Patriots

Morning sports update: Bill Belichick said doing ‘NFL 100’ project ‘made me a better coach’

"I watched a lot of film," Belichick said of the experience.

Bill Belichick talking to reporters in October, 2019.

The Bruins dominated the Canadiens on Tuesday night, 8-1. It was the largest Boston margin of victory in a regular season game since 2012.

Tonight, the Bruins are in Ottawa to face the Senators at 7 p.m.

Also tonight at 7 p.m., the Celtics are at home against the Nets, though Kyrie Irving won’t be playing for Brooklyn due to an ongoing shoulder injury.

And in national news, unranked Stephen F. Austin stunned No. 1 Duke on Tuesday night, defeating the Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium 85-83 on a buzzer-beater layup.

In soccer, Liverpool face Napoli in a major Champions League group stage clash today at 3 p.m.

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Bill Belichick spoke about his NFL Films experience: In honor of the NFL’s 100th season, the league has put together a special panel to determine the top players of all-time. The series debuted last Friday.

Belichick is one of the show’s hosts, along with Cris Collinsworth and Rich Eisen. On top of being named to the all-time team as a coach, Belichick said that he enjoyed the thorough process of selecting players.

“I learned a lot,” said Belichick. “It was a great experience. I watched a lot of film of players in the ‘30s, the ‘40s, the ‘50s and the ‘60s. I watched quite a bit of that over the summer and last spring, and it was very enlightening in studying the great players in different eras and how the game was played.

“You see some plays, you see some strategy,” Belichick continued, “but you also see the players, and not just the guys you’re watching, obviously, but the other guys that are involved there. Two-way football, the kicking game, there were a lot more kicking plays. It’s all just continuous film; it’s not really broken up into offense and defense. That didn’t start until a little bit later in the ‘60s and so forth, but the earlier games it’s just sequential, so you’re watching guys go both ways and both sides of the ball and so forth. So yeah, I learned a lot about the players, a lot I learned about the history – how things, I would say, evolved to a degree.”

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Belichick said he particularly enjoyed interacting with some of the people in the process.

“And then, as part of the top 100 shows there, actually being able to talk to some of those players and get their perspective and reflections on the game, and other aspects of their career and life, that was great,” Belichick explained. “The interaction with some of the great people that are on the panel, that are on this committee, and their insights – people like Ron Wolf and John Madden, guys like that. I mean, there’s so many of them. I can’t list them all, but they all have a lot of very interesting insight to the players and the game, and that sparked – for me – sparked me to go back more closely at some of the things that they brought up and enlightened me on.”

The program continues on Friday at 8 p.m. on NFL Network, examining which defensive linemen and linebackers make the team.

Notably, Belichick also said that he thinks going through the historical process made him a better coach.

“I think in a way it’s definitely made me a better coach from the things that I’ve learned,” said Belichick. “It’s reinforced some things, and it’s also opened my eyes to some, I would say, other areas of coaching that I don’t want to say were overlooked – that would be the wrong word – but the emphasis maybe has been more, since I started doing that, on certain fundamental things that are I think critical to the foundation of successful plays and successful teams and successful football. So yeah, it was a very great honor to be a part of it, and very educational, informative, and I would say, motivating to indulge in those in the process.”

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Trivia: While scoring eight goals against the Canadiens was a night to remember for the Bruins, it actually wasn’t Boston’s most prolific total against Montreal in the last 25 years. In 1998, the Bruins beat the Canadiens 9-2. Who scored first for Boston that night?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: Multiple generations of his family have been drafted by the Bruins.

More from Boston.com:

Bill Belichick broke down Matthew Slater’s game-changing punt block against the Cowboys:

Danny Ainge’s full interview with Rachel Nichols:

The Bruins and puppies, a time-honored tradition:

Celtics rookie Grant Williams gave out holiday gifts to team employees:

On this day: In 1947, Ted Williams was denied the American League MVP by one vote (202-201), losing to Yankees rival Joe DiMaggio. Williams lost despite amassing offensive statistics good enough to win the triple crown, leading the league in home runs (32), RBIs (114), and batting average (.343).

It was the second time Williams had lost a controversial MVP race to DiMaggio (he also finished second in 1941 despite being the last MLB player ever to hit above .400), and it was the third time he’d lost to a Yankee. In 1942, Williams had also won the triple crown, but came up short in the voting to Yankees second baseman Joe Gordon.

Daily highlight: Fighting to mount a comeback during Tuesday’s Champions League game against Olympiakos, Tottenham scored a second-half equalizer thanks — in part — to some quick thinking from a ball boy. The rushed return of the ball after it went out of bounds allowed Tottenham to take a quick throw, eventually culminating in a Harry Kane goal.

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The ball boy even got a thankful hug from new Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho.

Trivia answer: Ted Donato

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