Legendary Dolphins coach Don Shula once called Bill Belichick ‘Beli-cheat’
Dozens of esteemed former NFL colleagues and legends like current Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians and ex-Dolphins star quarterback Dan Marino came out to mourn and honor recently passed Hall of Fame coach Don Shula this week. Now it’s time for Shula to pay the compliment with a little post-mortem dig at New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
According to two-time Super Bowl champion safety Dick Anderson, his former coach, Shula, outright disliked Belichick, even calling the longtime Patriots coach a cheater (per CBS Sports Radio).
“He called Belichick, ‘Beli-cheat,” Anderson said, via Joe Rivera in Sporting News, adding,
“He was straightforward. He was, ‘This is how we have to do it, and these are the rules, and this is what we’re going to follow.’ He didn’t like, I think, the people that didn’t follow the rules, and he did.”
— CBS Sports Radio (@CBSSportsRadio) May 5, 2020
Belichick has been flagged by the NFL for multiple instances where cheating was alleged, including most infamously “SpyGate,” when New England was caught taping AFC East division rival New York Jets’ defensive coaches’ signals.
Shula coached the then-Baltimore Colts for seven years before heading to his longtime Miami Dolphins, winning back-to-back Super Bowl titles in south Florida in the early-1970’s and leading the team until 1995. (Belichick was the head coach of the Cleveland Browns’ before his Pats tenure, coaching them at the tail-end of Shula’s time in Miami).
Anderson, 74, a member of that legendary undefeated Dolphins ’72-’73 squad and Defensive Player of the Year that season, relayed the departed Shula’s disdain for teams and coaches not playing “the right way,” claiming Belichick as “Beli-cheat.”