By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
FOXBORO (CBS) — In what should come as no surprise to anybody, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has racked up a rather significant career milestone.
With a 27-13 win over the Browns on Sunday, Belichick earned his 300th career victory, regular season and postseason combined. He’s just the third coach ever to reach that mark, joining Don Shula and George Halas, but he’s also the fastest to ever reach 300. Belichick reached the 300 mark in just 434 games coached, while Shula reached it in 445 games and Halas reached the mark in his 455th game.
After the win, Patriots owner Robert Kraft stepped to the center of the Patriots’ locker room to present a game ball to the head coach. Kraft put into perspective how Belichick has come full circle.
“September 8th, 1991, the man to my left came to Foxboro to coach the Cleveland Browns against the New England Patriots. He won his first game as a head coach,” Kraft said. “And 28 years later, coming back to this same location, and winning his 300th game, only the third man in history in the 100 years of the NFL to do that. I’m happy, as we all are, that 263 of those 300 have been as coach of the New England Patriots.”
Win No. 300 came against the Browns, which was fitting. Yet it was last week’s win that had Kraft particularly tickled during his game ball presentation.
“I’m especially happy that 299 was against the New York Jets,” Kraft cheerfully stated.
Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels let out a quick clap at that comment.
Robert Kraft presents Bill Belichick with the game ball after his 300th win. pic.twitter.com/Wy3h9geOGo
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) October 28, 2019
The Patriots obviously have quite a history with the Jets, most notably with Bill Parcells ditching the Patriots after the 1996 season for the Jets. Kraft has said that he wanted to keep Belichick to coach the team at that point (Belichick was the assistant head coach for that ’96 Pats team after losing his head coaching job in Cleveland), but instead opted for a fresh start with Pete Carroll.
A few years later, Belichick pulled a similar disappearing act on the Jets, thus leading to a marriage with Kraft and the Patriots that has generated unprecedented success over the past two decades.
The video — which was posted by the Patriots to Twitter — was carefully edited, so as not to reveal Belichick’s reaction to the jab at the Jets. It also cut short before Belichick spoke to the team.
When Belichick stepped to the podium shortly thereafter, he did reflect on his accomplishment.
“It’s a great privilege to coach this team and to coach the guys that I’ve coached throughout my career. Fortunately, I didn’t play in any of those games. That’s a good thing for us, but I’ve had a lot of good players, a lot of great players and they’re the ones that win the games,” Belichick said. “I’ve had a lot of great assistant coaches on my staff through the wins at Cleveland and certainly here. I was a part of those but, honestly, players win games in this league and I’ve been fortunate that I’ve coached a lot of great ones.”
Belichick didn’t spend too much time strolling down memory lane, though.
“It’s always good to win. It’s good to beat Cleveland. It’s good to beat anybody. It’s a tough league to win in, so I’m proud of what the guys did, proud of what this team accomplished today, but we’ve got bigger goals ahead,” Belichick said. “We know the Ravens are going to be tough next week. They don’t care about this game or what I did or what anybody else did, so we’re going to have to turn the page quickly and move on to Baltimore.”