Bill Belichick on OMF explains time when he may have felt ‘overwhelmed’ coaching in NFL

By WEEI 93.7

One of the biggest storylines of Super Bowl LIII will certainly be Bill Belichick coaching against Sean McVay.

McVay is one of the best young coaches in the NFL. In fact, at 33 years old he is the youngest. Facing Belichick, arguably the best coach in the history of the game, there could be an intimidation factor.

Appearing on Ordway, Merloni & Fauria Monday, Belichick was asked if at any point during his career he may have felt “overwhelmed.” The coach pointed to when he was defensive coordinator for the Giants from 1985-90.

“Look, every week is a challenge in the National Football League,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what you are up against. There is a big challenge, but when I was a defensive coordinator with the Giants, the people on the other side of the field calling plays — Bill Walsh, Joe Gibbs, Tom Landry — yeah, I realized that. ‘OK, here we are. We’re game planning against Landry. We’re game planning against Joe Gibbs, or we’re game planning against Bill Walsh.’ Look, that was the competition. It was obviously never me against them. It is never the coach against the coach, it is just players against players and team against team. You certainly don’t want me blocking out there, that wouldn’t be good for any of us. 

“The competition of trying to put your team in a competitive position — in the end it really doesn’t matter if it is Bill Walsh or Tom Landry, it could be any offensive coordinator or any defensive coordinator. People wouldn’t have jobs in this league if they weren’t good coaches and qualified and hadn’t done enough to get into those spots. I respect everybody and in the end it is really about doing the best that you can regardless who is on the other side of the field.”

Belichick also praised McVay for the work he’s done, and also noted he knows his grandfather John, who was a coach with the Giants for a year, but then worked in the 49ers front office for almost 20 years, ending in 1999.

“Sean has done a great job,” Belichick said. “I know his grandfather John well. I had a good relationship with John and some of the other people that he worked with through the course of his career. I remember the day when I was the youngest coach in the National Football League. That was obviously a long, long time ago. I remember that and everyone said, ‘How do you relate to the players. They are older than you are. They know more than you do. You didn’t play, etc, etc.’ That is just part of the course of your career. Look, there’s a lot of great young coaches in the National Football League. 

“I think all of them are in the same general area that we all were when we were in our late 20s, 30s, so forth, is you are just trying to help your team. You are trying to improve your career and establish yourself both for your own confidence and credibility and to help the team that you are with. Most coaches fall into that category. 

“Again, Sean has done a great job. He’s had a great opportunity at a young age. He’s deserved it. He’s done extremely well with it and I commend him for all that he’s accomplished. They have a great football team. They are very, very well-coached. I think Sean has done a great job, he and his staff.”