Most NFL football enthusiasts ouside of the New England area are far more likely to have a negative opinion of New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick than a positive one. Whether they’re influenced by the fact that Belichick’s Patriots squashed their team’s hopes and dreams while he took the New England NFL club to one of his three NFL Super Bowl victories, or whether they see snippets of footage from press conferences or sideline actions or just the look on his face.

In the recent edition of A FOOTBALL LIFE, NFL Network took footage taped throughout the 2009 season where cameras followed Bill Belichick in all aspects of his life, and the perspective it gave of Coach Belichick was a surprising one.

He not only seems like a down-to-Earth kinda guy, but he’s even somewhat sympathetic.

I’ll never view Bill Belichick in the same way that I view Joe Gibbs or Tony Dungy. Those are two great men who happen to be great football coaches. That’s not to say that Belichick isn’t a nice guy, though.

Based on what I saw of him, I’d be happy to work for him, or even just know him.

Obviously the NFL Network could edit the footage into whatever mold they wanted to, but over the course of two hours while I watched how he treated players – his own and opponents, coaches, family and others, it’s clear to me from his tone of voice and the way they reacted to him, these were normal situations the cameras were picking up on. He wasn’t being disingenuous.

This isn’t going to turn me into a Patriots fan, but I certainly don’t hold the same negative opinion of Bill Belichick that I did a few years ago, and I venture to guess that would be the same response just about any open-minded individual would give after watching the NFL Network program.