The New England Patriots have been eliminated from postseason contention, and the gloves are off. Traditionally, Patriots head coach and de facto general manager Bill Belichick has appeared beyond reproach.
However, recently, the future Hall-of-Famer and certified legend has had his card pulled on a weekly basis. The latest line-stepping action came from WEEI’s Lou Merloni who attempted to grill Belichick on his decision–or some might say indecision–with the quarterback situation.
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‘You Sound Like a Baby’
Belichick appeared on WEEI’s OMF on Monday and Merloni was determined to pry an answer about the Patriots’ starting quarterback situation for the remainder of the season out of Belichick. The rapid-fire questions created tons of awkward silence, and Belichick ultimately no-sold Merloni’s inquiry as a means to transition to another topic.
Here is a look at the exchange:
— Ryan Hannable (@RyanHannable) December 21, 2020
Clearly frustrated by Belichick’s unwillingness to share information–and perhaps with an old ax to grind–Merloni took to Twitter to fire a shot at the Hoodie for his uncooperativeness and what sounds like something from the past that wasn’t appreciated.
It’s easy when you’re winning. You can disrespect people all you want. You can talk down to them as well…but when you start losing…you sound like a baby https://t.co/anD8zVXhNh
— Lou Merloni (@LouMerloni) December 22, 2020
I’ve heard quite a few insults that were aimed at Belichick in the past: cheater, ruthless, unempathetic, and others, but “you sound like a baby” is a new one.
The Dangers of Turning to Stidham
It seems most fans and media are clamoring for the Patriots to start Jarrett Stidham in the final two games of the regular season. However, if Belichick makes that decision and Stidham plays well, he will have to endure the constant second-guessing from the media, and perhaps even worse, his roster could begin to wonder what the season might have been had the change been made sooner.
On the flip side, Stidham could continue to show the inconsistencies he has displayed in most of his brief appearances, and it would further highlight another draft failure (seeing as the Patriots took him in the 4th round in 2019 with designs on the young quarterback replacing Tom Brady). There is a bump for Belichick to take either way.
The Benefit of Turning to Stidham
If Stidham plays well, while the fanbase and media will let Belichick hear it, the final two games would at the very least provide hope for 2021. Isn’t that something all of us could use a major dose of these days?
It would be great for the Patriots to see so much from Stidham in the final two games that they suddenly don’t feel compelled to use a high draft pick on a quarterback, and could also shift the majority of their cap space away from the league’s most expensive position.
There is a positive side to Stidham flopping in the final two games as well.
A poor performance from Stidham would essentially prove Belichick and his coaching staff were right along. An underwhelming showing would suggest Newton was the right choice and Stidham was held back for good reason. That spin could also make the 6, 7, or 8 wins the Patriots manage this season look like the result of one of Belichick and Josh McDaniels’ best coaching jobs.
As usual, it all depends on how you look at it, and none of that is baby talk.
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