Let's say BB stays on until he retires. What does that mean for the franchise?

Quiddity

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If I'm the Krafts, I tell Bill in the offseason that the days of bringing back retreads like Matt Patricia and Joe Judge and refusing to name offensive and defensive coordinators is over. They need to be let go or reassigned to positions with less responsibilities and someone from the outside with actual experience as an offensive coordinator needs to be brought in. He also has to accept help for the GM role. If he doesn't want to do then now is the time to consider retiring. The team will never crash and be say a 4-13 team while he is the head coach. But right now it looks like best case scenario is middling years of say 9-8, 8-9, 10-7 with a first round playoff exit, etc... That isn't enough.

I'm a big time Belichick homer and I do think the media and casual fanbase as a whole has been too harsh on him. But even I can admit he made a big mistake this year with how he handled the offense and he has to accept accountability for that. Absent the pushback from the Krafts I feel that next year Bill will simply leave things as is, and expect a further year of experience for Mac and free agent signings/draft picks to handle the improvement on their own.
 

P'tucket rhymes with...

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I'm a big time Belichick homer and I do think the media and casual fanbase as a whole has been too harsh on him. But even I can admit he made a big mistake this year with how he handled the offense and he has to accept accountability for that. Absent the pushback from the Krafts I feel that next year Bill will simply leave things as is, and expect a further year of experience for Mac and free agent signings/draft picks to handle the improvement on their own.
Not to pick on you particularly, because it's all over the place, but the "BB is a calcified dinosaur who wants to hang with his peeps rather than win games" thing is taking on a life of it's own. Where's the evidence that he won't acknowledge the mistake? (And by that, I mean by how he responds in the off-season, don't hold your breath waiting for the confessional press conference). He's never hesitated to accept accountability, and I can't recall off the top of my head the last time he threw a coordinator or player under the bus.

Which do folks think is more likely, exactly? That he decided to hire MP and JJ on a whim without even mentioning it to Kraft, or BB and Kraft had a sit-down where BB outlined his plans and explained why he wanted MP/JJ, probably even while acknowledging the risks and the fact that it was going to go over terribly? (Disclosure: I hate, hate, hated the MP hire).
 
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Salva135

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I imagine BB tells Kraft what he plans to do with the coaching staff, and Kraft says OK. I've seen no evidence that Kraft interferes with anything other than the biggest of big picture situations (Gronk, Brady, etc.) and things like coaching hires are 100% BB's decisions. This idea of Kraft telling BB he needs a GM, outside OC/DCs, etc. is the stuff of pure fantasy - I think the day Kraft walks in to tell BB he needs to do those things is the day BB walks out for good. Either BB will acknowledge any need for correction on his own, or he and Kraft part ways. I don't see any other way this changes.
 

lexrageorge

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Yeah, Kraft has said multiple times that he defers the football decisions to Belichick. We've seen evidence that they discuss BB's plans (A Football Life gave some glimpses), but neither Kraft Sr nor Kraft Jr are going to start telling Belichick how to run the team.

It is certainly possible that if the team keeps stringing mediocre or worse seasons together, then the conversations between Kraft and Belichick will become more tense. Kraft is not going to wait forever, but nothing is happening this offseason.
 

BaseballJones

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Yeah, Kraft has said multiple times that he defers the football decisions to Belichick. We've seen evidence that they discuss BB's plans (A Football Life gave some glimpses), but neither Kraft Sr nor Kraft Jr are going to start telling Belichick how to run the team.

It is certainly possible that if the team keeps stringing mediocre or worse seasons together, then the conversations between Kraft and Belichick will become more tense. Kraft is not going to wait forever, but nothing is happening this offseason.
And let's be clear: last year was not a "mediocre" year. 10-7 and making the playoffs is a good year. Now it must be said that that's mediocre if you just consider the last 20 years of Patriots' history, but we must remember that that 20 year run was historically great and almost certainly will never be repeated ever again by anyone. 10 wins and a playoff appearance is a good season by normal NFL standards, so what we've really had is:

2020: Bad year in the first year of the rebuild
2021: Good year with a rookie QB
2022: Mediocre year
 

P'tucket rhymes with...

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Yeah, Kraft has said multiple times that he defers the football decisions to Belichick. We've seen evidence that they discuss BB's plans (A Football Life gave some glimpses), but neither Kraft Sr nor Kraft Jr are going to start telling Belichick how to run the team.

