For Belichick, that means a high level of secrecy, never providing any bulletin board material or any real insight when asked about how the Patriots (13-4) have been so triumphant under him. Belichick flopped in Cleveland in his first stint as a head coach, but his work in New England is the envy of his peers.
Of course, it helped a tiny bit to have Tom Brady on his side.
Brady emphasizes Belichick’s steadiness as a key to that success.
“Coach talks about doing your job,” Brady said. “Whatever your role may be — third receiver, third running back — you have to perform your role. You know whenever your number is called ... everyone is counting on you. The expectation is you will play at a championship level.”
The Patriots have done that for a dozen years; Belichick is third with 18 postseason victories and would tie Shula for second with a win Sunday. He would tie Tom Landry for the top spot by also winning a fourth Super Bowl, which would equal Chuck Noll’s four in the big game with the Steelers.
Quite a resume, which also includes three Super Bowls as an assistant. There’s a wealth of knowledge there — even if Belichick is unwilling to share it with anyone not wearing Patriots colors.
“It has been good for me,” said inside linebacker Jerod Mayo, the 2008 Defensive Rookie of the Year and one of New England’s steadiest defenders for five seasons. “I’ve tried to be a sponge and learn as much as I can from coach Belichick. My first couple years, we had a lot of those individual meetings where he pulled me to the side and taught me, not necessarily the techniques of the game, but just situational awareness of the game and what the offense can do to you. I’m still learning.”