Detroit Lions: Would Bill Belichick have made Motown a dynasty?

Bill Belichick, New England Patriots (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Bill Belichick, New England Patriots (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
2 of 4
Charlie Batch, Detroit Lions
Charlie Batch, Detroit Lions (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

No Bobby Ross breakdown?

In January of 2000, Bobby Ross was the Detroit Lions head coach. Little did he or anyone else know that nine games into the 2000 season, Ross would go on a tirade about how he doesn’t coach the Lions to play like they did and decide he needed to step down for his own good.

Former Michigan coach Gary Moeller, who was on Ross’ staff finished out the campaign as the Lions interim head man. After the season William Clay Ford hired Matt Millen as his general manager and then, well, we all know what happened.

But what if Bobby Ross’ boiling point had come after the 1999 season or Mr. Ford decided on his own to make a move to acquire Bill Belichick? What if by some black magic Belichick and all his innate abilities to not only coach but to find play-makers had come to Detroit in 2000?

The easy thing to say is that Belichick would have selected Tom Brady in the draft, just as he did in New England and the dynasty would be ready to roar in Motown, except there is one flaw in that logic.

While Belichick did like Brady and believed he could possibly be molded into at least an effective backup, hence the pick coming in the sixth round and not sooner, this was a depth selection because the Patriots already had a franchise quarterback named Drew Bledsoe.

Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions had a quarterback named Charlie Batch. If Belichick had come to Detroit, would he have considered the quarterback position to be more of a need?

Because the NFL had decided to charge the New England Patriots with tampering to get Belichick from the Jets, it was declared that the Jets would get the Patriots first-round draft pick that year. If that had been the case for Detroit, the first pick Belichick would have made would have been with the Lions second-round selection, the 50th choice overall.

Only one quarterback had been chosen at this point, Chad Pennington by the Jets. It was considered a weak draft for quarterbacks, but it wasn’t until hindsight that everyone saw how weak it actually was.