Belichick — who at age 67 is the second-oldest head coach in the NFL — recently declared during an interview with a local Boston sports radio station that he may not retire before age 70 after all.
The Patriots head coach had previously stated a decade ago that he didn’t plan to coach after age 70.
Via ESPN’s Mike Reiss:
“When I said it, maybe I didn’t know what 70 felt like,” the New England Patriots coach said Monday during his weekly appearance on sports radio WEEI. “So I’m not really sure if that’s an accurate statement today or not. At the time, I didn’t feel that way. Now that I’m closer to that age, I don’t know.”
Bill Belichick Changes Stance on Retirement
Belichick is the most accomplished head coach in NFL history. Currently in the midst of his 20th season as New England’s head coach, Belichick has won six Super Bowls, made nine total Super Bowl appearances and just recently won his 300th regular-season game.
He’s currently third on the all-time wins list for a head coach, behind the likes of Don Shula and George Halas. However, he leads everyone in postseason wins — the most important category of them all.
As Reiss notes in his article, Belichick had previously stated during a 2009 documentary that he did not play to coach into his 70’s as Buffalo Bills head coach Marv Levy once did. Levy coached his last season with the Bills at the age of 72 in 1997.
In the 2009 documentary “A Football Life: Bill Belichick,” he had said he didn’t plan to follow in the path of longtime Buffalo Bills coach Marv Levy, who had coached into his 70s. Whenever questions about how much longer Belichick might coach have come up since, that remark was often used as a benchmark for any timelines, with Belichick himself deflecting the topic. But there have been hints in recent years that Belichick has softened his stance.
When it was mentioned to Belichick in the radio interview Monday that he could be a “young 80,” he said, “that sounds good. Be a young anything.” That seemed to be a reference to a book Belichick previously told WEEI that he enjoyed in a recent summer: “Younger Next Year,” written by Dr. Henry S. Lodge and Chris Crowley.
Considering the Patriots are 8-0 this season with the league’s best defense — they’re allowing just 7.6 points per game — why would Belichick want to walk away from the game?
What else is he going to do?
Tom Brady Remains Committed to Playing Until Age 45
Speaking of the Patriots, Belichick isn’t the only one who is backing away from the idea of retirement. Tom Brady is also deflecting questions regarding retirement, saying that playing until the age of 45 remains the goal.
Via Ryan Hannable of WEEI:
Tom Brady says playing until 45 is still a goal of his. Asked about speculation on his future again coming up: “I don’t know why all of this is being brought up. It’s not by me.” Says he doesn’t pay attention to it.
At this rate, Belichick and Brady will never retire.