The New England Patriots have been the most successful dynasty in NFL history since the turn of the century, and most of that success can be attributed to Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.
Before Patriots owner Robert Kraft hired Belichick, Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell told Kraft he shouldn’t make the hire, according to MMQB’s Peter King.
“He said if I did it, I’d be making the biggest mistake of my life,” Kraft told King. “It was toxic. Nobody thought it was a good idea. I was getting killed by the media in Boston. Bill had one winning year in five seasons in Cleveland.”
Modell was the owner of the Cleveland Browns before they relocated to Baltimore, and Belichick was Cleveland’s head coach for five seasons. He was also supposed to become Baltimore’s new coach after the relocation, but Modell changed his mind and hired Ted Marchibroda. Belichick went 36-44 with one playoff appearance in Cleveland.
Modell apparently called Kraft after Belichick was hired in 2000 and softened his stance.
“You’re not getting Prince Charming,” Modell said, “but give him some leeway and he’ll deliver for you.”
Belichick went 5-11 in his first season with the Patriots, but they went 11-5 in 2001 and defeated the St. Louis Rams in the Super Bowl. The Patriots will play for their seventh Super Bowl since 2001 on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.
(h/t Baltimore Sun)