Super Bowl: Bill Belichick and Tom Brady head for fourth win

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick
Head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady have already won three Super Bowls together
Super Bowl XLIX
Date: Sunday, 1 February Venue: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona Coverage: Commentary on BBC Radio 5 live

Head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady have formed a formidable partnership at New Englandexternal-link since joining the Patriots back in 2000.

The rich vein of success enjoyed by the pair means they have accrued more wins than any other coach-quarterback combination in the history of the National Football League.

They have already won three Super Bowls together but could have a tough job adding a fourth, with defending champions the Seattle Seahawks lining up against them in Sunday's showpiece in Phoenix.

Here, BBC Sport profiles both men.

Bill Belichick (far right) was assistant coach for the New York Giants. They beat the Buffalo Bills 20-19
At the Super Bowl XXV in 1991, Belichick (far right) was assistant coach for the New York Giants. They beat the Buffalo Bills 20-19

Belichick, 62, began his coaching career with the New York Giants and was on their staff for 12 years from 1979, during which time he was part of two Super Bowl-winning seasons.

After stints as the head coach of the Cleveland Brownsexternal-link and assistant coach at the Patriots, he became head coach of the New York Jets. But just a a day after his appointment, he quit to take up his current role.

Brady, 37, may be the archetypal square-jawed golden boy of the NFL, but was only a sixth-round pick in the 2000 draft, arguably making this the best late selection of all time.

Other quarterbacks have thrown more touchdowns or for more yards, while others can throw the ball further or scramble faster.

But Brady represents the complete all-round package, as well as being a leader and a proven winner. That is why he will earn £4.6m ($7m) this year.

No-one is quite sure how much Belichick earns. A huge fan of rock band Grateful Dead and an avid reader of the Harry Potter books, the Nashville-born coach is a known humanitarian, who does a lot of prison visits and works with gangs.

He is also good mates with Jon Bon Jovi. The rock band even dedicated their song 'Bounce' to the Pat coach.

Brady is sporting royalty. He has hosted US variety show Saturday Night Live and voiced himself in The Simpsons.

He has a daughter with actress Bridget Moynahan and is now married to Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen after they were set up on a blind date.

Quarterback Tom Brady in 1998
Quarterback Tom Brady, then of the Michigan Wolverines, defeated the Michigan Eagles 59-20 on 19 September 1998

His brother-in-law is Kevin Youkilis, who played baseball for the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.

Belichick refers a lot to the book Art of War, an ancient Chinese military text attributed to Sun Tzu, a high-ranking military general, strategist and tactician. It includes such advice as:

  • "Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt"
  • "Treat your men as you would your own beloved sons and they will follow you into the deepest valley"

Brady grew up in awe of the legendary San Francisco quarterback Joe Montana.

The Californian, who also played basketball and baseball as a kid, could join his hero as a three-time Super Bowl Most Valuable Player, should he have a pivotal role in a New England victory on Sunday.

The annual award is presented following votes from fans and a panel of American football writers and broadcasters.

Model Gisele Bundchen and NFL player Tom Brady
Gisele Bundchen and husband Brady are one of the ultimate power couples to appear on the red carpet of the annual Met Ball in New York

Belichick, who always wears a hoodie on the sidelines, is the wiliest of coaches, utilising a deep knowledge and experience of the game to outwit opponents, but he has not been far from controversy.

Earlier this month the NFL said it was investigating the Patriots amid claims 11 balls were deflated in the win that sent them to the Super Bowl.

The Patriots beat Indianapolis 45-7 in driving rain and flat balls are said to be easier to catch in wet conditions.

But forget 'Deflate-gate' for a minute, Belichick was fined £331,000 ($500,000) in 2007 after the Patriots were caught videotaping the defensive signals of the New York Jets during a game. That incident became known as 'Spygate'.

Bill Belichick denies knowledge of plan to deflate balls

Brady's big break came in the first few weeks of the 2001 season, when Drew Bledsoe, New England's star quarterback, was injured.

The number one overall draft pick in 1993, Bledsoe sheared a blood vessel in his chest after being hit by Jets linebacker Mo Lewis. Brady took over and Bledsoe never won his job back.

Brady became a household name following one of the most controversial games in NFL play-off history. Ten points down to Oakland in the fourth quarter, Brady got hit by Charles Woodson and the Raiders recovered the ball to essentially win the game in 2001.

The referee controversially overturned the decision and New England won. The contest is known universally as the "Tuck Rule Game".

A victory on Sunday would give Belichick a fourth Super Bowl triumph, matching the achievement of the late Chuck Noll, who reached that milestone with his fearsome Pittsburgh Steelers side back in 1980.

Research by Haydn Parry and Simon Clancy

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