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Patriots' Bill Belichick: John Madden 'Set the Standard for Coaching in His Era'

Doric SamDecember 29, 2021

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick watches from the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)
AP Photo/Aaron Doster

As the NFL mourns the loss of Hall of Famer John Madden, who died Tuesday at the age of 85, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick took some time to reflect on Madden's impact on the game of football.

"Our condolences to the Madden family. It's a huge loss for the NFL and professional football," Belichick said at the opening of his press conference on Wednesday. "John was just a tremendous person to be around. I think we all set out to try to have a good professional career, and John had about five of them. He set the standard for coaching in his era."

A legendary head coach and broadcaster, Madden was one of the most highly regarded personalities in NFL history. He led the Oakland Raiders to victory in Super Bowl XI, and he never had a losing season as head coach, compiling a record of 103-32-7 in 10 years. 

After he retired from coaching, Madden became a color commentator for NFL games and won 16 Sports Emmy awards. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006. His last game as a broadcaster was Super Bowl XLIII in 2009.

"He had the best record, the best team, championships and all of that," Belichick continued. "The Raiders had a style of play that was very captivating and certainly did a lot for the league and the competitiveness of the league.

"He was a great champion for minorities and minority scouting and some of the great Raiders players from the smaller Black colleges that they brought into the organization. He moved into broadcasting and certainly increased the popularity of the game singlehandedly quite a bit."

Madden was also known for his EA Sports' "Madden NFL" video games, which helped grow the sport of football among younger fans.

"The Madden game was one of the most popular things going and most of the current players in this generation know Madden though that," Belichick said. "The popularity of football through the Madden game is pretty outstanding as well."

Belichick added, "He put it all together. He was a great person with multiple great careers, and a great influence on the game of professional football."