NFL: Cleveland Browns at New England Patriots

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick leaves the field with quarterback Tom Brady after New England beat the Cleveland Browns 27-13 on Sunday in Foxborough.

JULIAN EDELMAN didn’t hold back.

There was no reason to hold back.

“He is the best coach to ever do it, and I think in any sport — it is getting there,” Edelman said after Bill Belichick chalked up his 300th head coaching victory Sunday. “You can put that in the record, you can put that in your pad — whatever. I may not know any other place, but I don’t think they get any better in any kind of sport, anything. He’s an absolute beast and you always feel like you have a shot to win a game with him at the lead.”

Tough to argue with this little engine that could.

Throw the names out there. Vince Lombardi. John McGraw. Red Auerbach. Scotty Bowman. Casey Stengel. Phil Jackson. Don Shula. Toe Blake (gratuitous Slapshot reference). Pat Riley. Tom Landry.

Not only is Belichick up there with any of the above names, but I’m here to agree with Edelman. Belichick is the greatest coach or manager ever in any sport.

All the people we talked about before — all worthy candidates — coached and managed in different eras. Most of them did it when players didn’t change teams the way they do through this Belichick run. Of course, all had great players and Belichick has Tom Brady. But this guy’s ability to adapt to whatever hand he has in uncanny.

The Patriots, who, as we said here in Monday’s edition, just finished the junior varsity portion of their schedule and are 8-0. They may or may not win their seventh Super Bowl under Belichick/Brady. But that’s almost irrelevant. What IS relevant is that they’re always right there.

The man of snarky answers is tough on his players. Most of them handle it. The ones who can’t are shipped out. There’s no sentiment, just winning and this guy does it better than anyone.

It’s really that simple.

“I don’t know what keeps him motivated,” added Edelman, the college quarterback turned into a potential Hall of Fame receiver by Belichick. That is one of the things that is the most extraordinary thing about him. He doesn’t ever let complacency kick in, and it doesn’t matter what time of the year it is. That is something I really look up to him (on), and I try and pull from him. … My one word for him is machine. He’s a machine. He just does all the work all the time. He never lets up and he never cuts a corner. That is why he’s him.”

Brady, talking after the game, said, “He’s the best coach of all time and it’s a privilege to play for him. He’s taught me so much on and off the field. He’s been a great mentor for me. I’m just proud of him and everything he’s accomplished ... Amazing to think he coached for another place (Cleveland) and they didn’t think he was good enough.”

Tough beginning

Chaim Bloom is just 36 years old. He’s four years older than J.D. Martinez, nine years the senior of Mookie Betts.

Now, the young man in charge of running the Red Sox has to navigate through the tough waters regarding both those players as he begins his new job.

Bloom, hired away from the Tampa Bay Rays, was introduced to the media Monday at Fenway Park. All the right things were said, all the positives were pointed out. Bloom, the only person interviewed for job, said, “We should have high expectations.”

If you tuned in late, Martinez can opt out of the final two years of his contract to seek a better deal. Betts has one year left before free agency, putting the Red Sox in the position of getting something for him now or waiting it out and hoping to re-sign him.

Predictably, Bloom wouldn’t comment on the roster or injury updates. Heck, he just got there. But you know that the manner in which he would handle Martinez and Betts had to be a major part of his interview. Right?

Remember, Chris Sale and David Price already give the Sox two players making over $30 million. Both Martinez and Betts are likely to move into that neighborhood. The owner wants to get under the $208 million tax threshold.

You do that math.

Season over?

If the Nationals do what looks like the extremely improbable and win Games 6 and 7 in Houston, it will mark the first time in the history of the World Series the visiting team wins all seven games.

Don’t count on it.

But Tuesday night, Justin Verlander, the future Hall of Famer already the first pitcher ever to lose his first five World Series decision, takes the mound for the Astros. The Nats will have to rebound from dropping the first three Series games in Washington in 85 years.

After Game 4, Nats manager Dave Martinez said, “I just told the boys, ‘Hey, we’re in the World Series. We’re going to play Game 5, tied 2-2. Who would have thought that in the beginning (19-31 start)? So here we are. Let’s forget about it. Can’t do nothing about the last two games. Let’s look ahead and get ready to play tomorrow.’”

Now, the message has to remain the same. This team has been responding all year after losing Bryce Harper and getting off to that injury-riddled start.

Looking around

Thanks to column pal Larry Rosoff for pointing out the Celtics and Bruins beat the defending champions of their sport on back-to-back nights. …

Sony Michel was the 31st player taken in the 2018 NFL draft, just ahead of Lamar Jackson, the QB the Patriots will go against Sunday night. Nick Chubb was taken by the Browns at No. 35, in the second round. Sunday fumbles aside, is Chubb currently a better player than Michel? Chubb’s two fumbles Sunday were his second and third in two weeks — the FIRST THREE of his career. …

A report surfaced on The Athletic that Bruce Bochy, who just “retired,” wants to return. Yes, the Red Sox were on a short list of “potential landing spot.”

“I’m just hitting the pause button,” he told Chris Russo on XM Radio. “That’s all, you know, and taking a sabbatical here for a year and then, you know, I’ll see where I’m at. I don’t know how I’m gonna feel but I’d love to have one more shot.”…

Brad Marchand was named the NHL’s First Star of the week after he and his linemates hammered the Rangers Sunday night — to the tune of 13 points (five assists for David Pastrnak) and Patrice Bergeron also knocked Mika Zibaneja, the Rangers’ best player, from the game. …

Tacko Fall made his NBA debut Saturday night in New York: four points, three rebounds and a standing dunk in four minutes. After the game, he said, “All throughout the game I didn’t know what was going to happen. “Then once the score kept going up, I was thinking in my mind this might be go time.” …

Tuukka Rask said beating the Blues wasn’t proper revenge for Game 7 “unless they brought the Cup back here.” …

The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday. Are the Patriots done? Are they EVER done? We even saw a Nate Solder reunion mentioned as a possibility. …

Finally, the “is he staying, is he going, is he retiring” Brady drama is getting boring. Twitter was again ablaze Sunday leading up to the game and it seems like everyone has a different theory after every snap.


Mike Shalin covers Boston pro sports for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. His email address is Follow him on Twitter @mscotshay.