The late Bum Phillips, who colorfully coached both the Houston Oilers and the New Orleans Saints, had a definition of great coaching that he applied to both Alabama’s Bear Bryant and the Miami Dolphins’ Don Shula. "He can beat your’n with his’n, and his’n with your’n," the folksy Phillips is credited with having said of both legends.
Over time, with a fixation on Super Bowl titles, it was Lombardi Trophies that became the yardstick of great coaching, and no one could touch New England’s Bill Belichick in that regard. He has won six -- an all-time best, so far.
However, since the departure of Tom Brady, Belichick’s quarterback for those titles, and the subsequent struggles of the Patriots, the debate has been reopened on the NFL’s coaching GOAT.
In due time, it just might be Kansas City head coach Andy Reid who winds up being recognized as the NFL’s best coach of all-time. Unfortunately, Chiefs fans in Kansas City and nearby have not been able to join in on the success in the form of Missouri sports betting.
Tale of the Tape
Comparing the Numbers and More
Freezing the stats after six weeks of the 2023 NFL season, Belichick, now in his 29th season as a head coach, is 299-157 in the regular season, 330-170 including playoffs. Reid, now in his 25th season, is 252-139-1 in the regular season, 274-155-1 including playoffs. In the Lombardi Trophy chase, Belichick has the aforementioned six to Reid’s two.
However, where the debate gets interesting is Belichick’s record without Tom Brady, who left the Patriots after the 2020 season and subsequently won his seventh Super Bowl with Tampa Bay. Belichick is 81-94 as a head coach in Cleveland and New England in games that Brady has not started.
Meanwhile, Reid is credited with coaching a number of quarterbacks to winning records in Philadelphia and Kansas City.
With the Eagles, Reid went to four NFC title games with Donovan McNabb. Then, when Reid arrived in Kansas City, he revived Alex Smith’s career after the QB had an up-and-down stay in San Francisco. And now, Chiefs superstar Patrick Mahomes, with two Super Bowl wins, is carving out a Hall of Fame career under Reid. Big Red, as Reid is affectionately known, even coaxed a playoff run out of Jeff Garcia in Philly in 2006. And a few years later, Reid helped restore the career of Michael Vick, a pariah in the NFL after his dog fighting-related legal problems.
It is true that in their one Super Bowl showdown, Super Bowl XXXIX, that Belichick’s Patriots edged Reid’s Eagles, 24-21.
There are no Missouri sports betting apps, but DraftKings odds nationally for the upcoming Super Bowl place Kansas City second at +500. New England, of course, is an incredible longshot at +4000, tied for 29th among 32 teams.
Will Belichick Catch Don Shula?
Regarding the issue of “legacy”, the NFL’s all-time coaching win record is measured in regular-season victories. Don Shula is No. 1 with a record of 328-156, with 257 coming with Miami and 71 with the Baltimore Colts. At No. 2 is George Halas with 318, all with the Chicago Bears and their forerunners, the Decatur Staleys.
There was a time when Belichick seemed a cinch to catch Halas and then Shula, but the wheezing Patriots, 1-5 so far this season and with no apparent quarterback solution for the departed Brady, are putting Belichick’s shot to be No. 1 in the record books in doubt.
Meanwhile, Reid’s Chiefs, whose 5-1 record reflects their talented youthful roster led by Mahomes, appear to have several more seasons in them of double-digit victory totals with more Super Bowls in their sights.
Of course, both Belichick and Reid have their tickets punched to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. However, the question of the NFL coaching GOAT, once thought to be a foregone conclusion, remains very much open.
It’s anybody’s guess if 2024 will be the year Missouri passes sports betting laws. When that happens, be sure to be armed with Missouri sportsbook promo codes.