Belichick: History shows no right or wrong way to game plan

Belichick: History shows no right or wrong way to game plan
October 19, 2012, 5:56 pm
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FOXBORO -- The Patriots game plan changes each week. They do what they think works best against that particular opponent, rather than continuing to solely stick to their biggest strengths each week, regardless of who they're playing.

As Bill Belichick game plans for the New York Jets, he opened up on Friday, saying, just because that's New England's philosophy, doesn't mean it's the only way to be successful.

The Patriots coach goes back to his high school days, where he won "a ton of games with two different teams under two completely opposite philosophies.

The first year, their offense only ran four plays.

"We ran four plays: 22-Power, 24-Quick Trap, 28-Counter, and Sprint-Right," said Belichick. "That was it. And when we ran it to the other side, we just flipped the formation. O-line flip, and a play went the other way.

"That was the offense. That was the entire offense. And we won a lot of games."

One year later, it was the exact opposite, with the quarterback calling his own plays from a much more extensive playbook.

"That was about as opposite as you could get, from one year, to the next year," said Belichick. "We won just as many games. It was totally different. But both were very successful. So, what's the right way to do it, what's the wrong way to do it? I don't know. Whatever works. Whatever you believe in. But then it all has to line up that way."

Belichick went on to point out that the same type of differences are seen in NFL philosophies. He continued by telling the story of his time with the Denver Broncos early on in his NFL career, where he was an assistant special teams coach and a defensive assistant.

"There were game plans where we had 60 different defensive fronts," said Belichick. "It's hard to imagine 60 different fronts, really, in a 3-4 defense. But that's what it was. Like 60 different alignments."

Then when Belichick began a 12-year stint with the New York Giants, he saw the same type of 3-4 defense. It just wasn't as complicated, but yet, just as successful as his defense in Denver.

"We played one front, with one adjustment," said Belichick. "We reduced the end on the weak side from a 4-technique to a three-technique. And that's it. Then I'd say, 95 percent of the snaps that we played -- from 81-to-90 that weren't Nickel snaps -- over 90 percent of them had to be either base or reduced front. Maybe 95 percent. Might have been higher than that.

"Two good defenses . . . same 3-4, two totally different philosophies."

Through it all, Belichick has learned to take some things with him. He's also told himself that there were things he'd never do. He's a combination of everything he's seen thus far, from high school to the NFL.

And on Sunday against the New York Jets, his philosophy will be to game plan for nobody other than the New York Jets.

That's his philosophy.