The League

Jason Maloni
Crisis Communications Expert

Jason Maloni

Senior Vice President with
Levick Strategic Communications
and Chair of the firm's Sports & Entertainment Practice.

...But there's a "nasty" in "dynasty"

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The answer to the question "who is the New England Patriots' MVP (Most Valuable Person)" is no contest. It's Bill Belichick by a country mile.

After a coaching career that included some highs as well as lows, Belichick came into his own in the past decade with the Pats.

Sure Tom Brady is huge piece of the Patriots' puzzle but, in the year the QB was sidelined for the season, the Pats still had fifth ranked offense and 10th ranked defense.

Sure the Patriots have had other coaches who've provided stability and expertise, but several Patriots assistant coaches have departed for head coaching roles in the NFL and college, yet no one has replicated the success they had under Belichick.

No, it's Belichick - who plays a large role in player personnel decisions - who is the secret sauce.

Effective teams in any industry rarely succeed on the backs of one or two stand-out performers. More often it's an entire team buying into a system and working hard that creates success. Belichick has succeeded because he learned three business lessons that any CEO could stand to write down:

  1. Buy low/sell high: New England almost never chases a top draft pick and signs him to a big contract. Let the Cowboys and Redskins do that. New England's front office is masterful at the dark art of the NFL Draft. In addition to using the draft well, the team isn't shy about giving an aging veteran a second chance (Randy Moss, Junior Seau, Fred Taylor). In the end, Belichick and company get the most out of what they have. If you want to see a lesson on how to squander first round draft picks, check out the Cleveland Browns. Fortunately, it would seem, Bill learned from his stint in Cleveland.
  2. Understand who you are: The Patriots' identity is a solid defense and an offense that scores more points than the other side. Whereas the Steelers won Super Bowls as a running team, and the Ravens won a Super Bowl with a great defense, the Patriots know who they are and they've aspired to be that through a decade of personnel changes. Know your identity and own it, and don't try to be anything else.
  3. Never put style over substance: I'm not sure that the cut-off sweatshirt will catch on (particularly now that the Josh McDaniels era in Denver has ended), but something you must appreciate about Belichick is he doesn't care what anyone thinks. He won't have the most fashionable sideline wear. He won't be good for a Jim Mora or Denny Green-like quote at news conferences. He's not going to stand at mid-field and embrace a coach you know he doesn't like. He's an old grouch from Annapolis who only cares about out-coaching his opponent.

The Patriots may not still be playing football in February, but they've put together an impressive run lately beating the best the AFC and NFC have to offer. Win or lose this season, you have to appreciate the dynasty we're witnessing.

By Jason Maloni  |  December 15, 2010; 1:03 PM ET  | Category:  AFC , Jason Maloni , NFL , New England Patriots , Tom Brady Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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