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Sunday, February 22, 2009
Belichick will miss competing against Shanahan

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick waxed poetic about several of his coaching brethren who will not be roaming the sideline in 2009. Belichick was at the scouting combine in Indianapolis on Sunday.

Belichick said it "doesn't seemed right" that coaches such as Mike Shanahan, Jon Gruden, Brian Billick and Steve Mariucci are not coaching. He was particularly complimentary of Shanahan, who was fired by Denver after 14 seasons in December. Shanahan had opportunities to talk to teams this offseason but he has opted to wait for 2010.

Shanahan is known as one of the best offensive minds in the game and Belichick is considered the best defensive mind in the game. In the 2005 playoffs, Denver handed Belichick and Tom Brady their first postseason defeat in New England.

Belichick clearly will miss facing Shanahan when the Broncos and Patriots play in Denver in 2009.

"Mike Shanahan is certainly a Hall of Fame coach," Belichick said. "I know I've got to be on the list of people he'll thank because of all the games that have been scheduled against us. He has done pretty well. Including when I was an assistant at the Jets and even with the Patriots. I know I haven't beaten him too many times. I'm not disappointed to not have him on our schedule, believe me. It's just hard to believe that coaches like Mike Shanahan and Jon Gruden aren't coaching in the National Football League, but that's not my decision. It's just odd for them to be here but not in a coaching capacity."