No. 3) BILL BELICHICK The Dark Lord of the NFL...


The Dark Lord of the NFL was HC of the NYJ in the first week of 2000, but only for one day.

Bill Belichick instead won three Super Bowls with the Patriots, then in 2007 was caught videotaping the Jets? sideline ? an episode that cost him a $500,000 fine, a docked first-round draft pick and several postgame hugs with Eric Mangini.

That season ended with the Giants beating his Pats in Super Bowl XLII. Belichick left the field before the final second ran off the clock. Credit: AP Photo

Bill Belichick is about as interesting as melba toast on media conference calls.

His excessive need to conceal intel and emotion is downright maddening, especially for New York reporters who are used to covering guys like Rex Ryan and Antrel Rolle (See, "foot fetish" and "midget.")

But Belichick’s demeanor and tone of voice changed when questions Tuesday shifted to his time with the Giants. The Patriots head coach said he “absolutely” has “fond memories” of his 12 years as a special teams coach, a defensive assistant, a linebackers coach, and finally, as a defensive coordinator for Bill Parcells.

“Those were 12 great years of my life,” he said, softly. “Loved everyone with the Giants, the people that I worked with, where I lived, our community. Two of my kids were born there. So, there’s a lot of fond memories there. Absolutely. …That was a big part of my career and my life.”

Belichick also talked glowingly about Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, who was the team’s wide receivers coach from 1988-90, while he was the defensive coordinator.  

“I have a lot of respect for Tom,” he said. “I think he’s definitely stood the test of time in a couple of organizations, in Jacksonville and the Giants. He’s tough. His teams are disciplined. They play with great competitiveness. They’re smart. …They do a lot of things well. That’s kind of the way Tom is… He’s an intense coach and I think that’s reflected in the way his teams play.”

But there was one stroll down memory lane Belichick refused to take.

He wanted no part of revisiting David Tyree’s “Helmet Catch” in Super Bowl XLII, the play that helped set up Plaxico Burress’ game-winning touchdown in the Giants 17-14 victory over the Patriots.

“I think we’ve talked about all that,” Belichick mumbled. “It was a long time ago. Had a lot of comments on the record after the game and everything else, so go back and look at all the things that happened then. Or some other year.”


Belichick didn’t say much about Rob Gronkowski’s left ankle injury. The Patriots tight end was seen wearing a walking boot after the Patriots’ AFC Championship win over the Ravens.

“We'll see how it goes with Rob,” Belichick said. “...It’s hard to gauge injuries.”

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