After just barely beating his former team during “Monday Night Football,” Belichick recalled arguably the most defining moment of his career that led him to win six Super Bowl rings and easily defined him as one of the most successful coaches in NFL history.
“One of the not only most defining but one of the great moments of my career,” Belichick told WEEI radio. “That combined with Robert (Kraft) giving me the opportunity to come here, I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
“That wasn’t a good situation for me, and I didn’t want to be part of it, so I wasn’t.”
Belichick joined the Jets as an assistant coach under Bill Parcells in 1997. Moments before he was to be formally introduced as the Jets’ coach in January of 2000 succeeding Parcells, he infamously scribbled on a cocktail napkin that he was resigning as the “HC of the NYJ.”
He only served as head coach for one day telling reporters at the Jets’ press conference, “I just don’t feel at this time that I can lead the Jets with the 100% conviction that I need.”
Belichick’s decision to leave New York, coupled with Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft’s decision to fire Peter Carroll (now running the Seattle Seahawks) and bring the former New England assistant back to the team, would forever change Belichick’s career.
“I appreciate all the support from Robert, the Kraft family, the Patriots organization and all the New England fans,” Belichick said Tuesday. “I’ll keep trying to do my best for this team and this organization, give them the very best that I can. But I’m very thankful for the opportunity to come here, and I just wasn’t going to stay there in that situation. So it worked out.”
The Patriots had been to two Super Bowls — losing both — prior to Belichick’s taking the reins in 2000. His time on the sidelines has delivered nine Super Bowl appearances, winning six NFL titles. The Patriots have also won 11 consecutive AFC East titles with Belichick in charge.
While the Patriots today — with a record currently under .500 — seem wildly different from past seasons, there’s no doubt Belichick made the right decision.