It is certainly possible that if the team keeps stringing mediocre or worse seasons together, then the conversations between Kraft and Belichick will become more tense. Kraft is not going to wait forever, but nothing is happening this offseason.
Robert Kraft is not Robert Kraft by accident. He sees everything we see. Following on my post above, I assume BB will handle the mess himself, but if he doesn't, Kraft isn't going to let it slide. $100 to the Jimmy Fund if the QB, OC, OLine coach and QB coach are the same guys for Game One next season.
 

sezwho

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I imagine BB tells Kraft what he plans to do with the coaching staff, and Kraft says OK. I've seen no evidence that Kraft interferes with anything other than the biggest of big picture situations (Gronk, Brady, etc.) and things like coaching hires are 100% BB's decisions. This idea of Kraft telling BB he needs a GM, outside OC/DCs, etc. is the stuff of pure fantasy - I think the day Kraft walks in to tell BB he needs to do those things is the day BB walks out for good. Either BB will acknowledge any need for correction on his own, or he and Kraft part ways. I don't see any other way this changes.
To the bolded, coaching is now a biggest of big pictures situation.

I imagine BB tells Kraft what he plans to do with the coaching staff, and Kraft says OK. I've seen no evidence that Kraft interferes with anything other than the biggest of big picture situations (Gronk, Brady, etc.) and things like coaching hires are 100% BB's decisions. This idea of Kraft telling BB he needs a GM, outside OC/DCs, etc. is the stuff of pure fantasy - I think the day Kraft walks in to tell BB he needs to do those things is the day BB walks out for good. Either BB will acknowledge any need for correction on his own, or he and Kraft part ways. I don't see any other way this changes.
I don’t think it’s a confrontation like that, they’ve got a lot of water under the bridge

There’s still time to get things moving but if they’re still stumbling over themselves at the end of the season even Bill would expect needing to provide some assurances why next year will be different…probably starting with OC and what that means for QB and to include GM. How he does it would still be his choice, but the status is no longer quo.
 

Mystic Merlin

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The premise that Bill cares about saving dollars on the staff salaries, which itself assumes Kraft gives him a tight budget except for Josh McDaniels’ salary that likely exceeded Zac Taylor’s in Cincy, is fucking insane.

But it’s a popular talk radio-type narrative bouncing around.
 

tims4wins

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The premise that Bill cares about saving dollars on the staff salaries, which itself assumes Kraft gives him a tight budget except for Josh McDaniels’ salary that likely exceeded Zac Taylor’s in Cincy, is fucking insane.

But it’s a popular talk radio-type narrative bouncing around.
I’m honestly not sure about this. By not naming MP or JJ coordinator, aren’t they saving $?
 

Marciano490

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Kraft is human too and older than BB. I’m sure he doesn’t want to spend his last years as the former hotshot owner cum massage parlor punchline/middle of the pact franchise, and I’m sure he doesn’t want to play out the whole Greek tragedy thing with Jonathon unless on his terms.

Plus, I don’t think anyone thinks of Kraft as loyal (not that loyalty builds franchise buying fortunes). He’ll move on Bill if the crowd turns.
 

jsinger121

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I’m honestly not sure about this. By not naming MP or JJ coordinator, aren’t they saving $?
They also avoid the Rooney Rule as well. I think I have heard the assistant coaching salaries come out of BB’s salary.
 

Salva135

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To the bolded, coaching is now a biggest of big pictures situation.
The problem here is that unlike dealing with a player, how do you evaluate a coach? It's one thing for Kraft to tell BB, "we're keeping X superstar player," it's another thing for Kraft to evaluate the coaching staff and dictate who should go and stay. No one here can figure out exactly who is responsible for their current problems, and I just can't imagine Kraft is going to start criticizing individual coaches under BB as if he knows. If any of these guys go, it's going to be because BB made the call.
 

lexrageorge

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They also avoid the Rooney Rule as well. I think I have heard the assistant coaching salaries come out of BB’s salary.
I don’t believe the Rooney Rule has anything to do with it. But better bring receipts on the second sentence because there is no way that is real.
 

8slim

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They also avoid the Rooney Rule as well. I think I have heard the assistant coaching salaries come out of BB’s salary.
Yeah there’s absolutely no way BB is “paying” assistants from his salary.

I asked the question about budgets because I sincerely wanted to know. It’s SUCH a weird thing BB does by not naming coordinators. And on the D side when’s the last time we had one? Patricia? It’s weird.
 

Otis Foster

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The problem here is that unlike dealing with a player, how do you evaluate a coach? It's one thing for Kraft to tell BB, "we're keeping X superstar player," it's another thing for Kraft to evaluate the coaching staff and dictate who should go and stay. No one here can figure out exactly who is responsible for their current problems, and I just can't imagine Kraft is going to start criticizing individual coaches under BB as if he knows. If any of these guys go, it's going to be because BB made the call.
I agree with that. I think Kraft learned his lesson with the 'press corner'/Pete Carroll fiasco. Don't get too far into the weeds.

