It's hard to believe now, but there was a time when Bill Belichick was fired from his job as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns. The move ended a five-year tenure with the team that included a 36-44 record, highlighted by a 11-win season in 1994 during which Belichick directed the club to the playoffs (defeating the Patriots in the opening round).
Hindsight makes coaching decisions a little easier to judge, and three Super Bowl wins and five appearances later, the choice by then-Browns (and soon-to-be Ravens) owner Art Modell to relieve Belichick of his duties now ranks as one of the worst in NFL annals, according to the "ranking" of Pat Kirwan of CBSSports.com.
Writes Kirwan of the decision: "Granted, he was young for a head coach and his 36-44 record wasn't impressive, to say the least -- but the rest is history. Again Modell fired his coach and Belichick has gone on to five Super Bowl appearances, winning three times. The Browns are on their seventh head coach in the 18 years since Belichick was fired, though if Belichick had stayed he would have become the first coach of the Ravens."
Belichick would land with the Patriots the following season in an assistant head coach/secondary coach position, staying for one year before moving on to the New York Jets with Bill Parcells a year later. We've seen head coaches succeed in their second stints, and perhaps no one serves as a better example of that than Belichick, who is arguably the finest head coach of his era.
To read Kirwan's piece, CLICK HERE.