What’s Next For Bill Belichick?
There have been many stories and rumors swirling about the termination of legendary head coach Bill Belichick. The New England Patriots sit at 2-7 through the Week 9 mark of the 2023 NFL season, and will travel to Frankfurt, Germany, on Sunday to take on the Indianapolis Colts.
If the Patriots are defeated, this otherwise pointless game could be franchise-altering.
Owner Robert Kraft has already reportedly looked at other high-profile coaches as a replacement for Belichick, and have reportedly found a “home run,” should he be fired.
So what’s next for the 71-year-old head coach?
There’s no disputing Belichick’s impact on the Patriots’ franchise as their head coach. Across 24 seasons, he has achieved a record of 264-115 and has appeared in the Super Bowl nine times. Out of those nine appearances, he has secured victory in six, the most ever for an NFL head coach.
He also just surpassed the 300 regular season win mark, now up to 331 wins, (including playoffs), as he continues to chase Don Shula‘s record of 347.
Former NFL general manager Michael Lombardi disagrees that the Patriots should move on from Belichick, as he has done so much for the franchise, and that one bad season doesn’t mean a whole lot. However, this team is used to success, and they haven’t had a whole lot recently.
Since 2020, the team has fallen off a cliff, going 26-30 with one embarrassing playoff appearance and two losing seasons. This year will most likely make that three.
Belichick has never really hinted at retirement, and there’s no doubt he wants to pass Shula for the all-time wins record. But as is the case for many of the sports’ best, Belichick may be heading for an unceremonious exit. He’s far from the only head coach to be exiting far from the pinnacle of his career.
To me, Belichick needs to give up GM duties and go coach a poorly run team such as the Panthers. He can bring in a new culture, develop Bryce Young and eventually move upstairs after he hits the win record.
The alternative is that Belichick somehow pulls out a respectable record this year and sticks it out in New England until he passes Shula. Firing Belichick midseason would be a slap in the face to a future Hall of Fame coach who helped the organization amass great success. His body of work shouldn’t give him complete immunity, but it should grant him the opportunity to at least finish out the season.
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