Schiano learns the power of Belichick

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Schiano learns the power of Belichick

Bill Belichick and Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano are good buddies, and here are a few for instances to prove it.

In the past, Belichick has spoken at Schiano's summer camp.

Last year, Schiano let Belichick's son Stephen walk on to the Rutgers football team.

Last season, during the Pats' bye week, Belichick traveled with Rutgers (on the team charter) for a game in Louisville. He reportedly sat next to Schiano on the plane and talked defense the whole way down.

In December, when Belichick was asked about having four Rutgers alums on his roster, he said: Coach Schiano, I have a good relationship with him and anytime hes told me anything, its always been 100 percent accurate. A player that hes familiar with, I would definitely want to take the opportunity to get his opinion and see what he thinks because of his experience and the amount of respect I have for him."

Last January, when Schiano left Rutgers for Tampa Bay, Belichick wasted no time offering up his approval: Obviously, hes done a great job at Rutgers. And I think hes a tremendous coach, he's done a great job with that program, and his players have been very pro ready. They may not be first-round picks or whatever, but they have enough talent to really compete in the NFL and most of them end up staying in one way or another. I think thats a credit to the preparation and the program he has built there."

There are some who believe that Belichick was integral in Schiano getting hired in the first place.

I've heard they like to refer to themselves as "Thunder buddies."

Like I said, they're good pals. But today, Schiano learned that it doesn't matter what kind of off-the-field relationship you have with Belichick, once you're a head coach in the NFL shark tank, you're no less likely to feel his bite.

What am I talking about? Well, here was the report out of Tampa Bay earlier this week (from beat guy Stephen Holder) surrounding Olympic sprinter and former Florida RB Jeff Demps:
Last points on Demps: He's now heard from every NFL team, more than he expected. Bucs definitely a front runner. Decision likely by Monday Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) August 15, 2012
Here was the news today (courtesy of local reporter Kevin O'Donnell):

Fox 13 Sports (WTVT-Tampa) has learned that Jeff Demps will be a New England Patriot. Decision came down to NE and Bucs. Off. ann. soon. Kevin O'Donnell (@ODonnellFox13) August 17, 2012
As to why Demps ultimately went with the Pats, O'Donnell added: "Demps just felt New England is a better fit."

Of course he did.

Welcome to the NFL, Coach Schiano.

And as for Demps, here's a little of what we have to look forward to:

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Curran’s 100 plays that shaped a dynasty: A nice pair of kicks

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Curran’s 100 plays that shaped a dynasty: A nice pair of kicks

We're into the Top 10 now.

These are the plays of the Bill Belichick Era you best never forget. And probably can't. They're the ones that led directly to championships -- most for New England, a couple for the other guys. Or they're plays that signified a sea change in the way the New England Patriots under Belichick would be behaving from there on out.

I did my best to stack them in order of importance. You got a problem with that? Good. Let us know what's too high, too low or just plain wrong. And thanks for keeping up!

PLAY NUMBER: 4

THE YEAR: 2001 (actually Feb. 3, 2002)

THE GAME: Patriots 20, Rams 17

THE PLAY: Vinatieri 48-yarder in Superdome delivers SB36 win

WHY IT’S HERE: When the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, it was viewed nationally and locally as a cathartic moment for a long-suffering region. Deliverance for a fanbase that resolutely suffered through 90 years of star-crossed heartbreak with a mix of stoicism and fatalism. “Long-suffering Red Sox fan” was a badge of honor, an identity. And New Englanders – baseball fans or not - would self-identify with the hideous notion of Red Sox Nation. There was no “Patriots Nation.” To drag out the forced metaphor, Patriots fans were living in tents and cabins in the wilderness, recluses. Reluctant to be seen in town where they’d be mocked. And suddenly, they cobbled together one of the most improbable, magical seasons in American professional sports, a year which gave birth to a dynasty which was first celebrated, now reviled but always respected. And while so many games and plays led to this 48-yarder – ones we’ve mentioned 12 times on this list – Adam Vinatieri kicking a 48-yarder right down the f****** middle to win the Super Bowl was an orgasmic moment for the recluses and pariahs that had been Patriots fans when nobody would admit to such a thing.
 

PLAY NUMBER: 3

THE YEAR: 2001 (actually Jan. 19, 2002)

THE GAME: Patriots 16, Raiders 13

THE PLAY: Vinatieri from 45 through a blizzard to tie Snow Bowl

WHY IT’S HERE: Two thoughts traveling on parallel tracks were running through the mind while Adam Vinatieri trotted onto the field and lined up his 45-yarder to tie Oakland in the 2001 AFC Divisional Playoff Game, the final one at Foxboro Stadium. “There’s no way he can make this kick in this weather,” was the first. “The way this season’s gone, I bet he makes this kick. It can’t end here. It can’t end now.” From where I was sitting in the press box I couldn’t see the ball clearly, probably because I was looking for it on a higher trajectory than Vinatieri used. So I remember Vinatieri going through the ball, my being unable to locate it in the air and then looking for the refs under the goalposts to see their signal. And when I located them, I saw the ball scuttle past. Then I saw the officials’ arms rise. Twenty-five years earlier, the first team I ever followed passionately – the ’76 Patriots – left me in tears when they lost to the Raiders in the playoffs. Now, at 33, I was covering that team and it had gotten a measure of retribution for the 8-year-old me.