The success connection to Bears’ legend George Halas is a special one for Bill Belichick
ATLANTA — If Tom Brady is considered the “G.O.A.T.,” the man who has coached him during his entire professional career deserves the same moniker.
Though Patriots head coach Bill Belichick would rather not receive such a nickname, even if he, along with the quarterback, has now won six Super Bowl titles in his current position in New England.
“The most important thing for me is for the team to be able to hold that Lombardi Trophy up and say that we were champions,” Belichick said Monday, about 14 hours after his Patriots defeated the Rams 13-3 in Super Bowl LIII. “It took everybody, it took the entire team and organization to put forth a superior and supreme effort to achieve that and that’s really what it’s about.”
“It’s about how all of us came together and kinda pulled our weight so the team could achieve its goals,” he said.
Belichick did so far a sixth time as the head coach of the Patriots, and that put him into elite company, including the man who started the Chicago Bears. With the win, the New England coach tied George “Papa Bear” Halas along with the Packers’ Curly Lambeau for most NFL championships.
The founder of the Bears, who coached the team for 40 years during four different stints between 1920 and 1967, won championships in 1921, 1933, 1940, 1941, 1946 and 1963. While being connected to two legendary coaches with that sixth title on Sunday, the idea of having a connection to Halas meant something personally to the coach.
“It’s incredibly flattering,” said Belichick. “I grew up watching Coach Halas, he and my dad were friends, and coach Halas’ defensive coordinator Chuck Mather was a close friend of my dad. His son later went to the Naval Academy.”
Mentioned alongside Halas and some of the greats of the game means something to the coach, yet it’s not going to weigh terribly on his mind as he starts looking ahead to a seventh championship next season.
“Coach (Don) Shula, coach Lambeau, coach (Tom) Landry, I mean you can just go right down the line,” said Belichick. “Coach (Bill) Walsh. I competed against several of those guys as coaches, some of them I didn’t compete against but I was aware of coach Lombardi as a kid growing up watching the first Super Bowl and all the way through.”
“It’s incredibly flattering but really, for me, it’s about what the team accomplishes,” he said.
But getting mentioned alongside “Papa Bear” isn’t so bad.