How much did he hold the attention of the Boston sports fan?
When the defensive coordinator of the Jets scrawled, “I resign as HC of the NYJ” on a loose leaf piece of paper in early 2000 and suddenly decided that being Bill Parcells’ successor in New York wasn’t for him, fans all over New England had a unique respect for him. He probably would have held the respect and good favor of the Boston sports fan with that act alone. But to leave there and weeks later accept a job in Foxboro with the archrival Patriots and build a Super Bowl dynasty, well that’s endeared him forever in New England.

How big was his impact for the team/organization?
Preparation and respect were two words hardly, if ever, regularly associated with the Patriots on a national stage. With Belichick, they’ve become the Patriots’ credo. Belichick started out 5-11 in his first season in 2000 and few, if any, could foresee the genius of his philosophy.  Simply stated, always be more prepared than your opponent for any and all situations that come up in a game. It’s a philosophy taught not only by Belichick but his disciples – players and coaches. Since that 5-11 season, the Patriots have become one of the most-respected franchises in all of sports. And it’s because of Belichick’s imprint of preparedness with the right mix of talent.

How much would he be missed if he wasn't here?
The Patriots might have won a lot with Tom Brady but they wouldn’t have intimidated the way they do with Belichick calling the shots during the week and during a game. When the Patriots step on the field, they always have an advantage over their opponent in game-planning. That’s a pretty huge plus in the NFL.

How much buzz does he create around the water cooler?
Belichick only seems to create buzz when things go wrong. Whether it was ‘Spygate’ in the perfect regular season of 2007, or the Super Bowl XLII loss or 4th and 2 in Indianapolis, Belichick has always done things his way and not really given a darn about his critics if things don’t work out. Even in victory this year in San Diego, Belichick went for it on 4th and 1 and came up short at midfield. Still, he stuck by his guns postgame as the best way to put away the game.

How much emotion does he evoke at the mere mention of his name?
He is the most polarizing coach in the NFL. He is considered a true genius by those who feel he is the brains behind three Super Bowl titles. But to critics, he is a cold man who shows precious little emotion on the sideline, conveniently tabbed ‘Belicheat’ by those who believe he has taken liberties with all of the rules in place to limit espionage in the NFL. The ultimate example of this is the ‘Spygate’ controversy of 2007 when NFL security caught a Patriots video assistant taping the New York Jets' defensive signals from an on-field location. Jets coach Eric Mangini, a former Patriots assistant, tipped off league officials that the Patriots might have been filming their signals. The irony is that no team protects its privacy more. What would Belichick think? To be hated is to be respected.

How hard would he be to replace?
Belichick brings the perfect blend of preparation, wits and gamesmanship that makes him an ideal NFL coach. As we saw with the Pete Carroll attempt to fill the shoes of Bill Parcells, it would almost be too much to ask. But there will someday be a successor, and it might come in 2013, or the next year to coincide with the expiration of Tom Brady’s contract. By that time, maybe someone like a 27-year-old Brian Ferentz will turn into a young coaching sensation. One suggestion, stick with an NFL guy.

How polarizing is he to the city?
You can count on one hand the number of people in Boston and New England who have a bad word to say about him. There’s good reason for that. Aside from an occasional appearance at TD Garden with girlfriend Linda Holliday for Celtics and Bruins playoff games in the Spring, or a chat with Terry Francona in Ft. Myers, he keeps to himself and doesn’t make himself a target. He gives his support to other teams in the city and considers himself a New England fan, through and through. As far as gossip, he did go through a divorce in 2005-06 from his wife Debby and was accused of a relationship with a former Giants receptionist by her husband in 2006.

How polarizing is he to his team?
“Ask Bill.” Those were the famous last words of linebacker Adalius Thomas, the most vocal and outspoken of any player to ever play for Belichick. He answered every question of playing time and his role with that famous phrase. But that certainly is the exception not the rule. Belichick doesn’t mind being the lightning rod for his team and this represents one of his greatest strengths as an NFL coach. If the coach is willing to fall on the sword, the players will always play hard for him and the Pats do. “We need to play better” is always followed by “we need to coach better”. There have been exceptions. Like when he released Lawyer Milloy before the 2003 season and his team laid a 31-0 egg in Buffalo and Tom Brady came out and said publicly he missed a leader like Milloy. Like when Ty Law, Asante Samuel and Deion Branch all left for more money and players wondered aloud about all the veterans leaving the team.

Bill Belichick

Audio Clips

  • Belichick on Browns loss

    Bill Belichick joins the Big Show to discuss Sunday's disappointing loss to the Cleveland Browns, Logan Mankins return and the upcoming game against the Pittsburg Steelers.

  • Belichick on Vikings waiving Moss

    Bill Belichick joins the Big Show to discuss the Vikings waiving Randy Moss, the win against the Vikings and next weeks game against the Cleveland Browns.

  • Belichick on win against Chargers

    Bill Belichick joins the Big Show to discuss yesterday's road win in San Diego, the reasons for another 4th and 1 gamble and the upcoming game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Video Clip