FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Bill Belichick enters his 46th NFL season in 2020, and he has evolved with the game itself over that time. He also has stayed true to his core beliefs in many ways.
A tweet from NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah provides a springboard to highlight this point.
Jeremiah, who served as a scout over eight seasons for the Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens before joining NFL Media in 2012, shared some Belichick-based notes that he received when he was in "scout school" with the Ravens.
I think you'll enjoy this... We were given this handout during a scout school from my time with the Ravens. Coach Belichick has held true to almost all of this over the years. pic.twitter.com/pWB3oqo5JU— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) March 31, 2020
The notes, from 1991 when Belichick was in the early part of his tenure as Browns head coach (the franchise would move to Baltimore in 1996), pinpoint what Belichick was looking for with an offensive approach, and at each position.
Fast-forward to today and many of the words still have relevance, as Jeremiah indicates.
Consider tight end -- still one of the Patriots' top needs a year after Rob Gronkowski's retirement -- and what would be the ideal prospect. "Don't let the lack of blocking ability eliminate a good player," Belichick writes and underlines, while defining how the top option "needs to be a catcher."
"Good measure of TE is also what he does with the ball after the catch," he adds.
Then there is what Belichick wrote about quarterbacks, which provides a glimpse at what he will be considering as the Patriots look to fill the void in a post-Tom Brady world.
"#1 is to make good decisions -- then arm, size, physically tough, leadership, guys look up to and have confidence in, a real competitor," Belichick writes. "Accurate rather than guy with a cannon. Emphasis on our game will be on decision, timing, accuracy -- guy needs to be confident, intelligence is important but not as much so as field awareness & judgment. Can't be sloppy fundamentally unsound guy with ball handling, [techniques] etc."
While the game itself has changed over the decades, Belichick rated the following four areas as the key for any successful offense:
Pick up blitz
Pick up 3rd downs
From an overall offensive approach, it has always been an inside-out plan.
"Make defense defend the middle of the field first by running and throwing inside -- work from the inside out in terms of blocking and protection -- when defense commits more players inside then we can attack outside (run & pass)," Belichick writes.
Nearly 30 years later, his mindset doesn't seem to have changed.