New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick was selected as the National Football League’s coach of the year for a third time, a day after the team’s quarterback Tom Brady was voted the best offensive player.
Belichick, 58, coached the Patriots to a league-best 14-2 regular-season record before his team lost 28-21 to the New York Jets in the playoffs. He received 30 of the 50 votes cast by media members to beat Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris, who had 11.5 votes. Balloting was compiled by the Associated Press.
“It’s an honor to receive this award on behalf of our performance in the regular season,” Belichick said last night during a televised interview. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t carry it over to the postseason.”
The Patriots have won three Super Bowls -- after the 2001, 2003 and 2004 seasons -- since Belichick was hired on Jan. 27, 2000. The team also has claimed four conference and eight division titles, and recorded 14 playoff victories since his arrival.
Belichick also won the award following the 2003 and 2007 seasons, leaving him one shy of the record held by Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula.
Belichick is the only coach to have won at least 14 regular-season games in four NFL seasons, passing San Francisco’s George Seifert, who had three.
The Patriots finished first in the league in scoring in the past season, with 518 points. The team also set NFL records for the fewest turnovers in a 16-game season with 10; seven straight games without a turnover, and seven straight games of 30 points and no turnovers.
The Patriots also tied an NFL record with eight straight games of 30 points or more, and another for fewest interceptions in a season with five.
The voting only covers the regular season. The Patriots lost to the Cleveland Browns and the Jets, whose coach Rex Ryan failed to get any votes.
Kansas City Chiefs coach Todd Haley received 4.5 votes, while Atlanta Falcons’ Mike Smith, Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles, Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears and Steve Spagnuolo of the St. Louis Rams each got one.
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