Belichick voted 2nd-most overrated NFL coach


Belichick voted 2nd-most overrated NFL coach

Either Bill Belichick isn't as great of a coach as well all think he is around here, or he's ticked off a lot of players over his coaching career.

Belichick was rated the No. 2 most overrated coach in the NFL in a poll taken by Sporting News (Rex Ryan earns the top spot). Well, count the guys on Felger and Mazz just as surprised as we were, including former Patriots player under Belichick, Jermaine Wiggins.

"I don't agree with that," Wiggins said of the rank. "I completely disagree with it. You're talking about a guy last year who took his defense was ranked, what, 32nd, 31st, in the NFL? And was one catch away from winning his fourth Super Bowl. A guy that had taken a team back in 2007 to an undefeated regular season."

But while Wiggins disagrees with the overall ranking, he does admit Belichick has lost a step or two on the defensive side.

"I think defensively as a defensive coordinator he's lost some luster, he's not the same guy," he said. "And that has to do with personnel, but he picks the personnel. So I think there are a lot of questions about him you can kind of poke holes into what type of GM is he, is he the same defensive coordinator, but I don't think he's overrated."

And here comes Mazz in clear disagreement with the poll.

"I was absolutely, positively stunned to see Bill Belichick No. 2 on this list. Stunned. Borderline appalled. Like, what are we talking about here?"

Mazz lists coaches like Brian Billick and Jon Gruden as coaches who could be on the list, but Belichick?

"You're going to talk about a guy who has won three titles as having been overrated as a coach? I think that is asinine," he continues.

Felger went halfway though, saying there is an argument to be made over him being a "defensive genius".

Celtics' goal in season opener vs. Nets: 'Let's just be us'


Celtics' goal in season opener vs. Nets: 'Let's just be us'

BOSTON --  It’s almost impossible not to look at tonight’s Boston-Brooklyn game and not think about where each franchise is currently, and how their statuses are directly bound with one another.
The Brooklyn Nets are preaching patience with their fan base in part because of the 2013 multi-player trade they made with the Celtics that has included them sending a slew of picks Boston’s way.
Meanwhile, the Celtics are a franchise on the rise not only because of the talent it currently has on the roster, but also the potential to add even more difference-making players to the mix courtesy of picks that they will get from Brooklyn in the coming years.
Players for both teams aren’t thinking about their respective franchise’s futures.
Instead, their focus will be on tonight’s game, one in which the Celtics will be heavily favored.
“I’ve been ready [to play],” said Boston’s Isaiah Thomas. “I’ve been ready for the preseason to be over and things to start counting.”
And the season begins with a familiar foe, one that the Celtics have already played twice in the preseason with another four matchups beginning tonight, during the season.
While the Nets are expected to be among the league’s worst teams while the Celtics are predicted to finish near the top of Eastern Conference standings, there’s at least one Celtic who isn’t convinced seeing the Nets so many times is a good thing.
“It’s hard to play teams . . . the more you play them it's like the tougher it is [to win],” Thomas said. “At the same time, they know what we like to do and we know what they like to do. You have to leave it all out there on the floor. Like [coach Brad Stevens) said, ‘Let’s just be us.’ ”
Being themselves more than anything else means delivering a devastating defensive punch, the kind that kept Boston among the NBA’s top defenses a year ago.
The Celtics finished the season with a defensive rating of 100.9 which was the fourth-best in the NBA.
And the mindset among several players is that as good as they were a year ago, the potential of this team defensively is even greater.
One of the keys to that optimism is Al Horford, the longtime Atlanta Hawk who signed a four-year, $113 million contract with the Celtics this summer when he became a free agent.
Horford is a four-time All-Star in part because of his versatility as a defender. Stevens envisions the 6-foot-10 Horford playing both power forward and center depending on the lineup he’s on the floor with at that time.
“He also improves are ability to play big or small,” Stevens said. “You can play him at the four (power forward) and play big, you can play him at the five (center). His mobility defensively and mobility to stretch the floor allows us to do both.”
And to think that as good as the Celtics are now, they are going to be able to add even more talent with a likely top-5 pick next year in the NBA draft courtesy of exercising their option to switch draft positions with the Nets.
Thomas has a lot on his mind heading into tonight’s game.
Increasing Boston’s chances of getting a high first-round pick from Brooklyn next year is not on the list, he says.
“I worry about scoring the ball, getting my teammates involved and winning games,” Thomas said. “I don’t know anything about those first-round picks.”
Thomas, the 60th and final player selected in the 2011 NBA draft added, “And I wasn’t a first-round pick so I don’t care about first-round picks.”