BOSTON (CBS) — Bill Belichick is unquestionably the best NFL coach of his generation. He may be the best coach of all time.

It’s difficult, of course, to compile the case for one coach against another in such a discussion or debate. Likewise, it’s rather challenging to try to explain what specifically goes into the coaching greatness of Belichick.

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Yet when we hear from the players who were actually coached by Belichick, the explanation tends to be an extraordinarily simple message drilled into players’ heads over and over and over (and over) again.

For quite some time, we’ve become familiar with “Do your job” as the persistent message from the coach, who’s been heard on sideline mics countless times instructing players to simply do the one thing that’s asked of them on each play. It’s painfully simple, and theoretically, any coach in the world could say it.

Now, the recently retired Julian Edelman has added a new Belichickism to the mix.

In his appearance on “Pardon My Take” earlier this week, Edelman was asked about his work as a blocker. He gave credit to former Patriots receivers coach Chad O’Shea for always stressing the importance of competing in the run game. But he also shared a tremendous coaching point offered by Belichick to the receivers:

“Bill would always just say two things to the receiver: just get open and catch the f—in’ ball. That’s what you do as a receiver, all right?”

That’s all it takes.

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Get open.

Catch the (freaking) ball.

Julian Edelman, Bill Belichick in 2019 (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Again, it’s incredibly simple. But the results seem to speak for themselves.

Later in the interview, Edelman was asked why coaches who branch off from Belichick haven’t had the same success as their mentor. Edelman’s answer on this one was a bit more serious.

“It’s hard to go in and try to be Bill Belichick without being Bill Belichick. You can’t just go in and demand the respect and put this crazy work schedule and this schedule and attention to detail and the practice intensity … like you have to kind of massage that in for a group that has never really had that. You can’t just go and demand it,” Edelman said. “Bill can literally, you know, Bill’s coached in the league for 40 years. He started with the Baltimore Colts, bro. Like he’s been around this, he’s seen every position, every type of player, in the thousands. So like, it’s hard for a guy to not … you can’t just go and try to copy what he does. It’s not gonna be you. I think a lot of it has to do with that.”

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Edelman added: “I don’t think you can just go and demand a team like you’re Bill Belichick unless you’re Bill Belichick.”

CBSBoston.com Staff