It’s not putting one’s head in the sand to both acknowledge that the Patriots have had problems with roster building and team execution the past few years, and to still prefer Bill Belichick remain to lead New England out of the murky times.
The Patriots are rudderless at the moment and fans are looking for something - anything - to pull them out of the post-dynasty funk. Reality check: Winning is hard. This is easily evidenced by just how few multiple Super Bowl winning teams there are - even by top coaches in the NFL. Sustaining a winning, organization that’s always seen as contenders - even in a down period, is no small feat. Belichick doesn’t need any apologists, his record speaks for itself and his accomplishments have been the subject of many interesting books. I recommend “The Blueprint” by Christopher Price on how the early Belichick-era teams were built, for those who don’t know or don’t remember the details. Then we can have a conversation about how that man can’t manage, build or sustain a team.
Top teams have smart coaching, supportive ownership, perceptive scouts, a reliable franchise quarterback and a mix of players that buy into the game plans and support each other.
The Patriots have whiffed on a lot the past few years and will need to keep trying to find the right mix of players and coaching staff to morph into the kind of team that becomes greater than the sum of its parts when it goes on the field. No easy feat for anyone tasked with that job. It’s my contention Belichick is still the team’s best option to take it on.
- Transaction: Patriots re-sign WR T.J. Luther to the practice squad.
- Mike Dussault’s Frankfurt Primer: Patriots content plans packed Week in Germany.
- Paul Perillo’s NFL Notes: Midseason awards are in.
- Press Conferences: Bill O’Brien - Cam Achord - Steve Belichick - Vinnie Sunseri - Mike Pellegrino - Brian Belichick - Ross Douglas - Will Lawing - Troy Brown - Jerod Mayo.
- Andy Hart gives us the latest Pats Stats Check-In: At least they’re good in the red zone!
- Doug Kyed looks at what’s next for WR Tyquan Thornton after being benched in Week 9. Bill O’Brien: “Look, he hasn’t played a lot of football because of injury, so when you don’t play a lot of football, it’s hard. He’s got to continue to work, and he will.”
- Michael Hurley suggests the Patriots problem at receiver goes deeper than Tyquan Thornton.
- Nick O’Malley highlights Patriots WR coach Troy Brown taking the blame for how his receivers are struggling and leaving plays on the field that could have swung the game.
- Michael Hurley reports Patriots OL coach Adrian Klemm missed his scheduled session with reporters on Tuesday, and he’ll be taking some time away from the job due to a health matter.
- Nick O’Malley highlights CB coach Mike Pellegrino on reported playing time drama, “I feel like the narrative’s a little messed up. Like, what did Sean do to really earn that? Everyone’s trying to make it about those two.”
- Mike D’Abate (Patriots Country) Week 9 Notebook: Another Mac Jones final, fatal drive.
- Jonathan Alfano (Patriots Country) Patriots reveal travel plans for Germany.
- Tom E. Curran discusses how Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick can keep things afloat for the final two months.
- Darren Hartwell relays 98.5 The Sports Hub guest Mike Reiss laying out what a Patriots reset could look like post-Bill Belichick.
- Mike Kadlick notes comedian Bill Burr, a Massachusetts native, tells those calling for Belichick’s job to ‘relax’.
- Mike Kadlick’s Patriots Mailbag: Could Bill Belichick actually be traded this offseason?
- Karen Guregian hears from Super Bowl-winning RB Shane Vereen, now a Pac-12 analyst, who breaks down four of the top QB prospects in the 2024 draft.
- Michael Hurley picks up on a short shot taken by Tom Brady to Julian Edelman. Brady met NBA rookie Victor Wembanyama and felt what it was like having to look up at someone.
- Eric Jackson (Yahoo! Sports) New England Patriots cling to German popularity in post-Brady era.
- Josh Alper (ProFootballTalk) Patriots CB coach says “narrative’s a little messed up” on J.C. Jackson, Jack Jones.
- NFL Nation (ESPN) NFL 2023 midseason report: AFC, NFC questions and stats.
- Adam Schein (NFL.com) NFL middlers: Contenders or pretenders at midseason? Bills contenders, Jets not.
- Matt Verderame (SI) AFC Midseason Grades: Ravens earn only perfect score, One team fails. Through nine weeks, we know a few things about the AFC. 1. The Ravens, Chiefs and Jaguars are making the playoffs. 2. The Bengals, Bills and Dolphins are likely making the playoffs. 3. The Broncos, Patriots and Titans aren’t making the playoffs.
- Matt Verderame (SI) NFL Week 10 Rookie Stock Watch: C.J. Stroud Clearly No. 1.
- Jimmy Traina (SI) Troy Aikman showed why he’s the best NFL analyst on TV during Chargers-Jets.