Spygate changed everything. Especially Bill Belichick

After watching episodes 1-4 of The Dynasty on Apple TV, I am convinced that Spygate changed Bill Belichick forever.

Former assistant and New York Jets coach Eric Mangini turning on him was a turning point of sorts for Belichick. He went from someone who could deal with the media and tolerate them to someone who did not trust the media or anyone in his own building for that matter. He battened down the hatches. 

I am convinced it is why he started hiring young coaches he knew and developing them and his own sons. He felt betrayed by Mangini and what happened with Spygate and as a result, he closed ranks. He ended up employing the smallest staff in the league as result. 

Belichick became isolated and combative at times with the media. He did not trust anyone and it showed in how he ran the Patriots from 2007 until last season. One Patriot Way became the equivalent of Fort Knox. No one got in and nothing got out. 

Deflategate added to the paranoia but we haven’t gotten that far into the documentary obviously so it is too early to tell how it presents the whole incident and what happened behind the scenes. 

Some have speculated that Belichick is portrayed as a bad guy of sorts on the documentary. He is. He is presented as an evil genius who is willing to do whatever it takes to win. 

Whether it be benching Drew Bledsoe, cutting Lawyer Milloy the week of the 2002 season opener or trying to get an advantage on the opposing team, Belichick did what he felt was right for the team, regardless of what anyone else thought. That includes owner Robert Kraft.

The Bill Belichick we know now was molded by Spygate. The incident turned him into a paranoid individual who did not trust anyone and forced him to run the Patriots like an authoritarian dictator. 

Some will second guess how Belichick ran the organization, but the proof is in the pudding. His totalitarian style worked. The Patriots went on to win three more Super Bowls after Spygate.