Josh McDaniels recently said that he wouldn't be surprised if Bill Belichick was still roaming the sidelines in Foxborough a decade from now. Apparently, that would be completely fine with Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who reportedly hopes that Belichick continues to coach New England into his 80s. The six-time Super Bowl championship coach will turn 70 on Saturday.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk recently recalled a conversation he had with Kraft several years ago regarding Belichick, via 93.7 The Fan.
"Robert Kraft told me that he wants to see Bill Belichick coach into his 80s. He wants to see him perform at a high level like a Warren Buffett or a Rupert Murdoch well past his 80th birthday -- he believes he can."
McDaniels, the Raiders new head coach and a former Patriots assistant coach, doesn't see his old boss stepping away from football anytime soon.
"He still attacks the job the same now that I saw him attack it when I first started in 2001," McDaniels said during an interview with NBC Sports' Peter King. "Doesn't matter what part of the year it is. The big thing that Bill has going for him and has always done is he loves all the facets of the football season, whether it's scouting, preparation for a game, roster evaluation, team-building, developmental parts of the year for the young players. All of those things get weighted the same for him."
The fact that Belichick is still on the sideline is somewhat surprising given his comments back in January 2010. The Patriots' 2009 season had just ended following a loss to the Ravens in the wild card round of the playoffs. Belichick, who allowed NFL Films to document him during the '09 season, said during an early drive into work that he did not envision himself coaching into his 70s.
"You definitely miss a lot during football season. Family stuff, holidays and kids stuff when they're young, their games," a then 57-year-old Belichick said. "The world passes you by. I have a hard time picturing not coaching football at this point. I won't be like Marv Levy and coaching in my 70s; you won't have to worry about that. Fortunately, that's a few years off.
"I enjoy doing what I'm doing. I don't think that's going to last forever. Beats working."
Belichick has clearly had a change of heart in the years following that interview. Since the '09 season, the Patriots have won three more Super Bowls under Belichick's watch. And while his place in the Hall of Fame is already secure, Belichick is apparently still motivated to add more championships to his legacy before he heads off into retirement. Belichick is 10 wins away from becoming only the third coach in league history to win 300 games. He is 28 wins away from matching George Halas' tally of 318 wins and 38 wins from tying Don Shula for the all-time lead.