However, one thing to keep an eye on is the Kraft succession issue. RK is now 82-83 (I forget his birthday but he was close to being a peer of friends from Brookline High.) RK has never had the reputation of being a hard-ass businessman. More and more, he has to be focused on living a quality life for his remaining years, and that doesn't entail getting into a wrestling match with BB and the ensuing chaos within the organization.

Jonathan is increasingly a presence on the football side, and he appears to have fewer sentimental/emotional ties to BB. Whatever deal RK made with BB, Jonathan was not directly a party.

Kraft fired a warning shot with his comments of the last year about performance. My impression is that Jonathan will be more cold-eyed in judging the product by the record, and equally by the on-field perceptions. The quality of the play is very poor, witness penalties which increasingly mar performance, and clock management. The quality of drafting and free agent assessment is awful.

If I'm Jonathan, should this continue, something is badly broken, and either BB agrees and lays out a plan for remediation, or BB himself is tagged as the problem.
 

Steve Dillard

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I don’t believe the Rooney Rule has anything to do with it. But better bring receipts on the second sentence because there is no way that is real.
My unreliable brother in law, who listens to local sports radio, states it as a "fact" (aha) that Belichik is given a $25 mil budget for coaches, himself included. By hiring guys being paid by other teams, and his son, he is able to pocket the difference.

Take it with a large grain of salt, but I have to believe that's the talk-radio narrative.

As to whether you would trust Belichik with the next Caleb Williams or Maye, were we fortunate enough to draft them:

I believe Belichik prefers brain quarterbacks ahead of tool quarterback (how else would you start Hoyer?) I doubt he had interest in Fields, and wonder if he would be interested in an improvisor like Williams. I may well be wrong, but it's part of his "system" and mindset (much like slower LBs), which gets back to the basic question of whether the game has passed by his preferences.
 

JohnnyTheBone

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Kraft is human too and older than BB. I’m sure he doesn’t want to spend his last years as the former hotshot owner cum massage parlor punchline
Kudos on an immense turn of phrase.
I asked the question about budgets because I sincerely wanted to know. It’s SUCH a weird thing BB does by not naming coordinators. And on the D side when’s the last time we had one? Patricia? It’s weird.
Peter King in the houuuuuuuuse!
 

bsj

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I held out hope for a long time there was a master plan at work.

I'm finally at a point where i think it is highly unlikely Bill is able to build a winner here again. I just don't understand how a great coach rolls into this season with these coaches and allows for game after game to be offensive disasters with these awful predictable play calls. He has set his "franchise" QB back immensely in the most important year of his development.

He has a bizarre blind spot here.
 

Salem's Lot

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My unreliable brother in law, who listens to local sports radio, states it as a "fact" (aha) that Belichik is given a $25 mil budget for coaches, himself included. By hiring guys being paid by other teams, and his son, he is able to pocket the difference.

Take it with a large grain of salt, but I have to believe that's the talk-radio narrative.

As to whether you would trust Belichik with the next Caleb Williams or Maye, were we fortunate enough to draft them:

I believe Belichik prefers brain quarterbacks ahead of tool quarterback (how else would you start Hoyer?) I doubt he had interest in Fields, and wonder if he would be interested in an improvisor like Williams. I may well be wrong, but it's part of his "system" and mindset (much like slower LBs), which gets back to the basic question of whether the game has passed by his preferences.
Felger has been spouting that nonsense for a couple years now.
 

Phil Plantier

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Not to pick on you particularly, because it's all over the place, but the "BB is a calcified dinosaur who wants to hang with his peeps rather than win games" thing is taking on a life of it's own. Where's the evidence that he won't acknowledge the mistake? (And by that, I mean by how he responds in the off-season, don't hold your breath waiting for the confessional press conference). He's never hesitated to accept accountability, and I can't recall off the top of my head the last time he threw a coordinator or player under the bus.
I agree with this. Belichick has always shown a talent for self-evaluation. As well as a talent for getting rid of people a year too early rather than a year too late.

That people want to run the best coach in NFL history out of town is insane to me. Was 2018 that long ago? How many franchises would give Belichick a blank check the day after he left the Patriots? 25? 30?

Yes, it sucks that the Pats are 1-3 vs Buffalo the last 2 years. Yes, it sucks that Mac Jones may be more like Baker Mayfield and less like Chad Pennington. But getting rid of Belichick the year after he took a rookie QB to the playoffs seems a little extreme to me.
 

