Belichick & top coaches of all-time

May, 31, 2013
5/31/13
10:15
AM ET
In honor of the legendary Vince Lombardi's 100th birthday, which would have been June 11 of this year, CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman has compiled his list of the best NFL coach by each decade.

It comes as little surprise that Bill Belichick earned the nod for the 2000's, during which the Patriots rose to league prominence with three Super Bowl titles in a span of four seasons.

Writes Freeman:
"There simply wasn't a better coach in the decade, particularly as a tactician. Five AFC titles and three Super Bowl wins in the decade. The only coach to win three Super Bowls in a four-year span. He was 16-0 in 2007.

Most of all, he outcoached his opponent. Out-thought him. Out-hustled him. I remember one AFC head coach telling me once the only coach he ever feared was Belichick. That fear was well earned."

Belichick took the Patriots' job in 2000, and that was the only season in which his Patriot team did not win at least nine games. It was in 2001 that they shocked the NFL world with a Super Bowl XXXVI win, and the franchise has remained the model of consistency since that time.

Freeman's list in an interesting talking point as it relates to another coaching countdown, as ESPN.com is currently unveiling its top 20 NFL coaches of all-time (CLICK HERE).

The expectation is that Belichick will rank near the top of that list, as his resume already stacks up to many of the best who have ever patrolled the sidelines. ESPN.com will continue to reveal the list in the coming days, and it's possible that we'll have a Belichick spotting in the near future.

To see Freeman's full list, CLICK HERE.
Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.

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