In response to TexasPat's comment:
If you thought that picking a Patriots' Mount Rushmore as tough...try this. Choose among such candidates as Bobby Orr, Bill Russell, Red Auerbach, Larry Bird, Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick...or anyone else that you deem worthy. There can be only four all-time greats selected. My choices: Bobby Orr, Bill Russell, Red Auerbach, Bill Belichick. Here's why:
1.) Bobby Orr: The greatest hockey player of all-time...bar none. Revolutionized the game: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Orr
2.) Bill Russell: The teams he carried on his back won an astounding 11 championships in 13 years...the last two of those 11 were won as a player/coach. No other athlete will ever come close to matching that kind of success: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Russell
3.) Arnold "Red" Auerbach: Revolutionized basketball by emphasizing good defense, and the utilization of the fast break. Engineered a trade to acquire college star Bill Russell, to transform his basketball theories into reality. Subsequent to the Russell led Celtic dynasty from roughly 1956-1969, Red rebuilt and reloaded with John Havlicek, Dave Cowens, and Jo Jo White in the 70s, and Larry Bird, Robert Parish, and Kevin McHale in the 80s: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Auerbach
4.) Bill Belichick: Perhaps the greatest football coach of all-time. Though many credit his great success from 2000-present with the Patriots to Tom Brady, the fact is that BB had success before he came to New England...as a DC with the Bill Parcells led NY Giants, and with the Cleveland Brows, from 1991-95, as a head coach. Though some will question his performance in Cleveland, he did lead that sad sack franchise to an 11-5 record and the play-offs, in 1994. Despite playing a season without Tom Brady in 2008, BB still managed to lead his team to 11 wins. BB drafted Brady, coachd him up, and made the courageous decision to play Tom ahead of Drew Bledsoe in 2001. Has led his Patriots' teams to ten AFC East championships in 13 years, five (5) SB appearances, and three world championships...all in the free agency/salary cap era: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Belichick
Sorry TP, NFW BB gets there and Williams/Brady don't. N! F! W!
RESPONSE: I knew I would hear from you on this! The 4th choice came down to BB or Brady. Sorry...but BB deserves more credit than even Tom for turning the Patriots' franchise into THE model franchise in the sporting world.
As a matter of fact, due to spygate, he might not even make it if there were 8 heads!
RESPONSE:Stop it! You're sounding like UD6, a/k/a "The Dog (ggggg), now! Surely you realize that spygate was a media created, BS scandal. Furthermore, assuming there was something to spygate, both BB and Brady would have been the duo beneficiaries of it...right?
I also find this "he won rings with Parcells" as mostly a homer tactic and grasping at straws.
RESPONSE: Really? Then please explain to me why the defensive game plan that BB devised in SB 25 against the Buffalo Bills in the 1991 SB is now situated in the Pro Football Hall of Fame? Take a look at BB's accomplishments in the 13 years he spent as NY Giant's DC: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/141906-why-bill-belichick-is-a-hall-of-famer
Also, his tenure in Cleveland was a fail,
RESPONSE: Nonsense. He took a hapless team and franchise, and went 7-9 in his first two seasons...before going 11-5 in his third year. Then came the distractions caused by his correct decission to release home town hero Bernie Kosar, and ArtModel's sellout to Baltimore, in his final season.
not to mention his greatest success was with many Parcells/Carrol players.
RESPONSE: More nonsense! BB built his first title team in 2001 with "B" level free agents, Tom Brady, and rookie Richard Seymour...both of whom HE drafted.
Without them he has won zero Lombardis.
RESPONSE: Without BB...Tom Brady may never have seen the light of day in Foxborough.
I would go with Williams, Orr, Brady and Russell.
RESPONSE: One other thing on "Spygate:
I know there’s some people who have done their research and feel annoyed and that it's unnecessary that I mention this, but I’m putting together a case for why Belichick should be a Hall of Famer, I have to address this issue as it is part of Belichick’s career.
First and foremost Belichick was not convicted of “cheating” by the NFL. He was convicted of improper camera placement.
As my good friend John here on B/R has mentioned many times before, the NFL rule books state that teams cannot put cameras anywhere in a stadium that doesn‘t have three walls and a roof over it (the press box).
Belichick didn’t use the video tapes he had for the game that was being played. He used them for future reference. He didn’t video tape every team they played. The video tapes containing others things and contained few aspects of the opponents defensive signals.
We must ask ourselves a question: did Bill Belichick gain any competitive edge with Spygate, and if so, how much of an edge?
Belichick reportedly started video taping the other team's defensive signals in the 2000 NFL season, which was the year that the Patriots finished the season with a 5-11 record.
The next season was a dramatic turnaround, as the team won their first Super Bowl.
Right after winning their first franchise Super Bowl in 2002, a year that included the era of Spygate, the Patriots finished the season with no playoff berth.
The next year they went back to the Super Bowl and won it. The same thing goes with 2004.
So the first five years of Spygate resulted in three Super Bowls and two seasons with no playoff berths.
If Spygate was such an advantage, why was it so inconsistent?
The answer: Even if it did give Belichick an edge, it was only a minimal edge--if it was such an enormous edge, then the Patriots wouldn’t have been so inconsistent in their first five years of the Spygate scandal. Yes, they won three Super Bowls, but they missed the playoffs twice those years.
Lets look at his career after spy gate. After the NFL found out about Belichick’s video taping NFL agents were ordered to oversee everything that the Patriots do on the sidelines.
In his first season without “cheating” ( he didn’t “cheat” in the Jets game because the video tapes were seized) he became the only coach in NFL history to lead a team to a 16-0 season.
He lead the New England Patriots to a 18-0 record before finally losing to the New York Giants in the final minutes of the Super Bowl. He engineered a defense that was ranked 4th in the league in overall defense.
In his second year of not “cheating” he lead the Patriots to an 11-5 record and missed the playoffs only for the simple fact that he had a poor conference record, and the Patriots became the only 11-5 team since the 1985 Denver Broncos to miss the playoffs.
Belichick's overall record after Spygate is 29-6.
An argument could be proposed that Bill Belichick now has a better team and doesn’t need to cheat. That isn’t exactly true. Yes, the Patriots now have a better offense but their defensive unit during the Spygate era was much better than the one they had during the past two years.
The Patriots have won at least nine games in the last seven years under Belichick.
In the playoffs, Belichick is 15-4 over his career both with the Browns and Patriots. Only Vince Lombardi has a better wining percentage in the playoffs than Belichick does.
The only obstacle preventing Bill Belichick from being a Hall of Famer is Spygate. But as I mentioned, he has succeeded without Spygate. If you look beyond that, Belichick’s accomplishments are unmatched by any coach in the last decade and is among the NFL's all-time greatest coaches.