BaseballJones

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I agree with this. Belichick has always shown a talent for self-evaluation. As well as a talent for getting rid of people a year too early rather than a year too late.

That people want to run the best coach in NFL history out of town is insane to me. Was 2018 that long ago? How many franchises would give Belichick a blank check the day after he left the Patriots? 25? 30?

Yes, it sucks that the Pats are 1-3 vs Buffalo the last 2 years. Yes, it sucks that Mac Jones may be more like Baker Mayfield and less like Chad Pennington. But getting rid of Belichick the year after he took a rookie QB to the playoffs seems a little extreme to me.
More than just a little. It's insanity.

Just a couple of weeks ago a major publication put out a long article detailing how Belichick still absolutely is the best in the game and explained why. Maybe he isn't the BEST in the game at this point - who knows - but he's still really good. Who, honestly, would be better for this team? Andy Reid? He's going nowhere. Sean McVay? He's going nowhere and his team stinks this year. Sean Payton? MAYBE. He's like the only guy I can think of. But think of how many teams have really not so great coaches. TONS of them.

I don't think he's done everything right. He's made plenty of mistakes. I don't like the Patricia hire. I hope he fixes that. This very offseason. But still...it's not like BB forgot how to coach football. Just last year with a rookie QB, they went 10-7 and made the playoffs. He still knows how to do this.
 

Salva135

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What's fascinating to me is that BB is one of, if not the most connected coach in the league, has the respect of everyone in the NFL coaching inner circle, probably knows every assistant coach and their coaching pedigrees, and yet has built a wall around Foxboro when it comes to introducing new coaching talent. Virtually everyone has to come from the ground up with the Pats, build their experience, and, most importantly, establish their loyalty. He talks to everyone in the league but doesn't bring anyone inside the fortress. His homegrown guys like Patricia get to jump to the OC position simply because he's graduated from Belichick University. It's just such an awful way to run an organization and they are really paying the price for it now.

I consider this somewhat related to the fact that the Pats are one of 3 teams that don't subscribe to a national scouting service, either. Everything ultimately has to originate from Bill.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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What's fascinating to me is that BB is one of, if not the most connected coach in the league, has the respect of everyone in the NFL coaching inner circle, probably knows every assistant coach and their coaching pedigrees, and yet has built a wall around Foxboro when it comes to introducing new coaching talent. Virtually everyone has to come from the ground up with the Pats, build their experience, and, most importantly, establish their loyalty. He talks to everyone in the league but doesn't bring anyone inside the fortress. His homegrown guys like Patricia get to jump to the OC position simply because he's graduated from Belichick University. It's just such an awful way to run an organization and they are really paying the price for it now.

I consider this somewhat related to the fact that the Pats are one of 3 teams that don't subscribe to a national scouting service, either. Everything ultimately has to originate from Bill.
Not sure where you come down on how much of the Patriots success was a function of Brady but you are implying that somehow Belichick's teams won despite his decision to source coaching in-house. On the other hand, perhaps its been a contributor to the team's success.

Its reasonable to ask whether the game of football has passed a 70-handle aged coach by, especially since the Patriots aren't amongst the league's best teams. However, if you watch enough NFL, its pretty obvious that winning consistently is incredibly hard. BB has done that and despite the tone to this forum, the team isn't a sucking chest wound. They are .500 and while BB is clearly to blame given that he goes to the store and tells everyone how to cook food, its not clear to me that he cannot get this team back to contention again (beyond this season). I would not bet against him.
 

slamminsammya

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What's fascinating to me is that BB is one of, if not the most connected coach in the league, has the respect of everyone in the NFL coaching inner circle, probably knows every assistant coach and their coaching pedigrees, and yet has built a wall around Foxboro when it comes to introducing new coaching talent. Virtually everyone has to come from the ground up with the Pats, build their experience, and, most importantly, establish their loyalty. He talks to everyone in the league but doesn't bring anyone inside the fortress. His homegrown guys like Patricia get to jump to the OC position simply because he's graduated from Belichick University. It's just such an awful way to run an organization and they are really paying the price for it now.

I consider this somewhat related to the fact that the Pats are one of 3 teams that don't subscribe to a national scouting service, either. Everything ultimately has to originate from Bill.
I think the continuity they got by doing it this way worked fantastically for multiple decades. The issue now is you get the worst of both worlds - Patricia is probably not as qualified as other candidates would have been, AND you aren't getting continuity because he doesn't come in with an offensive background and isn't running whatever McDaniels had going.
 

