Why Should Patriots Fans Be Optimistic?
At the recent NFL owners meeting in Phoenix, reporters asked Bill Belichick why fans should be optimistic about the Patriots in 2023. His response to the question was, “The last 25 years.” This answer was a bit perplexing as it reveals that Belichick was relying on the Patriots’ past achievements rather than solely focusing on the future.
Tedy Bruschi Weighs In On Comments
Tedy Bruschi, a former linebacker for the New England Patriots and ESPN analyst, has noticed a change in Belichick’s demeanor. Stating that Belichick’s comments go against what he stands for. Emphasizing Bill would always tell the players that past accomplishments do not matter and it’s about the present and how you’ll improve in the future.
Appearing on “Get Up” on Tuesday, Bruschi explained, “Right now, Coach Belichick is off-message.”That is something that his players shouldn’t hear — that he is basing some optimism to fans on ‘what I’ve done in the past 25 years.’ I don’t know if I’ve ever heard Bill mention something like that in terms of his whole body of work.
“It was surprising to me. I don’t know what’s going on in that locker room now, but players can hold coaches accountable. I’ve done it with Bill before when he said things postgame or during the week that I did not like, and we had discussions in captains meetings or after games or whatever. But I’m not in that locker room anymore. I’m hearing it and just surprised because that is not the Bill Belichick I know.”
Holding Yourself To The Same Standards
Bruschi explained that Belichick should hold himself to the same standard that he holds his players. He cited that Bill preaching about past accomplishments as a reason for optimism goes against his message. That kind of thought process is not something that is accepted in Foxborough.
“I don’t know how many times I’ve been in meetings with Coach Belichick, and the very first meeting is, ‘I don’t care about anything in the past.’ We win Super Bowls, ‘last year doesn’t matter.’ Pro Bowls don’t matter, All-Pros don’t matter. ‘Everything you’ve done last year doesn’t matter, fellas. It’s about who we are going forward.’
It isn’t like Belichick to emphasize past successes, something you would never hear during the Tom Brady era. It sends a mixed message to the players in the locker room. 8 Super Bowl wins should speak for themselves.
What Have You Done For Me Lately?
Prior to 2020, it was almost assumed Bill Belichick could take any group of players and mold them into a winning team. During his 20-year run with Tom Brady in New England, he achieved unprecedented sustained success rarely seen in professional sports.
But if you look at his track record without Brady, it’s been vastly different – far below what we expect. In the 50 games since Brady’s departure, the Belichick-led team has only managed a mediocre 25 wins and 25 losses. And if you include Bill’s entire career without Tom, he’s only 79-87.
While it’s Patriots fans appreciate what he’s done over the past 25 years, the challenge Bill faces now is entirely different than the one from 2001-2019. We need to see him do it without Brady under center, which he simply hasn’t proven yet.
The Patriots Defense Is Not Enough
In the modern NFL, simply having a first-rate defense is no longer enough for a team to win a Super Bowl. Bill has long relied on a strong defensive resume when it comes to his roster and strategy decisions. But if he wants his Patriots to win another Super Bowl, he must realize that offense matters just as much.
Either trade for Lamar Jackson or go out and get Mac Jones the help he needs to take the jump in 2023 (Hopkins, Jeudy, etc). Doing something in between has led to mediocre results without Tom Brady under center.
Promised Changes From Kraft
Even team owner Robert Kraft recently sent out an open letter to season ticket holders, promising positive changes moving forward. The letter acknowledged that the team must improve in many areas to return to their previous standard of success. This highlights the pressure the organization now faces in year 4 of this transition phase.
Simply put, mediocrity will not be accepted in New England.