World News – USA – All eyes will be on Bill Belichick to see him try to fix the Patriots

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There is no doubt about Bill Belichick’s brilliance as head coach. His six Super Bowl rings with the Patriots, nine championship appearances, 17 titles in the AFC East Division and 310 overall victories bear witness to this.

But at the age of 68 does he still have the fire and drive to bring the Patriots back to their usual role as aspirants?

NBC analyst Rodney Harrison, a Patriots Hall of Famer, has no doubt Belichick will pull out all the stops to make the team relevant again.

« Bill is a competitive guy. He’s not doing this to lose, ”Harrison said when he was reached last week. « He’s not doing this to get second or third. ”

There is no doubt about its competitiveness. Belichick has always been there to win it. During his stay in New England, he put together an unparalleled résumé with lasting success.

But with the team falling in 2020, since the team no longer has Tom Brady at the quarterback, can he successfully get the Patriots out of their current hole?

With history in check, particularly in the latter half of the last decade, and an unwillingness to spend on specific skill positions, it is not inappropriate to question whether Belichick can achieve the necessary turnaround.

Because at the moment there are a lot of gaps to fill: quarterback, wide receiver, tight end, defensive line and linebacker.

Harrison pointed to 2002 as a point of reference. After winning their first Super Bowl in 2001, the Patriots stunned the St. . Louis Rams, they quickly fell back to earth, went 9-7 the following year and missed the playoffs.

After the disappointing 2002 season, Belichick released security attorney Milloy just before the start of the 2003 season, which was an unpopular move. But he’d already called Harrison in and signed double Pro Bowl security on a free agent deal. Belichick also brought in former Bears linebacker Rosevelt Colvin, a well-known pass rusher, who signed him on a lucrative deal at the time.

Although Colvin was disregarded due to a serious hip injury, the Patriots won consecutive Super Bowls in 2003 and 2004. Between 2003 and 2004, Belichick also kept the ball rolling, sending a second-round selection to the Bengals in exchange for perennial 1000-yard rusher Corey Dillon.

Then, after a 2006 season of offense badly lacking in the receiver (Reche Caldwell, Doug Gabriel), Belichick upgraded the position and made trades for Randy Moss and Wes Welker while also signing Donte Stallworth to Brady to give a top. Notch recipient group.

Even though times have changed, Harrison still sees a determined Belichick taking the necessary steps.

« That lit a fire under him, all this embarrassment, » Harrison said. « It’s not just players. So are the trainers. They don’t like people laughing at you. Plus, Bill knew he’d be checking it out this year, but he’ll be leveraging next year to find some better players. ”

He knew Brady was going to leave and not have the best succession plan at quarterback along with all the other players who had lost in the free hand. It was going to be a tough year.

Does he want to do a complete overhaul or does he think he can only fix some of the holes after fixing the quarterback situation?

That’s all part of the fascination with this off-season. How will Belichick approach the problem?

He could have $ 60 million in free hand cap space. He’s likely to have a top 15 pick in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft too.

« I think he has the wish. One thing I won’t question about Belichick is his appetite to do the job, ”said Solomon Wilcots, NFL analyst at SiriusXM. « The long hours, the diligence of the sport . . . I think it was Vince Lombardi who said « we are crazy men » when he talked about coaching. And Bill Belichick is a card-carrying guy when it comes to that fraternity of coaches. That goes without saying for him. ”

There’s also the hunt for Don Shula in the record books. Belichick certainly won’t take this as a motivator, but he’s long been a historian of the game, and the chance to overtake Shula for the most wins of all time among NFL head coaches has to be somewhere on his radar.

Shula is at the top with 347. George Halas has 324 and with six other wins this season, Belichick is 310.

Five and six seasons don’t get done in the next three or four seasons.

Belichick must find a quarterback, either by free hand, draft, or trade; Upgrade the weapons. mend the defense; and back to the 10, 11 win category.

One area it cannot fail is design. He has to draw better and pay at least the market value in the free hand.

« The biggest hurdle, the biggest obstacle for Bill, will he pay the market value? » said Wilcots, talking about free hand. « He doesn’t want to pay for an edge rusher, he doesn’t want to pay for a receiver, and he barely wants to pay for a quarterback. You cannot win in this league without a quarterback. But that’s his biggest challenge because now you have to pay for players in this league. ”

Wilcots envisions the usual scenario with Belichick spending the money on a number of players instead of causing a sensation.

