Bill Belichick’s ‘Jarring’ Comments Spark Concern

Getty New England Patriots Bill Belichick

Are things changing with the New England Patriots?

Bill Belichick’s recent comments have some concerned with the direction of the team and the coach’s handling of less-than-stellar results.

The Patriots opened the 2022 season with a 20-7 loss to the Miami Dolphins on the road this past Sunday, and the team (especially the offense) looked bad in the process. During the postgame presser, Belichick didn’t tear into this team or support the doom-and-gloom narrative that is currently surrounding his team.

Instead, he uncharacteristically put a more positive and optimistic spin on his assessment. Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer expressed concern for how Belichick publicly handled the Patriots’ early struggles when he appeared on the Greg Hill Show this week.

“Listening to Bill after the game, my jaw hit the floor hearing him say that,” Breer said. “For him to actually come out and say, ‘Well yeah, it was two plays here [that changed the game], that mirrored what he said after the Raiders game — which is, ‘Well, we practiced really well against them.’ It’s jarring seeing Bill talk that way. I think it’s the antithesis of who he is as a football coach.”

Is Belichick really compromising the identity that helped lead the franchise to the top of the NFL mountain on six occasions over a 20-year period? Perhaps Belichick is protecting his teammate.

“You’re hearing Bill make excuses for his team in ways you never [have]. It signals to us that he’s not comfortable with this team,” Breer said. “When he builds them up this much, the alarms go off in our head where we know he’s not real happy with the team.”

Here is a link to listen to Breer’s comments on Belichick’s reaction.

These harsh critiques of Belichick are coming in hotter and heavier each day. Belichick told the media to blame him if things didn’t go well. It seems everyone is happily obliging with increasingly hard takes that have less and less recognition of what the legendary coach has accomplished during his career.

Matt Patricia Called a Play-Caller “In Training”

The fuel behind the criticism of Belichick stems mostly from his decision to keep Matt Patricia in as a leader, guiding the offense. The issue is Patricia has no NFL experience calling plays.

In a city, playing for a coach that has done more winning over the past two decades than any other league team is a tough sell.

The Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian insists the Patriots don’t need “a play-caller in training.” Being a top-notch play-caller would seemingly be something that requires more reps than Patricia or Belichick’s other questionable assistant Joe Judge has had across their NFL journeys.

Patricia is learning on the job, and quite honestly, his success or failure could go a long toward determining the ceiling for the Patriots in 2022.

Do the Patriots Need to Abandon Their Run-First Approach?

Amidst the myriad of unsolicited advice, the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin suggested the Patriots should go with a pass-heavy attack.

“Today’s NFL is a passing league,” Volin wrote. “You throw to score. You score to win. Pass. Pass. Pass some more. The Patriots used to sling the ball with Tom Brady. They consistently ranked in the top half of the league (and often in the top 10) in throwing the ball in the first half. In 2019, they ranked 11th (62.4 percent).”

Obviously, Brady isn’t the quarterback of the Patriots anymore. Still, Volin insists this isn’t a principle exclusive to a team led by the G.O.A.T.

“Run-pass balance is grossly overrated,” Volin wrote confidently. “If the Patriots want to have a dynamic offense in 2022, they need to throw the ball. A lot.”

After watching Mac Jones struggle mightily in Week 1, it is difficult to say that simply allowing him to throw it more is the answer to what ails the Patriots’ offense. On the other hand, simply having run-pass balance because that’s what the Patriots usually have doesn’t make sense, either.

The truth is, this Patriots team is still trying to find its identity. Unfortunately, that may take longer than the spoiled Patriots Nation is willing to wait.

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