The Buffalo Bills could have the chance to do much more than just knock the New England Patriots out of the playoffs on Saturday, an insider suggests.
Joe DiBiase, the pregame host for the official Bills broadcast on WGR 500, speculated that head coach Bill Belichick could be ready to follow in the footsteps of star quarterback Tom Brady and leave the franchise for another opportunity, and it could be the Bills that kick-start the process.
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Time Up for Belichick?
DiBiase wrote that he has long believed Belichick is setting up an exit from New England to join the New York Giants in a front-office capacity. He noted that Belichick was a big proponent of the now-fired Joe Judge, and speculated that the Giants would not have jettisoned Judge without trying to secure a role for Belichick.
The timing also seems right given that Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniel gave up an opportunity to coach the Indianapolis Colts in 2018 — something DiBiase believes came with an assurance from the Patriots that he would one day succeed Belichick as head coach.
“If I were McDaniels, I would’ve needed an estimation of when Belichick was going to be done. Three more years? Five more years? 10 more years?” he wrote.
“Whatever assurances McDaniels does or doesn’t have, he isn’t going to wait forever. If leaving the franchise in good hands is important to Belichick, he wouldn’t want to test McDaniels’ patience too much before he bolts for another head coaching job.”
DiBiase also pointed to the strong play of rookie quarterback Mac Jones, which could also play into Belichick’s succession plans. He pointed to a report from Seth Wickersham’s book “It’s Better to be Feared” that said Belichick didn’t want to leave the Patriots until the team had a stable quarterback of the future — which Jones could turn out to be.
Patriots Coach Giving No Indication
It’s not clear if DiBiase believes that a win over the Bills — or a deep playoff run — could change the trajectory for Belichick, but the Patriots coach has not given any public indication of his plans. Belichick was asked on Wednesday about the challenge of playing the same team three times in one season, and seemed fully focused on coming up with a gameplan to beat the Bills, not worrying about moving into a new job.
“It’s similar to [playing a team] twice,” Belichick said, via NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk. “Look, I think the big thing any time you play a team a second or third time, or whatever it is, it’s a new game. We’re starting from scratch. Don’t think or assume the game is going to go like another one did. Be ready to play it out, play it as you see it, and make the necessary adjustments and decisions that come up in this game. Whatever happened in some other game happened. We learned something from that, but we have to play this game as it plays out. It’ll be different than any other game. As long as we do that, we’ll be OK.”