There is no question that the dynamic between former New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady, Coach/GM Bill Belichick and current Owner Robert Kraft has had its rifts. Beginning with Belichick’s hesitancy to extend Brady after his MVP season in 2017, where they lost in the Super Bowl to the Philadelphia Eagles, the relationship among these three pillars of the Patriots dynasty has run its course. Or has it? Brady has moved onto Tampa Bay but Belichick and Kraft still remain in New England.
Belichick, as both Coach and General Manager, has had his ups and downs throughout the 21 seasons he has been in New England. Whether it was questionable draft picks, reluctance to sign current players to big-money deals or even bringing in free agents who may demand a larger contract, Bill has always stayed true to himself and never changed philosophies. He doesn’t share much with the media and he certainly does not discuss personal matters. Well, at least that is how he used to operate.
With Tom Brady now playing for the Buccaneers all eyes are on Belichick to keep this team relative. To do so it seems like the Patriots coach has adjusted his philosophies and decided to be more candid with the media.
Starting with his post-game press conference, after an embarrassing home loss to the Denver Broncos, Belichick has begun to step away from the “no excuse” mentality and tell it how it is. “We need more time together. We need to practice together. We need to execute and do everything better,” Belichick said after the game. Everything he said was accurate, due to positive COVID tests within the organization the Patriots were unable to practice and properly prepare for the week-five game against Denver. The part of all this that shocks people is the fact that Belichick was that honest with the media to begin with. Usually, after a loss, he is brief and direct with the media. “We’re onto Cincinnati” being the most notorious of them all.
So why in his 21 season as New England’s Coach is Belichick deciding to be more open with the media? Could it be because he is trying to shoot his way out of town? Maybe he has just realized that being completely open with the media is the best way for reporters to get off his back and allow him to do his job.
Last Tuesday Belichick had an interview with the ‘OMF’ program on WEEI in Boston, as he does every Tuesday, and after asked about his brief time as New York Jets Coach in 2000 he had this to say; “That was one of the not only most defining, but one of the great moments of my career. That combined with Robert giving me the opportunity to come here, I couldn't have asked for anything more.” These comments do not seem to come from a man who is trying to shoot his way out of town. Clearly there is a great deal of respect for Robert Kraft from Belichick. So, why in his 21 season as New England’s Coach is Belichick deciding to be more open with members of the media? Maybe the answer is simple. Belichick now has full control in New England and with Brady no longer in the picture he has decided to tell the world how he really thinks. If it were up to both Belichick and Kraft, Belichick would be the coach in New England for however long he wants the job. It is an unprecedented time in Foxboro as a losing season is more likely than not for the first time since 2000, when Belichick first took the job.
Patriots fans will have to endure a period of time where they are no longer the perennial powerhouse they once were. But, from his comments last week, it does not seem as if Belichick is going anywhere.