There is a very interesting blog post on The Fifth Down, the New York Times Football blog, by KC Joyner. The entry is titled The Belichick Way: Still the Best.

Joyner starts out by telling us, “After reviewing the game notes from the 2008 season, I am convinced that Bill Belichick is the NFL’s version of The Beatles.”

After listing the accomplishments of The Beatles, for so many years, he draws it back to Belichick by stating: Even after all of these years, no one comes close to having the same kind of grasp that he has on operating a football team.

He then lists out what he thinks are the core principles of Belichick teams:

  • Make the game plan specific to the opponent.
  • Build your team so that it can go after any of these weaknesses.
  • Combine athletic ability with intelligence as often as possible.
  • A team doesn’t need a great running back to win.
  • If you can’t go after a specific weakness in your opponent, use every tool in the playbook to put your players into the highest percentage position possible.
  • Don’t ask players to do things they aren’t capable of.
  • The team’s psychological state cannot be ignored.
  • Teach players how to do the high percentage things.
  • Teach players that if the defense is giving you anything, take as much of it as you can.
  • Know how to work the clock in very creative ways.
  • Don’t let superstition get in the way of things.
  • Don’t let a macho attitude get in the way of things.

Each of these points are expanded on in detail in the post. Well worth a read.