One of the busiest weeks in football news continued Thursday when the New England Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick announced they were parting ways after 24 seasons.
Belichick helped lead the franchise to nine Super Bowl appearances and six titles, a 266-120 regular season record and 30 wins in 42 playoff games. It was an incredible run – one that produced a number of Hall of Famers and more to come in the future.
“I will always be a Patriot,” Belichick said Thursday during his farewell statement. “I'm looking forward to coming back here. But at this time we're moving on and I'm looking forward, I'm looking forward to the future.”
The sports world reacts to the Belichick news
There was a lot of reaction to the news from New England, with current and former players talking about their experiences playing under Belichick — one even made a song about him — as well as athletes from other sports and celebrity Patriots fans expressing their gratitude for the success he helped make.
From 2001-2019, the dynamic duo of Brady and Belichick won a combined nine AFC titles and six Super Bowls.
Thank you Coach Belichick for all you have done! I wouldn't change a thing, from taking a chance on him drafting me early on, to teaching and showing me the way on the field! It's an honor to be on your team and thank you for putting us players in situations where we seriously… pic.twitter.com/m5NYkW4Kwt
— Rob Gronkowski (@RobGronkowski) January 11, 2024
Three Super Bowl titles, four-time first-team NFL All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowler for one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history during his time under Belichick.
Coach Belichick is such a LEGEND!!!! human
— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 11, 2024
Let's not forget when LeBron almost took von Belichick when the coach was courtside during a Cleveland Cavaliers-Boston Celtics game in 2017.
“I don't know if I'm on his level, but I definitely slowed down because I knew it was him,” James said. “I'm not taking any legend out. I need to keep seeing him win, so that's pretty cool.”
When Belichick arrived in New England, Bruschi was an NFL veteran. During their time together, they would win three Super Bowls, make two second-team All-Pro teams and a 2004 Pro Bowl.
McCourty, one half of the McCourty Twins with brother Devin, was in New England for three seasons and helped the Patriots win Super Bowl LIII. Devin was part of three Super Bowl winning teams and was a three-time second-team All-Pro and a two-time Pro Bowler.
Seymour spent the first eight NFL seasons with Belichick in New England, winning three Super Bowls, being named first-team All-Pro three times and making five Pro Bowls.
You gave me a chance and it paid off for both of us. Forever grateful for that. It will be weird seeing you in a different outfit, but someone give them a great coach with the best brains in the game. Bittersweet, but all great things come to an end. Hats off to the goat. pic.twitter.com/Lwo2bJ9DUa
— Jamie Collins (@JamieLee601) January 11, 2024
Collins had three stints in New England under Belichick, won a Super Bowl, made the Pro Bowl and was named a second-team All-Pro in 2015.
Edelman played 11 seasons in New England under Belichick, won three Super Bowls, was named MVP of Super Bowl LIII and compiled three 1,000-plus yard seasons. Not bad for a seventh round pick.
I've always felt that one of my jobs as a TV guy is to take the audience behind the curtain to show a different side of ppl we're talking about. Here is my personal story about Coach Belichick from the beginning of my career pic.twitter.com/tFXQWCqiZJ
— Damien Woody (@damienwoody) January 11, 2024
The longtime NFL offensive lineman was drafted by the Patriots a year before Belichick arrived in New England. Woody played four seasons under Belichick, won two Super Bowls and became a better player thanks to the coach's influence.
Chung played 10 of Belichick's 11 NFL seasons in New England, winning three Super Bowls and later being named to the franchise's All-Dynasty Team.
The former NFL executive was an assistant on the Patriots coaching staff from 2014-16, but also worked with the Cleveland Browns in player personnel in the early 1990s while Belichick was the head coach.
I am forever grateful to Coach Belichick for the shot that started my NFL career and for instilling a winning mindset that made us the best prepared team every game. Nothing compares to his football legacy. Thank you very much, coach, and I wish you the best of luck in everything that follows.@nfl… pic.twitter.com/gITbe1sbGn
— Jonas Gray (@JonasLGray) January 11, 2024
Gray only played one season under Belichick, but made a name for himself in his short time in New England. After starting the 2014 season on the practice squad, he was promoted to the active roster in October. A month later, he rushed for 201 yards and a franchise-record four touchdowns against the Indianapolis Colts. Those four touchdowns were the first of his NFL career.
Cassel played his first four seasons in the NFL under Belichick, but his last in New England was the most memorable. When Tom Brady went down in the opening minutes of the 2008 season, Cassel stepped in and threw for nearly 3,700 yards and 21 touchdowns, helping the franchise to an 11-5 record despite missing the playoffs.
Belichick loves Halloween
If you have a Halloween party, Belichick always has to dress up in costume, as Randy Moss found out.
One day after announcing that the New York Jets quarterback would not appear on his show again this NFL season, Pat McAfee welcomed Rodgers back to discuss Belichick's departure from the Patriots.
Damn… CHANDLER JONES IS SPITTING RODS ABOUT IT #PATRIOTS SITUATION
“Oh Bill Belichick, you didn't field that ball, it was Tom Brady, you didn't spy, you didn't blow, he's innocent, so WHY FIRE HIM when it should have been Mr. Kraft.”
— MLFootball (@_MLFootball) January 11, 2024
Jones played four seasons in New England, won a Super Bowl and was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team and 2015 Pro Bowl under Belichick. He debuted his new single on Thursday after the news.
Robert Griffin III
Bill Belichick is the greatest NFL head coach of all time and should have been allowed to break New England's all-time wins record. If he continues to coach, he needs to adjust and understand that the Patriot Way is DEAD and doesn't work ESPECIALLY when you don't have Tom Brady.
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) January 11, 2024
Kevin Van Valkenburg – No lying down
Best Belichick moment. When the NFL required him to have a camera in his house during the COVID draft, he pointed it at his dog. pic.twitter.com/kfa7BNKuNZ
— Kevin Van Valkenburg (@KVanValkenburg) January 11, 2024
Belichick's dog, Nike, was the star of the 2020 NFL Draft with everyone at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. When Belichick stepped away from the table, Nike saw some treats next to one of the laptops, jumped up on a chair, and waited patiently to enjoy them. That's when ESPN cameras captured one of the most memorable images in draft history.
Bill Simmons The Ringer
What a way to wake up! Good luck and thank you THE GOAT Bill Belichick.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) January 11, 2024
Kevin Wildes, Fox Sports
Bill Belichick's singular focus and dedication has brought joy to millions of people for two decades. Best thing ever to wear with a hoodie. 💍💍💍💍💍💍 (and 💍💍 with giants)
— Wildes (@kevinwildes) January 11, 2024
“He's one of those legendary coaches … his name will go down in history and he'll be remembered forever.” – Brad Marchand on Bill Belichick. pic.twitter.com/01iixp534L
— Bruins Daily (@BruinsDaily) January 11, 2024
Boston Red Sox
The New England Revolution
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