Harry Hooper

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I think the continuity they got by doing it this way worked fantastically for multiple decades. The issue now is you get the worst of both worlds - Patricia is probably not as qualified as other candidates would have been, AND you aren't getting continuity because he doesn't come in with an offensive background and isn't running whatever McDaniels had going.
The McDaniels departure to Vegas seems quite different from the Mangini/Patricia/Flores/Judge ones in terms of how many people left the Pats to go work with the newly-crowned head coaches.
 

Salva135

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[its not clear to me that he cannot get this team back to contention again (beyond this season). I would not bet against him.
[/QUOTE]

(beyond this season). I would not bet against him.


I'm not betting for him. Mac is regressing, and the defense looks terrible, what is going to change?
 

Salva135

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I think the continuity they got by doing it this way worked fantastically for multiple decades. The issue now is you get the worst of both worlds - Patricia is probably not as qualified as other candidates would have been, AND you aren't getting continuity because he doesn't come in with an offensive background and isn't running whatever McDaniels had going.
Yes, this is exactly the problem. BB's guys have performed well, and they get poached before they fail. But what happens when they fail? MattY P is the first to test this system.


Ask yourself this: when is the last time a Pats coach got fired, rather than poached? I can't remember.
 

ZMart100

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Dave DeGuglielmo comes to mind. Of course he was brought in from the outside after Dante's first retirement to change the blocking system. A lot of the weeding out probably comes at the lower ranks of people without titles or lower tier titles. I couldn't tell you who the assistant coach was for most of the units. If BB judges that a person is smart enough, a good enough teacher and dedicated enough, the risk of failing after promotion is low.
 
I'm not betting for him. Mac is regressing, and the defense looks terrible, what is going to change?
The defense ranks
#1 in expected points (#3 against passing and #3 against running)
#4 in TOs
#7 in yards per play
#8 in yards per play
#6 in drives ending in points
#5 in points per drive
#5 in defensive SRS
#2 in defensive DVOA

"Looks terrible" seems a little harsh...

I know this is the internet so everything must be black or white, fantastic or terrible, but it really seems like some people here have a truly warped sense of expectations. This isn't a terrible, awful, worst team in the NFL. They do some things well and other things poorly. Overall they're about average. The record says they're average. DVOA says they're actually somewhat better (pre-Bills, +10% ranking them 11th). SRS says they're a bit better (+3.6) too. If you're looking at this team and thinking they're terrible you have a very distorted view of what terrible is (and you're presumably not watching the games that actually terrible teams are playing).

Likewise, it's completely possible to believe both that Bill has made mistakes - in drafting, in free agency, in coaching selections, in not fucking going for it on 4th down even when the situation is begging for it - and that this doesn't mean you want him fired or think he's now incompetent. Nobody's perfect*

The season hasn't gone as well as we all wanted. But they still have a shot at the playoffs. They have some cap space going forward. They don't have any huge albatross contracts weighing them down barring Jonnu Smith, and that's manageable. Most of the important players on this team for the future (Mac/Zappe, Stevenson, Phillips, Dugger, Uche, Onwenu, Marcus Jones, Jack Jones, Steve Jones, Barmore) are all under contract for negligible amounts of money.**

If you can go .500 after losing Brady while building a decent core and managing the cap that's hardly the disaster situation some people are making this out to be.

* Apart from Victoria Coren-Mitchell, obviously

** Yeah I made up one of those players just to see if anyone a) was still reading and b) was keeping up with all the Joneses.
 

sezwho

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Yes, this is exactly the problem. BB's guys have performed well, and they get poached before they fail. But what happens when they fail? MattY P is the first to test this system.

Ask yourself this: when is the last time a Pats coach got fired, rather than poached? I can't remember.
What about the idea that maybe working for Bill isn’t actually prep for success and all you really learn is how to be mini Bill? His way of dealing with the media certainly doesn’t translate and the players haven’t responded to ‘his guys’ on their next stops either. The track record post for his coaches, poached or not, is largely ridiculous. Bill has shown can take a very specific, and perhaps limited, coach’s skill set and combine that with Brady to produce success.

Look, I would not bet against him either and he’ll certainly get another crack+ basically no matter what, but I used to think he was always ahead and now I’m less sure. We used to stockpile future high round picks while lately we’ve been more likely to trade future picks to cover the hole. Losing Josh wasn’t exactly a surprise but the succession plan in place seems pretty half assed. What if these guys hadn’t failed out at the right time?He basically drove Brady to the airport, his right, but Cam was the plan? He commited a quarter billion in a single offseason to FA that’s yielded way more questions than answers.

I agree that there are some proper bleep shows out there, and we will never be that with Bill at the helm. Can I expect more?
 
