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Bill Belichick doesn’t ‘think much about’ that day when he left the Jets

01.12.11 at 2:24 pm ET
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FOXBORO — The date was Jan. 4, 2000. Bill Belichick stood at the podium in Hempstead, NY and announced one day after being appointed to replace Bill Parcells as head coach of the New York Jets that he didn’t feel ready or fit to lead the Jets in 2000.

Way back when, Belichick did coach the Jets - for a day.

On Wednesday, amidst all of the furor over the comments of Rex Ryan, Shaun Ellis and Antonio Cromartie – Belichick was reminded that it was 11 years ago last week that he stepped aside with the now-infamous note that he wrote on a piece of paper. “I resign as HC of the NYJ.”

How did he react? With a wry smile before answering, “I don’t think about it much.”

A refresher for a moment. In the days after Super Bowl XXXI in Jan. 1997, Belichick (and most of the Patriots assistant coaches) went with Parcells to the Jets. Belichick’s official title was assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for the Jets from 1997 to 1999. When Parcells stepped down in 1999, he had already arranged with team officials to have Belichick succeed him.

However, when Belichick was introduced as head coach to the media—the day after his hiring was publicized—he turned it into a resignation announcement that caught everyone by surprise since it was expected to be an introductory news conference. After handing in the loose leaf paper, he offered up a 30-minute speech explaining his resignation to the media.

Weeks later, he was introduced as the new Patriots head coach, as Robert Kraft finally succeeded in hiring him away from Parcells and the Jets after failed attempts in the past. Parcells and the Jets claimed that Belichick was still under contract to the Jets, and demanded compensation from the Patriots. NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue agreed, and the Patriots gave the Jets a first-round draft pick in 2000 in exchange for the right to hire Belichick.

Eleven years later, the Patriots have three Super Bowl titles, four AFC championships and the best record in the NFL. The Jets have zero Super Bowl appearances and have appeared in the AFC championship just one, losing last year in Indianapolis.

Read More: Bill Belichick, New England Patriots, New York Jets, NFL commissioner
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