Bill Belichick gets sentimental after coaching 400th game with the Patriots

"It’s been just awesome to see so many players and coaches come through here."

Bill Belichick had a lot of reasons to smile on Sunday, which was his 400th game with the Patriots. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

Bill Belichick reached another milestone on Sunday.

The NFL legend coached his 400th game with the Patriots in Week 5, which ended up being a 29-0 shutout win over the Lions.

Following the win, Belichick expressed a lot of love and gratitude for his players and coaches on his current squad. On Monday, he took time to remember several Patriots players of the past.

Belichick said that he takes pride in the fact that he’s been in New England for 23 seasons and reflected on how he made his way over to the Patriots in 2000.

“Going all the way back, great opportunity to be here in ’96 [as an assistant] and then Robert [Kraft] gave up a lot,” Belichick said. “It was hard to hire me in 2000 and gave up a lot in the trade with the Jets and all that, for me to come here. So that, in and of itself, was a great level of commitment and a blessing for me to have this opportunity. It’s worked out pretty well since then, all the way around. Hopefully, we can continue to improve and keep it going.


“I didn’t realize that, thanks for giving me that number. I didn’t realize it had been 400. Doesn’t seem like that.”

After learning that Sunday was his 400th game, Belichick shouted out some of the players that have been responsible for the six Super Bowl championships and 17 division titles.

“It’s been just awesome to see so many players and coaches come through here, come in as rookies, grow, develop into great players, and have great careers,” Belichick said. “We’ve had a couple of the Hall of Fame inductions the last couple of years with [Richard] Seymour and [Vince] Wilfork, guys like that. Of course, there were the other ones like Troy [Brown] and Kevin Faulk and those players that were already here when I got here. Ty [Law], guys like that, [Jerod] Mayo. All those guys that came in and were here.

“Then, many of them now, [Matthew] Slater, [Devin] McCourty, people like that. To just watch them come in as rookies and just start from scratch and then develop and grow into some of the greatest players in Patriots history, some of the greatest players of all time.

“Certainly, [Tom] Brady and Slater will go down in that category at their positions and for the game. Yeah, it’s been an incredible number of years.”


Belichick turned to the several coaches and executives that have been on his staff over the last 23 seasons, too.

“All of the coaches that have come in here and have gone from quality control assistants, all the way up the ladder to coordinators and head coaches, other places in the league,” Belichick said. “I think back on that every once in a while and just kind of say, ‘Wow, I’ve been so fortunate to be able to work with so many great, great people.’ Great coaches, great players, great people in the organization, personnel departments, Scott [Pioli] and Nick [Caserio].”

As Belichick began to wind down his uncharacteristically candid answer, he went back to business as usual.

“I could go on here for days,” Belichick said. “Thanks for bringing it up, it’s good to kind of reflect on it. You’re right, probably time for me to start thinking about Cleveland.”

Over his 400 games with the Patriots, Belichick has gone 286-114, good for a .715 winning percentage. In case you’re wondering, it would take the 70-year-old Belichick nearly six more seasons to reach 500 games with the Patriots.

But for now, he and the team are focused on his 401st game with the Patriots, which is against the Browns on Sunday.


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