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As fall begins to fade in the rearview and winter approaches, a head coach generally knows the strengths and weak points of his roster — along with which offensive and defensive schemes allot the best shot at victory come kickoff. Well, at least he should.
Yep, ole’ gifting season has rolled around again, which means the NFL playoffs are coming into view as the contenders begin their cavalry charge down the home-stretch. Coaches are hoping to jockey their teams into position as one of several in each conference who advance to the postseason.
There shouldn’t be much ambiguity in December when it comes to team identity. Crunch time requires cohesion and adequate game-preparation, not to mention a mostly-healthy roster.
Luckily, the sample-size of opposition games to data-mine and available video is significant this time of year; not much left except to execute on game day.
Conversely, few coaches have ever embraced December challenges such as the curmudgeon with the scowl draped in RGB, CMYK, Pantone and Hex-colored gear.
Influence Runs Deep
Having a football father with decades of knowledge is a boon in itself, but when the former player and longtime coach directly exposes you to the intricacies of the gridiron by age 10, there’s a relatively good chance you’ll make a strong impact on the game further down the pike.
Steve Belichick passionately indoctrinated his son Bill, and other mentors such as Bill Parcells helped galvanize the inner fire for what was about to come.
Parcells is behind such quips as, “You can easily separate ‘team guys’ from ‘me guys’ by how they accept coaching; the guys that accept it are about winning” — and, “I only want my team to play to its potential, as I perceive it to be; I really don’t have any regard for anyone else’s perception.”
One can see how Bill Belichick developed such hard bark.
It’s Simply Belichick Time
From the day Bill began his Patriot head-coaching stint back in 2000 to the W he carried out of Buffalo’s Highmark Stadium on Monday night, frankly, BB has made December his bitch.
Of the 92 times a Patriots team (under BB’s tutelage) has walked off an NFL field after a game in the month of December, 71 of those ended in victory — a 77% winning clip. In a word, that’s CLUTCH.
Truth be told, I think most of us have viewed the current Patriot success with some guarded optimism. Is this version of Belichick’s roster without “Tom Terrific” really capable of a very deep playoff run?
Does this latest win as a slight dog vs Buffalo answer that question? Still need to see more?
I’m guessing quite a number of seats were claimed aboard the “In Bill We Trust” caravan during the past 24-hours.
With the MNF win, the Pats are now 6-0 on the road, and look to continue their December push. Paydirt glory is up for grabs in mere weeks, and we all know BB excels in that arena.
How off the charts cool would a Bucs-Patriots Super Bowl be?
PHOTOS: cbssports.com, bostonhearald.com, sbnation.com, dailysnark.com