HOF Coach Says Belichick Isn’t Looking for Total Control in His Next Role

Bill Belichick

Getty Images Bill Belichick.

Despite his illustrious coaching career, former New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick found himself on the sidelines as NFL teams filled their head-coaching vacancies for the 2024 season. The legendary 71-year-old, renowned for his unprecedented success with the New England Patriots, only underwent one known interview with the Atlanta Falcons. But if he’s taking interviews, it seems obvious he still wants a shot at leading an NFL franchise.

As it stands now, Belichick is a mere 26 regular-season wins away from surpassing Don Shula as the winningest coach in NFL history and only 14 wins shy if you count playoff wins. With that coveted record so close to his grasp, it doesn’t feel like we’ve seen the last of Bill Belichick on an NFL sideline. But has his multi-faceted role as general manager and head coach cost him some opportunities?

Belichick Doesn’t Expect Full Control

One prevailing narrative suggested that Belichick’s dual role as coach and general manager in New England might have deterred potential suitors. However, Falcons owner Arthur Blank refuted this notion, indicating that Belichick would be open to relinquishing some control if it meant joining a new team. “I do want to make it 1,000% clear, want to go to 2,000% or 100,000, whatever percent you want to use. Bill Belichick never asked for, in our discussion, full control of the personnel or the building or anything of that nature,” the Falcons commented via ESPN.

Hall of Fame coach and former head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, Jimmy Johnson, echoed this notion after he said he spent a few days in Miami with Belichick. Jimmy Johnson was on the “The Joe Rose Show” on WQAM 560 AM and had this to say, “He said, ‘Hey, I don’t have to be in charge of everything.’ That’s what happened up in New England. He kind of fell into that deal, and it’s not necessarily that he pushed for it. That’s what happened because he was there for so long. He is more than willing to give up the decision-making to the general manager and the personnel people.”

Johnson then added, “Bill and his girlfriend just left the house about four days ago, and he came down to spend a few days with me.” We talked about a bunch of stuff. He had been with [Bill] Parcells and [Nick] Saban a couple days earlier, and some of these [NFL] owners are a little bit afraid of him. The general managers and the personnel people in the organizations are really afraid of him because they think if he comes in, they are going to lose their jobs. A lot of people working against him as far as getting a job. I was shocked that he didn’t get some more opportunities. He’ll get opportunities next year.”

Why Relinquishing Duties Was No Option in New England

Before parting ways with the Patriots after 23 remarkable seasons, Belichick expressed willingness to cede some of his general manager responsibilities to ensure his continued tenure with the organization. Despite his openness to adjust his role, the Patriots ultimately opted for a different path, leading to Belichick’s departure. Robert Kraft commented on the decision not to relinquish Belichick’s role to keep him in the building in Bill Belichick’s parting press conference on January 11th.

“Think about It. When you have someone like Bill, who’s had control over every decision, every coach we hire. The organization reports to him on the draft and how much money we spend — every decision has been his. We’ve always supported it,” Kraft answered. “To then take some of that power away and give it to someone else,” Kraft continued. “… Where he had the responsibility and then someone else takes it, it’s going to set up confusion and, ‘Well, it was his pick, and that was a bad pick, or he didn’t play him right,’ you know? It wouldn’t work, in my opinion.”

Will Belichick Get a Chance in 2025?

Although Belichick was overlooked in the 2024 coaching carousel, reports suggest that teams are already laying the groundwork for potential opportunities in the 2025 season. Despite the setback, Belichick’s reputation as a coaching maestro and master strategist ensures that his services remain in high demand across the league. Belichick will likely weigh his options carefully as the offseason progresses, evaluating potential destinations where he can continue to leave an indelible mark on the NFL landscape. But make no mistake, NFL insiders agree that Belichick will have suitors come 2025.

For Belichick, the 2025 season presents a fresh opportunity to etch his name further into the annals of football history. While the 2024 coaching cycle may have passed without a new chapter in his storied career, the legendary coach remains steadfast in his pursuit of excellence, eagerly awaiting the chance to lead a team to glory once again. As teams vie for his services, Belichick’s unmatched track record and unparalleled expertise make him a prized asset in the competitive landscape of NFL coaching.

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