New England Patriots head coach. Bill Belichick is chasing the all-time wins record, he is also trying to avoid hitting rock bottom late in his career like NFL greats like Tom Landry, Chuck Noll and Don Shula.
Each of those coaches left the game with bad football teams. As of Week 7 of the 2023 NFL season, Belichick is heading towards that same fate.
The greats often fade in sports which always signal the end when it comes to the legends of the game. Speaking NFL specifically, it’s rare a player or coach go out on top. I mean, the sports world recently watch Tom Brady win a Super Bowl long in his 40s, but his last season in Tampa Bay wasn’t the greatest. Now Patriots fans are witnessing a coach in Belichick who has lost his fastball.
They are witnessing a coach who is seeing the deficiencies of the roster he put together as the General Manager. Head-scratching drafts, dubious player contract decisions and having a hand in a young quarterback in Mac Jones riding the fast train of regression has fueled the beginning of an end that seems inevitable for Belichick.
New England Patriots looking like an unrecognizable team
For the first time since the mid 90’s, Patriots fans have no faith week to week on whether this team will win a game. In fact, you can almost start betting on how the team will find a way to lose a game. A Belichick coached team? In fairness, a rash of injuries have played a role, but that next man up mentality is a Belichick specialty, at least it was.
While critics of Belichick are having a blast…well blasting the legendary coach, his own former players are pleading for the Patriots coach to walk away from the team he (and Brady) lead to six Super Bowl championships. That is if Patriots owner Robert Kraft doesn’t fire him first.
Tedy Bruschi, who can be seen as a Belichick loyalist, said before Sunday’s lost to the Las Vegas Raiders that he would like to see his former coach get this team back competitive this season, but retire once its over. Patriots’ legend Ty Law followed that up with a similar sentiment.
“If he wants to walk away, Tedy, there might be something to that,” Law said during an appearance on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” on Tuesday, via Boston.com. “When I’m looking at him on the sideline, he doesn’t look like he’s having a lot of fun. It’s no fun losing. You see everything about the body language and stuff. He’s a defensive guy. Those guys can’t stop a nosebleed if you gave them a whole year’s supply of Kleenex and cotton ball. They can’t stop (expletive).
When has Belichick ever look like he’s having fun? All pun aside, where Law is wrong here is the defense. The defensive side of the ball has been playing well. One can argue that the ineptness of the offense has put the defense in position to give up scores.
But no matter the outcome of these games, Belichick’s roster building, and personnel decisions has led to a 1-5 football team. Can he turn that around? It will take a 5-1 stretch to turn the fortunes. Knowing Belichick, that is exactly what will happen now that fans are on the hype train for a Top 5 draft pick.
Whatever happens this season, the great Bill Belichick is on the hot seat and big changes are coming even if he stays. If he remains as coach, will his GM duties be stripped, or would he be forced to solely be a GM in New England or perhaps some other NFL team?
Big questions with highly anticipated answers will be the story of the 2023 season and offseason for the Patriots with the rest of the NFL getting their popcorn ready.