What Belichick Picked Up From Lombardi
Arguably the greatest coach in the history of the National Football League, Vince Lombardi has undoubtedly left his mark on the game. From the iconic Super Bowl trophy named in his honor, to his habitual way of winning games, Lombardi’s influence is still felt years after his death and continues to set the bar for coaches to follow.
And yet, there is one coach that seems to have taken copious notes on Lombardi’s tactics, boasting over 260 career wins: Super Bowl LI contender Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots.
Having such a remarkable head coaching record with an uncanny ability to hone “average players” into stars, it’s no wonder there’s mounting conversations around Lombardi vs. Belichick, who in fact is the greatest NFL coach of all-time. The two are comparable in their coaching styles and winning techniques.
Here are a few ways in which Belichick is interestingly like Vince Lombardi…and what you can learn from the two.
#1 Consecutive Super Bowl Wins
Lombardi won the League’s first two Super Bowls ever played with the Green Bay Packers. Bill Belichick duplicated that feat in 2007 and 2008 by winning Super Bowl’s XXXVIII and XXXIX.
#2 Ball Control Offense
These coaches are similar in their styles of ball control offense, focusing heavily on winning the time of possession game.
#3 Disciplined Play Calling
Lombardi and Belichick are known for executing their play calling better than the opposing team. They’re disciplined in sticking to the game plan and their players believe in not straying from the game plan, practicing a do-your-job mentality.
#4 Passionate Belief in Teamwork Effort
Vince Lombardi was quoted saying:
“The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.”
Years later, Bill Belichick communicated the same sentiment, stating:
“There is an old saying about the strength of the wolf is the pack, and I think there is a lot of truth to that. On a football team, it’s not the strength of the individual players, but it is the strength of the unit and how they all function together.”
It’s clear both of these great coaches shared a belief in teamwork and focusing on the collective effort as much, if not more than individual.
#5 Hall of Fame Quarterbacks
Bart Starr certainly earned his place in the Hall of Fame under Lombardi’s leadership and there’s no question that Tom Brady has solidified his spot in this most prestigious tribute as well. Both coaches maximized their quarterback’s talents in every aspect possible in their skill position, with Brady being one of the best to have ever played the game.
#6 Converted Average into Winning
When Lombardi arrived to Green Bay in 1959, he was able to take a team that was 1-10-1 the year before, and spark major improvements to a record of 7-5 in his first year. In his rookie year, he earned Coach of the Year as a result of this significant turnaround and the impact he had on his players. The Packers later dominated the 60’s with multiple championship wins…and later, two Super Bowls.
Belichick was made head coach in 2000 for New England, the only year the Patriots missed the playoffs during his tenure, ending the season with a 5-11 record. Since then, he’s led the Patriots to 14 division titles, 11 appearances in the AFC Championship Game, and seven Super Bowl appearances!
#7 Head Coached Two Teams
Did you know that Bill Belichick head coached the Cleveland Browns for four years before New England? Lombardi also coached two teams, the Washington Redskins along with Green Bay.
#8 Expects (and Strives for) Excellence
Like Lombardi, Bill Belichick is invested in his team and requires nothing short of excellence from his team, staff and organization. He plays a keen role in every aspect of his players’ well-being from their nutrition and training, to travel schedules. He prepares his staff for every situation by cross-training his coaches. This active presence has undeniably impacted the Patriot’s ongoing success.
#9 Earned Coach of the Year
Like Lombardi, Belichick has also earned Coach of the Year, multiple times, in years 2003, 2007 and 2010.
#10 Future Hall of Fame Coach
It’s a no-brainer that Bill Belichick is a future Hall of Fame Coach for the National Football League, joining Lombardi in this honor. His coveted credentials are second to no other coach in its history.