Bill Belichick has come a long way to earn his unofficial title as resident football genius. Back when he started working in the NFL, part of his duties as a special assistant for the Baltimore Colts were those of a lowly copy boy.
Before his team's first joint practice with the Redskins, Belichick explained that while he never worked in the Washington organization, he did have a very good idea of how it ran things in the 1970s.
"There are a lot of memories that stand out with this organization," Belichick said from Washington's training camp facilities in Richmond, Virginia. "This is kind of the, I’d say, almost second home my first year in the league. When coach [Ted] Marchibroda came over from the Redskins [to Baltimore], he brought the whole Redskins program with him.
"I remember just everything we did, one of my jobs was to white out 'Washington Redskins' and type in 'Baltimore Colts' on it and then Xerox it off. It was literally the same. The same offense and Maxie Baughan was the same defensive coordinator and it was the same defense. I remember there was a couple pages somehow that snuck into the playbook that 'Redskins' didn’t get whited out and I heard about it on that."
Belichick went on to describe that the idea of holding joint practices was nothing new. The Colts and Redskins did it often in his first year in the league, running mirror-image systems against each other.
"We scrimmaged [the Redskins] three times that year in addition to playing six preseason games in 1975. So in those scrimmages it was really like an intersquad scrimmage because every call was the same, every play that they ran was our play and every defense that we ran was their defense. We really, I learned a lot about the Redskins organization through the Colts and coach [George] Allen and his assistants and his staff. I was brought up with the Colts that first year but it was really the Redskins program over in Baltimore."