That didn't take long. A couple weeks after his team beat the Falcons in Super Bowl LI, Bill Belichick's boat was spotted bearing the name "VII Rings."
Belichick rode around in "V Rings" in the years after the Patriots beat the Eagles in the Super Bowl since by that point he'd racked up three titles with the Patriots and two with the Giants as defensive coordinator. When the Patriots beat the Seahawks two years ago, he moved on to "VI Rings."
Belichick recently donated a 24' Grady White vessel to Sail Newport, a Rhode Island non-profit, for use "as a support and safety vessel for all of our instructional programs and regattas," said Brad Read, executive director of Sail Newport. But Belichick has "VII Rings" to help him enjoy whatever days off he's afforded himself before he gets started on his preparations for 2017.
Brian Daboll is returning to his coaching roots. The Patriots tight ends coach has agreed to become the offensive coordinator for the University of Alabama, a source confirmed. The news was first reported Friday night on Twitter by ESPN's Chris Low.
Daboll, 41, was a graduate coaching assistant for Alabama head coach Nick Saban in 1998-99 when Saban was at Michigan State. With Saban's recommendation, Daboll came to New England in 2000 as a defensive coaching assistant.
In 2002, he became the Patriots wide receivers coach. Daboll went to the Jets with Eric Mangini to coach quarterbacks and spent 2008 overseeing Brett Favre's season in New York. He then spent two years as Browns offensive coordinator, and one each as OC for the Chiefs and Dolphins before latching back on with the Patriots.
Daboll's long been seen as the OC-in-waiting behind Josh McDaniels. But McDaniels' caution in making sure a return to head coaching is a perfect fit has meant that Daboll can't really advance with the Patriots.
McDaniels can't be blamed for being cautious; Daboll can't be blamed for getting itchy. The two men have a close relationship that dates back to when they both worked for Saban in the late '90s. Alabama - a high-profile job that can only help Daboll's resume after spending the past three seasons as tight ends coach - is a smart move for his career.
Where do the Patriots turn for Daboll's replacement?
As ESPN's Mike Reiss pointed out, Bill Belichick likes to promote from within and coaching assistants Nick Caley, Mike Pellegrino and Cole Popovich could be in line or Jerry Schuplinsk, assistant quarterbacks coach who's come in for specific praise from Belichick in his brief time in New England, could get a look.
Bill Belichick’s abiding, lifelong respect and admiration for military history will be illustrated this spring as he’s agreed to narrate a one-hour film titled, “D-Day: Over Normandy”.
The movie, produced by Rhode Island’s Tim Gray and set to air on PBS stations around the country. The film, according to a release, “is a unique production in that it relies primarily on only drone aerial shots of many of the important Allied objectives on June 6, 1944 as the liberation of western Europe got underway.”
“First and foremost, Bill Belichick has been an active supporter of the World War II Foundation since we produced the first of our films in 2006,” said Gray, Chairman of the foundation and producer, director and writer of 18 WWII documentary films to date. “Coach Belichick understands our mission because he is a student of military history and is very proud of the service of his own father Steve, who served in both Europe and the Pacific in World War II.”
Said Belichick, “Growing up in Annapolis, Maryland, where my father coached football at the United States Naval Academy, I understand the importance of preserving the memory of those who served our nation during World War II,” Bill Belichick said. "Every day of my childhood, I was immersed in the tradition of the United States Navy. I was, and remain, inspired by their discipline, teamwork and courage, especially the sailors who fought on D-Day and in the Pacific theater, where the U.S. Pacific Fleet sacrificed so much for ultimate victory.
“The Navy, Army, Air Force and Marines made one heck of a team in World War II.”
Gray has won five regional Emmy Awards (Boston/New England and Washington, DC) for his work and three Indie International Film Fest awards, in addition to American Public Television’s National Programming Excellence Award.
Belichick’s admiration for Gray’s work came to light in December when, on the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Belichick spoke about the impact the Navy had on him and Gray’s efforts to remember and pass on the stories of WWII.