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Salva135

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Not sure where you come down on how much of the Patriots success was a function of Brady but you are implying that somehow Belichick's teams won despite his decision to source coaching in-house. On the other hand, perhaps its been a contributor to the team's success.

Its reasonable to ask whether the game of football has passed a 70-handle aged coach by, especially since the Patriots aren't amongst the league's best teams. However, if you watch enough NFL, its pretty obvious that winning consistently is incredibly hard. BB has done that and despite the tone to this forum, the team isn't a sucking chest wound. They are .500 and while BB is clearly to blame given that he goes to the store and tells everyone how to cook food, its not clear to me that he cannot get this team back to contention again (beyond this season). I would not bet against him.
I don't think BB won despite the lack of outside help. I think it didn't really matter because Brady was here. We talk about the "brain drain" but simultaneously acknowledge that most of BB's proteges fail on the outside. Who are we missing outside of Scar and perhaps Ernie Adams, who both retired? The problem is that there is no new blood (somewhat literally) and no new ideas in the organization. They aren't a sucking chest wound but they are not showing any promise for the future at the moment, which is the biggest concern. And if we're going to call BB the GOAT, being .500 without the GOAT QB is a pretty weak standard - right now this team is coached as poorly as any team in the league, and that needs to be looked at carefully and understood why.
 
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Salva135

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More than just a little. It's insanity.

Just a couple of weeks ago a major publication put out a long article detailing how Belichick still absolutely is the best in the game and explained why. Maybe he isn't the BEST in the game at this point - who knows - but he's still really good. Who, honestly, would be better for this team? Andy Reid? He's going nowhere. Sean McVay? He's going nowhere and his team stinks this year. Sean Payton? MAYBE. He's like the only guy I can think of. But think of how many teams have really not so great coaches. TONS of them.

I don't think he's done everything right. He's made plenty of mistakes. I don't like the Patricia hire. I hope he fixes that. This very offseason. But still...it's not like BB forgot how to coach football. Just last year with a rookie QB, they went 10-7 and made the playoffs. He still knows how to do this.
Again, I don't mean to be snarky, but tell me again what exactly BB is doing right now that is "really good." I've never seen this team look like this, so I'm genuinely concerned. I suppose he can still game plan against terrible QBs, but against real competition he looks hopelessly outmatched. He's reverted to checkers.
 

Salva135

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I agree with this. Belichick has always shown a talent for self-evaluation. As well as a talent for getting rid of people a year too early rather than a year too late.

That people want to run the best coach in NFL history out of town is insane to me. Was 2018 that long ago? How many franchises would give Belichick a blank check the day after he left the Patriots? 25? 30?

Yes, it sucks that the Pats are 1-3 vs Buffalo the last 2 years. Yes, it sucks that Mac Jones may be more like Baker Mayfield and less like Chad Pennington. But getting rid of Belichick the year after he took a rookie QB to the playoffs seems a little extreme to me.
He's shown a willingness to move on from players, but what about coaches? Someone brought up GOOGS, which is a good example, but he was a rare outside hire. Matty P is a card carrying BB boot-licker. i just don't seem him firing him, or even demoting him unless there's a glaring track record of failure. I think he stays put in his position. Hope I'm wrong.
 

Toe Nash

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The thing is that average simply isn't good enough when we have the best coach ever running the show. Especially, average for three years in a row and trending down. Of course they're not the worst in the NFL, but the teams that are really bad are:
  • Not really trying to win / don't have a QB (Houston, Carolina, New Orleans, Atlanta, Cleveland until now, maybe Pittsburgh)
  • Expected to be better and have coaches in a major hot seat (Denver, Arizona, LV)
  • Have been in the wilderness for a long time with unpredictable ownership and/or recent coaching turnover (Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Chicago)
  • Went all-in to win an SB last year (LAR)
That's 13 teams; the Patriots are in the back half among teams that are trying to win and have had stable coaching and QB situations for the past few years. OK Mac Jones is better than Kenny Pickett so far. Whoop de fucking do.

Belichick earned the right to do whatever he wanted for a couple years and try to build the team but there should be something to point to by now that trends upward and if we squint shows us a path to a top-level team. We know he can find defensive backs and defensive linemen. Awesome. He hasn't shown he can find receivers and the offensive line that he spent a lot of draft capital on, is completely struggling. He may not have a solution at QB. And if not he's wasted 3 years that would have been better spent doing a real rebuild.

