Going back to 2012, when he famously got into a trash-talking battle with Tom Brady during a Seahawks upset over the Patriots, Richard Sherman has gladly played the villain in New England. And he’s still at it.
Speaking on Fox Sports, Sherman took a hard line on Patriots coach Bill Belichick, shredding him for two significant decisions from the past two years: the decision to hand the offense to defensive coach Matt Patricia (and making Joe Judge a quarterbacks coach) last season, and the decision to waive Bailey Zappe and Malik Cunningham last week.
Sherman said that Belichick gets away with too much, and is held to a different standard than other coaches.
Said an amped-up Sherman: “When Belichick does something crazy that we would say is crazy for other coaches to do—like if Kyle Shanahan took his defensive coordinator and made him his offensive coordinator, and made his special-teams coach his quarterbacks coach, you would say, ‘What are you doing? What are you doing? You have lost your mind.’”
Belichick at Fault for Mac Jones Frustration
Sherman said that the all-too-common scene from last year, with frustrated quarterback Mac Jones hollering at coaches and teammates as the Patriots offense struggled with mistakes and poor execution, should land on Belichick. Who could blame Jones for his frustration, after all?
“You have to go through these quarterbacks, now Mac Jones is yelling at his teammates, yelling at his coordinator,” Sherman said. “Now, it’s creating division on your team, and we’re making storylines about Mac Jones yelling at Patricia, and how much division. Now you’re making more issues for your team.”
Jones has started 31 games and the Patriots have gone 16-15 in those games. He was a Pro Bowl quarterback and threw for 3,801 yards as a rookie, with 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, but took a step backward last year. He passed for 2,997 yards to go with 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions last season. Jones was hurt for three games in that stretch, during which Bailey Zappe entered for the Patriots and thrived.
Sherman didn’t much like what Belichick did with the team’s quarterbacks, either.
“Now you’re going to say, ‘We’re going to cut both backup quarterbacks,’ and it’s, ‘It’s Belichick, he got equity,’” Sherman said. “If you go into Week 1 and anything happens to Mac Jones, you’re out there with a guy who does not know your system and does not know your playbook and he has to go out there and win a ballgame.”
Belichick Has Struggled Without Tom Brady
Sherman also questioned the equity he mentioned when it comes to Belichick. Yes, the Patriots won six Super Bowls with Belichick at the helm, but all six came with Tom Brady under center. When Brady left New England in 2020, he led Tampa Bay to a Super Bowl title.
Without Brady, Belichick’s Patriots are just 25-25 in three seasons.
“The man you’re giving credit to, you’ve got to treat him the same in every situation,” Sherman said. “You’ve got to be objective. He has been .500 since Tom left. Why can’t you do it? You judged Tom when he left. You said, ‘If he can’t win without Belichick, then it was Belichick.’ And what did Tom do the first season he left? He won a Super Bowl to say, ‘Hey, it was me, it’s not him, it’s me.’”