ESPN analyst Jeff Saturday has been talking about the New England Patriots and any potential pressure on head coach Bill Belichick.
Arguably one of the biggest discussions in the NFL in recent years has surrounded the New England Patriots dynasty, specifically who was more responsible for the 6 Super Bowl trophies and 17 AFC East division titles whilst Tom Brady and Bill Belichick were in command of the ship.
There is a fair argument on either side. After all, the quarterback is the most important position on the field as he is the one who has the most say in what happens when the ball is snapped. But at the same time, the head coach has to put the pieces together, and with Belichick also taking on the role of GM for the Patriots, he’d have a fair argument to say it’s him.
However the past two years have kind of indicated that the benefit of the doubt is going to Brady, as he’s been able to win a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and win the NFC South last year, whilst Belichick had a losing season with the Patriots in 2020 and was bounced out of the playoffs in the opening round last season.
Making the best of it
There has though been some improvement on the part of Belichick and the Patriots, as they managed to move from a 7-9 record in 2020 to a 10-7 record with rookie Mac Jones at quarterback last year, and if he can take another step forward in his development this year, then it’s not impossible to think that he could take the Patriots a little bit closer to Super Bowl contention this year.
However, he will need a little more stability above him in order to do that, and in a very un-Patriot way, stability isn’t exactly the order of the day in New England right now.
Following offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ departure to take charge of the Las Vegas Raiders, the Patriots have been looking for someone to take over play-calling duties on the offensive side of the ball, as having entered preseason without someone with the title of offensive coordinator and with assistant coaches Matt Patricia and Joe Judge, along with Belichick calling plays, all of which could threaten to derail the season if it isn’t sorted out.
Cool the jets
Even if that does happen though, Jeff Saturday doesn’t believe that it will have any impact on Belichick as the head coach of the Patriots.
Speaking on ESPN’s First Take, he claimed that even if the Patriots did have a bad year, and despite the apparent problems that they might have, Belichick has built up enough of a reputation that he should be able to withstand any significant problems from upstairs:
However, that’s only dealing with what is going on above him, we don’t know what kind of mood Belichick might be in, and he might well decide that if he can’t be successful anymore, it’s time to step down and let someone else try to make it a success.