Belichick is the NFL’s ‘Zen Master’

Few can argue that Phil Jackson might be the best coach in the history of professional sports. Ten NBA world championships in the modern era speak for themselves. But upon closer examination, I find similarities between Jackson and New England Patriots coach.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (left) is being compared to Lakers head coach Phil Jackson as being a "Zen Master" in the NFL. (Associated Press)

Patriots coach Bill Belichick (left) and Lakers coach Phil Jackson are regarded as two of the most successful coaches of their respective sports.(Associated Press)

Jackson strategically has based his attack on the Triangle offense, which is a hard-to-master discipline for players. Few teams in the NBA utilize the principles. Belichick has stapled his strategy on the 3-4 defense, also a tough discipline to master. It’s not a surprise that many NFL teams now are attempting to utilize it; but to date, the Cowboys, Ravens, Steelers and Patriots are the only teams to master it.

Jackson likes to mingle young talent with veteran leadership. In like manner, Belichick has continually gotten the last bit of juice out of veterans at the tail end of their careers. The additions this season of Fred Taylor, Shawn Springs and Joey Galloway likely will bear fruit just as the addition of key veterans has done in the past.

Finally, Jackson is renowned for giving his players books to read. Not just any books. Books that Jackson feels will make the person grow. The Patriots are renowned for having the highest collegiate graduation rate among NFL teams.

So I ask you, is Belichick the NFL’s Zen Master or are you still holding onto the joke that was Spygate?

Jamie Dukes

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