The season hasn't gone as well as we all wanted. But they still have a shot at the playoffs. They have some cap space going forward. They don't have any huge albatross contracts weighing them down barring Jonnu Smith, and that's manageable. Most of the important players on this team for the future (Mac/Zappe, Stevenson, Phillips, Dugger, Uche, Onwenu, Marcus Jones, Jack Jones, Steve Jones, Barmore) are all under contract for negligible amounts of money.**

If you can go .500 after losing Brady while building a decent core and managing the cap that's hardly the disaster situation some people are making this out to be.
I think that if this is the list of guys who are "important on this team for the future" then that's kind of the problem. They don't have a terrible team with no talent but they don't have star-level guys to build around. Maybe Stevenson but he is a running back. Who else do you really want to keep around for their second contract for what they'd cost? Dugger I guess and Onwenu? That's not enough talent.

And they don't have high picks coming up either (They have a buttload of extra picks in the 4th round and later, which is nice for building out a team but you have to be so lucky to get stars down there).

What I keep coming back to is the Cam year, where they were up against the cap with no quarterback and a mediocre roster but instead of tearing things down and trying to get high draft picks like any other GM would try to do, they eked out a 7-9 team. Obviously BB wants to try to win it every year but I don't think that's the direction to take when you lose the best QB ever. Then, they spent high picks last year on a guard (fine if he's a decent starter) and a WR who so far has not shown much. The FA spending spree netted one star and then a bunch of average or worse starters. They traded for Parker who has been fine but not a game-breaker.

I feel like this year we're seeing close to a best-case scenario outcome from the defense but it's counter-acted by the regression on offense. Even if Mac Jones improves, it's pretty clear he's going to need a solid team around him with some star talent on both sides of the ball. What is the path to getting those guys?
 
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lexrageorge

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Jul 31, 2007
18,378
I don't think BB won despite the lack of outside help. I think it didn't really matter because Brady was here. We talk about the "brain drain" but simultaneously acknowledge that most of BB's proteges fail on the outside. Who are we missing outside of Scar and perhaps Ernie Adams, who both retired? The problem is that there is no new blood (somewhat literally) and no new ideas in the organization. They aren't a sucking chest wound but they are not showing any promise for the future at the moment, which is the biggest concern. And if we're going to call BB the GOAT, being .500 without the GOAT QB is a pretty weak standard - right now this team is coached as poorly as any team in the league, and that needs to be looked at carefully and understood why.
Thinking that those dynasty years were all Brady is silly. I guess Bill had nothing to do with drafting Gronk or Edelman, or building the 2001-2004 defensive juggernauts, or drafting Collins, Hightower, Chandler Jones or signing UFDA Malcolm Butler. I could go on and on.

They are 6-6, so not sure how that translates into "coached as poorly as any team", given that they are overall right at the middle of the pack. Given the composition of the roster, that seems about right. Yes, that is on Bill as well. Fortunately, he's also drafted Rhamondre Stevenson, Jack Jones, Marcus Jones, Barmore, Uche. He's also responsible for Jonnu Smith and Trent Brown II and Isaiah Wynn.

Fortunately, he'll get a clean slate this offseason. Brown and Wynn will be gone. The only 2 uncuttable players from a salary cap perspective are Judon and Smith; the latter is not ideal, but easily worked around.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
24,979
Again, I don't mean to be snarky, but tell me again what exactly BB is doing right now that is "really good." I've never seen this team look like this, so I'm genuinely concerned. I suppose he can still game plan against terrible QBs, but against real competition he looks hopelessly outmatched. He's reverted to checkers.
He has taken a team that most people think is low on talent to 16-13 and he past two years as they go through a rebuild. That’s pretty good.
 

Commander Shears

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 24, 2005
1,039
Ask yourself this: when is the last time a Pats coach got fired, rather than poached? I can't remember.
Fired isn't always the exact right term but the list is short: Dave DeGuglielmo, Dean Pees, Dom Capers. Doesn't take a rocket surgeon to see what else they have in common.
 

Salva135

Cassandra
Oct 19, 2008
1,575
Boston
He has taken a team that most people think is low on talent to 16-13 and he past two years as they go through a rebuild. That’s pretty good.
I'm extremely tired of giving BB credit for doing something with one hand tied behind his back. He drafted that low level of talent. He owns it. We need to stop separating BB the coach from BB the GM because we get both no matter what.

Serious question: do you think this team (and QB) are on an uptrend? Are they showing signs they can compete for a championship? If the answer is yes, please show me, because I am not seeing any of it.
 

Salva135

Cassandra
Oct 19, 2008
1,575
Boston
Thinking that those dynasty years were all Brady is silly. I guess Bill had nothing to do with drafting Gronk or Edelman, or building the 2001-2004 defensive juggernauts, or drafting Collins, Hightower, Chandler Jones or signing UFDA Malcolm Butler. I could go on and on.

