Patriots’ Bill Belichick joins greats George Halas, Curly Lambeau in coaching pantheon

Bill Belichick now stands shoulder to shoulder with the NFL’s greatest coaching icons.

Belichick’s accomplishments transcend the Super Bowl era after his Patriots’ 13-3 Super Bowl LIII win over the Rams on Sunday night. He joined George Halas and Curly Lambeau as coaches to win six NFL titles.

Vince Lombardi won five titles, including two Super Bowls. Lombardi is the namesake of the Super Bowl trophy which was displayed Monday when Belichick discussed the Patriots’ latest championship.

Belichick said it was “incredibly flattering” to hear his name mentioned with the coaching legends. He said Halas was friends with his father, Steve Belichick, who played for the Detroit Lions and was a longtime assistant coach at Navy.

“I grew up watching Coach Halas,” Belichick said.

Lombardi, “Papa Bear” Halas and Lambeau are the names that have been mentioned with Bill Walsh, Chuck Noll, Paul Brown, Don Shula, Tom Landry, Joe Gibbs and others as the greatest NFL coaches.

That was before Belichick began collecting championships. He now has two more Super Bowl titles than Noll’s previous record of four.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday called Belichick’s record of success “incredible” and “unprecedented.”

“We’re grateful to see him continue to have great football teams and bring them together in a way I don’t think any other coach has ever done,” Goodell said.

Belichick still has quarterback Tom Brady, so the Patriots can’t be overlooked in the early discussion of teams which could reach Super Bowl LIV in Miami.

Brady, 41, said Sunday he plans to keep playing. Similarly, Belichick, 66, has made no mention of retiring, so there’s no reason to think he has finished setting standards for his profession.

White House pass: New England defensive back Devin McCourty said he won’t go to the White House if the Super Bowl champions are invited by President Trump, and teammate and twin brother Jason said he highly doubts he would make the trip.

A day after the Patriots beat Los Angeles for their sixth NFL title, Devin McCourty said flatly that he would not join the team for a White House visit.

His brother hedged only slightly.

“I haven’t thought about it, but I highly doubt it,” he said, at which point Devin playfully accused him of lying and Jason agreed there was virtually zero chance he would go.

While Brady and Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman celebrated at Disney World, Belichick and the rest of the team returned from Atlanta to Gillette Stadium and were greeted by hundreds of fans.

Devin McCourty has played all nine of his NFL seasons with New England, winning the Super Bowl following the 2016 season and returning last year, only to lose. Jason played at Rutgers with his brother and then was drafted by the Titans, for whom he played most of his career before joining the Browns for their 0-16 season in 2017.

Playing together “was 10 times better than both of the other Super Bowls,” Devin McCourty said. “Better than I thought it would be. It’s still a pretty good feeling.”

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Patriots-Bill-Belichick-joins-greats-George-13589476.php.

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