New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is giving an indication as to what his plans are for the 2022 season.
Shortly after the Patriots’ season-ending 47-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills over the weekend, Belichick was asked whether or not he plans to coach in 2022. The 69-year-old head coach responded in his usual short and blunt way, saying that it’s “accurate” that he plans to coach next season.
Belichick has coached the Patriots for the past 22 seasons as the longest-tenured head coach in the league. Although he’l turn 70 years old in August, he has given no indication that he plans to retire any time soon.
As initially reported by NBC Sports’ Peter King back in May of 2021, not only did he not expect Belichick to retire following the 2021 season, he stated that Belichick should coach past the 2022 season.
“This probably won’t be his last year, and I doubt that 2022 will be. He’s a young 69,” King wrote. “The way Belichick is, I doubt sincerely he’d leave the Patriots with a dim future.”
Selection of Jones Shapes Belichick’s Future
The selection of franchise quarterback Mac Jones in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft only cemented the idea that Belichick will coach a few more years, says King. Keep in mind, this was before Jones exceeded all expectations and outplayed every rookie quarterback in the league.
“He’ll view as part of his legacy the shape he left the franchise. That’s why Mac Jones falling to New England at 15 this year was so important to New England’s long-term future,” King wrote last May. “I don’t think [Belichick] hangs on just to break Don Shula’s all-time record for coaching victories if he thinks it’s time to go after, say, 2023 or ’24.”
Due to Jones’ play combined with the stellar play of the running game and the defensive unit, the Patriots clinched their first playoff berth without Tom Brady since the 1998 season.
Although the 2021 campaign ended with a disheartening loss to the Bills, it was clearly a step in the right direction for this franchise.
Jones should only continue to get better, which means Belichick will stick around to see his growth fully realized.
If that ends up being the case, the Patriots could challenge for the Super Bowl (again) before Belichick finally calls it a career.
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Mac Jones Makes Admission Following Loss
The Patriots struggled drastically in their first playoff game with Jones.
Despite defeating Buffalo on their home turf back in Week 13, New England appeared to be a shell of that squad just one month prior. The Patriots scored just three points in the first half before posting two meaningless touchdowns towards the end of the game to make the score look a little bit better.
By all accounts, the Patriots were dominated. And although it wasn’t all Jones’ fault, the 23-year-old quarterback took responsibility following the loss.
“For me, obviously, I was a rookie and … played like that sometimes and I shouldn’t have,” Jones admitted following the game. “I can play better, and that’s my goal this offseason is just to advance and bring the guys along with me.”
Jones went 24-of-38 for 232 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for a 75.8 quarterback rating. Those touchdowns too place right after the Patriots trailed by 30-plus points.