every area of football knowledge. Including things like salary cap management, football history, you name it.
 

Jimbodandy

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The amazing thing about BB is that, even though he's human and makes mistakes (obviously), he pretty much is an expert in every area of football knowledge. Including things like salary cap management, football history, you name it.
Yeah but some doughy writers around the country think that he's arrogant, so you have to look at it from both sides.
 

rodderick

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Yeah but some doughy writers around the country think that he's arrogant, so you have to look at it from both sides.
I actually think what led to the Patricia/Judge blunder was the opposite of arrogance. Bill thought since he can coach anything, every high level coach can also coach anything, given enough guidance. The lack of recognition of how much of an outlier he is likely played a big part in him going that route with the offense.
 

EL Jeffe

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I actually think what led to the Patricia/Judge blunder was the opposite of arrogance. Bill thought since he can coach anything, every high level coach can also coach anything, given enough guidance. The lack of recognition of how much of an outlier he is likely played a big part in him going that route with the offense.
We've gone back and forth on this before, but I genuinely don't understand this argument. Coaches move around all the time. Different positions, different sides of the ball. The outlier is someone who just coaches one position and that's all they ever coach. Like, we think of Scar as the all-time OL Guru, and he certainly coached OL for the bulk of his career. But he's also coached DBs, ST, TEs, been a general defensive assistant, etc. Between college and pros, I think Charlie Weis has coached every single position on the field that there is, both sides of the ball. Thinking a guy who was a really good coach at Position X could also be a really good coach at Position Y isn't arrogant or naive. It's just the nature of coaching.

The biggest problem, as I see it, that Bill ran into was the sheer amount of on-the-job-training coaches he had on offense. Everyone but Caley was new to their role and/or level of responsibility. In a vacuum, some of these coaching choices probably would have been fine. But when essentially every single offensive coach is trying to figure out their role & responsibilities on the fly, that's a pretty big cumulative effect. That to me was his biggest lack of judgement as opposed to any individual move.
 

rodderick

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We've gone back and forth on this before, but I genuinely don't understand this argument. Coaches move around all the time. Different positions, different sides of the ball. The outlier is someone who just coaches one position and that's all they ever coach. Like, we think of Scar as the all-time OL Guru, and he certainly coached OL for the bulk of his career. But he's also coached DBs, ST, TEs, been a general defensive assistant, etc. Between college and pros, I think Charlie Weis has coached every single position on the field that there is, both sides of the ball. Thinking a guy who was a really good coach at Position X could also be a really good coach at Position Y isn't arrogant or naive. It's just the nature of coaching.

The biggest problem, as I see it, that Bill ran into was the sheer amount of on-the-job-training coaches he had on offense. Everyone but Caley was new to their role and/or level of responsibility. In a vacuum, some of these coaching choices probably would have been fine. But when essentially every single offensive coach is trying to figure out their role & responsibilities on the fly, that's a pretty big cumulative effect. That to me was his biggest lack of judgement as opposed to any individual move.
If it's that common I'm sure there are plenty of examples of guys coordinating both sides of the ball at some point in their careers. It's one thing to be an assistant or a position coach, it's completely different to be in charge of scheming and play calling on a different side of the ball (and one in which Patricia and Judge had very little lower level coaching experience in to begin with). Had Bill named Judge TE coach and put Patricia in charge of the OL under and established OC, that would've been a far easier transition and you would have seen a lot less hand wringing over it.
 

BaseballJones

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If it's that common I'm sure there are plenty of examples of guys coordinating both sides of the ball at some point in their careers. It's one thing to be an assistant or a position coach, it's completely different to be in charge of scheming and play calling on a different side of the ball (and one in which Patricia and Judge had very little lower level coaching experience in to begin with). Had Bill named Judge TE coach and put Patricia in charge of the OL under and established OC, that would've been a far easier transition and you would have seen a lot less hand wringing over it.
Written in 2017, but interesting nonetheless....

https://www.footballperspective.com/trivia-both-a-defensive-coordinator-and-an-offensive-coordinator/
 

EL Jeffe

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Ah, okay. That's a totally fair point and I agree with you.

And you're correct, while tons of coaches have coached both sides of the ball, doing it at the coordinator level is extremely rare. I think Bill Muir is the only other one to have done it.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Graff in today's Athletic on Pats coaching

Even though the Patriots are coming off their worst special teams season in the Belichick era, it seems Cam Achord, the special teams coordinator, will remain on staff. He was in Vegas all week working with specialists for the Shrine Bowl. So if Belichick wants to move Judge to that group, would he make them co-coordinators?
This was amusing too...

The way the Patriots treated this trip to Las Vegas underscored how seriously they took this assignment — and why it can be difficult for some coaches to work for Belichick.

Even though the Shrine Bowl is just a showcase, a non-competitive game for draft-eligible prospects, Belichick had his staff grinding over film from practice all day. Then, at night, staffers were expected to resume their normal offseason preparations as a coach, including studying this spring’s class of free agents and preparing for the draft. There was next to no free time during this trip.

Meanwhile, Falcons coach Arthur Smith, whose staff was coaching the other team at the Shrine Bowl, encouraged his coaches to enjoy the experience together. Falcons assistants went to dinner together and hung out in what they hoped was a bonding experience. Smith even went to see a show with his wife.

That was in stark contrast to the no-time-for-anything-fun approach from Belichick. When the Patriots are winning, that approach is viewed as a reason for the team’s success. But when they’re not, it underscores why some coaches find it tough to work for Belichick.
 
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Well the Patriots WEST team won, 12-3, and TB80 is 1-0 as a head coach, so screw the dinners with their wives.

But seriously (not totally, though)…the squad coached by Troy Brown and friends played very good D, looked very solid in the kicking game and didn’t move the ball much on offense. Same old, same old, and miles to go before we sleep.