They are 6-6, so not sure how that translates into "coached as poorly as any team", given that they are overall right at the middle of the pack. Given the composition of the roster, that seems about right. Yes, that is on Bill as well. Fortunately, he's also drafted Rhamondre Stevenson, Jack Jones, Marcus Jones, Barmore, Uche. He's also responsible for Jonnu Smith and Trent Brown II and Isaiah Wynn.

Fortunately, he'll get a clean slate this offseason. Brown and Wynn will be gone. The only 2 uncuttable players from a salary cap perspective are Judon and Smith; the latter is not ideal, but easily worked around.

Nobody is saying it was all Brady. But it was probably more than we realized. He hit on some picks. That's great. I'm not even interested in bringing up his greatest draft hits. I'm talking about how this team is being coached right this very now. It's terrible and undeniable. So what do we do about it?
 

luckiestman

Son of the Harpy
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
33,051
I'm extremely tired of giving BB credit for doing something with one hand tied behind his back. He drafted that low level of talent. He owns it. We need to stop separating BB the coach from BB the GM because we get both no matter what.
How good is a team with a first or second year QB supposed to be in your mind? Which of those are better than the Pats right now?
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
18,378
Nobody is saying it was all Brady. But it was probably more than we realized. He hit on some picks. That's great. I'm not even interested in bringing up his greatest draft hits. I'm talking about how this team is being coached right this very now. It's terrible and undeniable. So what do we do about it?
So the good picks don’t matter? And the good defensive coaching doesn’t matter?
 

Dotrat

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Jul 11, 2002
2,143
Morris County NJ
The idea that BB is stubborn is ridiculous to anyone who’s paid attention to this team or his career—he’s routinely been described by former players, staffers, and rival coaches as one of the most open, innovative, creative, and flexible minds in the game.

He’s also drafted pretty well over the years. No GM has success year in, year out. Aside from a few historical weak spots—WR and second-rounders most prominently—he’s also been very strong, especially on OL (oh, the irony!), RB, DL, special teamers, and UDFAs at many spots. But the Pats had the misfortune of drafting poorly to middlingly from 2017-2019–just as the GOAT was nearing departure. This is one of the major reasons they’ve been a mediocre team since TB left. (I’d add that wild card teams that make the playoffs only to be destroyed by better teams are well within the scope of mediocrity; I don’t see how anyone looks at last year’s 10-7 team and sees a good one staring back.)

Yet there are alarming signs of a sort of organizational sclerosis or stasis.
First, the departures of Ernie Adams, Josh McDaniels, et al. all suggested the need for leadership and stability. Why, then, wasn’t Brian Flores immediately hired? FFS, if you’ll turn your offense over to two guys with highly limited experience as offensive coaches who were also train wrecks as team leaders, why allow Pittsburgh to hire Flores—many of whose players like and respect him? I’m as baffled by the decision not to grab Flores as I am by the hiring of two badly failed head coaches to perform new jobs, particularly in an offense consisting mostly of younger players and/or those new to NE.

Second, this team, especially the woeful OL, is all too frequently dumb, sloppy, and careless. Did they all (besides David Andrews) pledge at Delta House? They also appear to be unprepared week after week. Worse, these defects are exacerbated the further they move down the field and flare into epidemic status in the red zone. This worries me most because it has nothing to do with Tom Brady (or anyone else) leaving but has everything to do with a team that simply isn’t listening or buying into the scheme or game plan(s)—a team that, regardless of the public statements they make, isn’t paying attention to their coaches. Even marginally talented players can be taught not to regularly hold, commit false starts, or wander aimlessly downfield. This was once a major strength of every unit and position group on the team. Whatever their talent level, they were well coached, always prepared, and therefore almost never beat themselves.

Now, they are the opposite.

They’re increasingly tough to watch not only because they’re not very good at football but also because they often seem intent on beating themselves.

I’m content to give Belichick the benefit of a further rebuild this off-season—but if he doesn’t overhaul the offensive staff and find coaches who can inspire confidence and respect from the players he chooses, then it’s time to move on.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
24,979
How good is a team with a first or second year QB supposed to be in your mind? Which of those are better than the Pats right now?
I was going to answer him but this is a good reply. He was starting over with a rookie QB. This stuff takes time. Some Pats fans are this delusion that it should only take 2-3 years to rebuild a team from the foundation up into some sort of championship contender.

He’s improved the roster CONSIDERABLY from the 2020 team. Not in every area of course but on the whole. And now he is dealing with new coaches (well new to their role), which of course is on HIM for selecting them but still, it takes time. I’m grateful BB has a long term view of the rebuilding process, unlike some fans here.