« I suspect he won’t spend any differently than he has in the past, » said Wilcots. « I’m not saying he won’t spend it, but he could spend that $ 60 million out of 10 people. ”

This is going to be one of the toughest rebuilds Belichick had to start out with in Cleveland or New England.

While he has money to spend, he also faces a number of prominent internal free agents, notably offensive linemen David Andrews and Joe Thuney, defensive tackle Lawrence Guy, and cornerback J.. . C.. . Jackson and runs back to James White. It will be interesting who he wants to keep.

Again, he has to do a home run in the draft. While it’s early on to really evaluate the last two, the four designs before that were pretty stupid. The Patriots currently have 10 selections in the 2021 draft, six of them in the first four rounds.

« You better find young talent, » said Harrison. « That’s the only way you can change it. You have to keep working through the draft, but the key is finding that quarterback, whether it’s Matthew Stafford, he’s available, or whoever. ”

During his weekly appearance at WEEI, Belichick indicated that changes were being made and “hopefully return to a higher level of coaching and game performance for the Patriots. ”

« If you have a season like this year and you don’t make the playoffs, you have embarrassing losses, this squad will be very different, » said veteran cornerback Jason McCourty after the 38th. 9 Loss of bills. « There are a lot of people in the locker room who won’t be next year. ”

It’s hard to ignore how much Rob Gronkowski has done and once again become a major target for Tom Brady.

In the last three games, Gronkowski has caught six passes for 89 yards. Three were for touchdowns.

« I love playing with the guy, » Brady said of the Tampa Bay Times. “He knows how I feel about him. I have a lot of confidence in the greatest moments with him. Sometimes I think of players. If it was the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, who do I want in the game with me? And you know, he definitely goes with it. ”

Gronkowski, who started slowly, has played in every game what he hasn’t done since 2011. His seven touchdown receptions are the highest he has seen since he was 11. Transport had in 2015.

« The experience was great, » Gronkowski told reporters during his media session. « It’s been a fun season. Sometimes you know it takes its toll. It feels like it’s going to take a while and then there are times when it’s week 17 and you look back and say, « Man, time went by very quickly. « . « . . . Overall, it has been a successful trip so far. ”

After meeting the Patriots on Sunday, the Jets are expected to be taken over by head coach Adam Gase.

There has been some speculation that given Belichick’s apparent fondness for him, he might land an appearance on the Patriots, let alone open up for a quarterbacks coach.

Belichick and Josh McDaniels’ familiarity with Gase – he worked with McDaniels in Denver – would be a driving factor, but it’s hard to ignore how the so-called quarterback whisperer has been doing lately.

The Jets hired him for his offensive chops, but they take last place on the offensive (15). 3 points per game) and were the second worst last season (17). 3 ppg). In his final season with the Dolphins, he had the second worst offense.

He left as the head coach of the Jets between 9 and 22 and has only one winning season as head coach overall.

During the week, he accepted the blame for what had gone wrong in New York and wasn’t necessarily concerned that all the offensive problems had damaged his reputation. It doesn’t seem like Belichick is flinching.

« I don’t know if ‘worry’ is the right word, » said Gase on Wednesday. « It makes me angry. If there’s one side of the ball that I want to make sure it’s right, it would be this. It didn’t happen and that’s up to me. ”

Drew Bledsoe watched the Patriots’ massacre on Monday night. The Patriots Hall of Fame quarterback and former Bill were part of a virtual watch party during a video call with former teammates from both teams.

Speaking to Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News, Bledsoe said he couldn’t be happier if Josh Allen became an elite quarterback and broke most of his records in the process.

So far, Allen has used the Bledsoe franchise brands for deals (378 to Bledsoe’s 375), total yards (4. 738 to Bledsoes 4. 426) and 300-yard passing games (eight to Bledsoe’s seven) are broken. .

« What Josh is doing is a great honor to him and it’s also a great honor for their coaching staff, » said Bledsoe. « His accuracy, timing, decision-making and everything he does are now elite. Watching him work is just fun. Of course, I’m a bit biased, but man, when I see a great quarterback game, I’m just excited. ”

New England Patriots, Bill Belichick, NFL, American Football, Head Coach, Tom Brady, Quarterback, Cam Newton

World News – USA – All eyes are on Bill Belichick as he tries to to fix the patriots

Ref: https://www.bostonherald.com

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