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Workouts Haven't Started Yet, but One Man is Already Breaking the NFL Combine: Bill Belichick

John Locher. Shutterstock Images.

Every year, there's one person who stands alone at the NFL Combine. That one Workout Warrior who blows the stopwatches off the scouts and GMs. That rare athlete who displays a combination of speed, strength, size, agility and football IQ and wins Best in Show at the Indianapolis Kennel Club. 

In 2019, it was DK Metcalf. In 2018, Saquon Barkley. A few years earlier, Julio Jones. Before him, Vernon Davis. Go back a few decades and you've got Mike Mamula, Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders. Physical and mental freaks who check every box on the punchlists of every personnel department descending upon Indiana for this great American football rodeo. 

Workouts begin tomorrow. Any prospect hoping to be that standout performer this week will have to go through the one whose name has been on the most lips already. The man who already met most of them a month ago at the East-West Shrine Game:

The rest of these Combine participants can try to get their sub-4.30 40s, their sub 7.00 3-cone drills, their 30 bench presses and have throwing hands that are a foot long. But I defy any of them to generate as much heat as Bill Belichick already has:

It's funny, because I was asked just last week if there's any chance Belichick the Elder might consider following Tom Brady into retirement any time soon. And my answer was the same as it has been for a dozen years or more. Watch him work, and tell me he wants to be doing any other thing with his life. When it comes to football, he has one speed, and it isn't "STOP." Whether he's walking around the practice field during stretching drills telling Ted Marchibroda stories, or taking a knee in front of his defensive line in the middle of a game showing them something on a white board, he never isn't totally present. Coaching the only way he's ever known how. Which is as hard as he can. 

Even when his staff is coaching a college exhibition game, he has no idea how to go through the motions. Every drill is a chance to learn. Every rep an opportunity to do it better. Every practice a means to get you one step closer to achieving perfection.

Undoubtedly, there will be some who were at that game who want no part of being coached like this in the pros. Good. I hope we don't accidentally end up with any of them. The ones who realize this approach will get the most out of them and unlock their fullest potential are the ones we want here. The ones who'll be crossing all their crossable parts when the Pats are on the board, hoping to hear their names called are the ones who get this franchise back to get back to the glory of 2001-18. Every measurable they record this week at Lucas Oil will be secondary.