Bill Belichick Has Strong Words for Popular NFL Trend

Getty Bill Belichick

Lots of NFL coaches and general managers lean heavily on analytics when building their teams and lineups. Don’t count the New England PatriotsBill Belichick as one of them.

Belichick has never been the kind of guy who put a lot of weight on analytics, and earlier this week, he made it pretty clear where he stands.

When asked about how much he values analytics in football, Belichick said, “I’d prefer good players, good fundamentals and good execution,” per D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

This isn’t a new stance for Belichick.

In 2019, CLNS’ Evan Lazar asked how much analytics played a part in the coach’s decision on a key fourth-down play, and Belichick’s response was “less than zero.”

When you’ve been the head coach and general manager for six Super Bowl champions, critics tend to leave you alone–at least a little.

However, if the Patriots have more seasons like the one they had in 2020 when they finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs, you will inevitably hear chatter suggesting the game has passed Belichick by. His refusal to validate analytics might be a favorite target for critics.


Many NFL Head Coaches are Embracing Analytics

The Washington Post’s Sam Fortier wrote about what he called a “watershed year” in reference to the 2019 season. The San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens, two teams most welcoming to advanced statistics, were at the top of the NFC and AFC, respectively.

We always hear that the NFL is a copycat league. It’s a cliché, but has proven to be true throughout history. When teams won using the West Coast offense, others copied. When Bill Parcells’ 3-4 defenses revolutionized the game on that side of the ball, we saw a similar shift.

Analytics figure to have the same impact, and Belichick with either have to embrace it, or prove that his way is still better.


Patriots Preseason and Regular Season Schedule

With the money the Patriots spent in the offseason to improve their team, all eyes will be on every game New England plays. Here is a look at the Patriots’ entire schedule for the preseason and regular season.

Date   Opponent Time/TV

Thursday

Aug. 12

 

Washington Football Team

 (Preseason)

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA

7:30pm ET

Local/NFL NETWORK

Thursday

Aug. 19

 

at Philadelphia Eagles

 (Preseason)

Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA

7:30pm ET

Local/NFL NETWORK

Sunday

Aug. 29

 

at New York Giants

 (Preseason)

MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ

7:30pm ET

Local/NFL NETWORK

Sunday

Sep. 12

 

Miami Dolphins

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA

4:25pm ET

CBS

Sunday

Sep. 19

 

at New York Jets

MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ

1:00pm ET

CBS

Sunday

Sep. 26

 

New Orleans Saints

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA

1:00pm ET

FOX

Sunday

Oct. 3

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA

8:20pm ET

NBC

Sunday

Oct. 10

 

at Houston Texans

NRG Stadium, Houston, TX

1:00pm ET

CBS

Sunday

Oct. 17

 

Dallas Cowboys

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA

4:25pm ET

CBS

Sunday

Oct. 24

 

New York Jets

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA

1:00pm ET

CBS

Sunday

Oct. 31

 

at Los Angeles Chargers

SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, CA

4:05pm ET

CBS

Sunday

Nov. 7

 

at Carolina Panthers

Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC

1:00pm ET

CBS

Sunday

Nov. 14

 

Cleveland Browns

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA

1:00pm ET

CBS

Thursday

Nov. 18

 

at Atlanta Falcons

Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA

8:20pm ET

FOX/NFL NETWORK/AMAZON

Sunday

Nov. 28

 

Tennessee Titans

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA

1:00pm ET

CBS

Monday

Dec. 6

 

at Buffalo Bills

Bills Stadium, Orchard Park, NY

8:15pm ET

ESPN

Sunday

Dec. 12

  BYE  

Saturday

Dec. 18

 

at Indianapolis Colts

Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN

Time TBA ET

or Sun., Dec. 19

Sunday

Dec. 26

 

Buffalo Bills

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA

1:00pm ET

CBS

Sunday

Jan. 2

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA

1:00pm ET

CBS

Sunday

Jan. 9

 

at Miami Dolphins

Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL

1:00pm ET

CBS

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