New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft feels lucky to have had the stability and sustained success for almost two decades with the organization.
The New England Patriots have been arguably the most consistent franchise in any sport over the past two decades. Since Bill Belichick was hired as head coach for the 2000 season, the Patriots have been a well-oiled machine.
During that tenure, the Patriots have won five Super Bowls, appearing in seven total. That number will reach eight on Sunday when the Patriots face the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl 52.
Having a dynasty of this magnitude and length is something very rare in sports. Very few franchises can hold a candle to what the Patriots have done these past 19 seasons. It is something that owner Robert Kraft is very proud of.
Kraft has owned the Patriots since 1994. Even before Belichick was hired, Kraft oversaw some success. In the six seasons prior to the current Belichick era, the Patriots made the postseason four times, appearing in Super Bowl 31 against the Green Bay Packers.
The Patriots lost that game but would win their first Super Bowl under Belichick five years later. The Patriots have had an unprecedented stretch of stability and continuity, something Kraft feels very lucky to have accomplished.
"“Continuity is so hard,” Kraft said. “I don’t know that there’s any other relationship like that in the NFL with just one of those — with a head coach or a quarterback. To have both of them, we’re pretty lucky up in New England.”"
That continuity will be challenged this offseason. The Patriots coaching staff could undergo some big changes. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia are both expected to accept head coaching jobs after the Super Bowl concludes. McDaniels is rumored to be heading to the Indianapolis Colts, while Patricia has been linked to the Detroit Lions.
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That is a big blow for a team to overcome. Both McDaniels and Patricia have been great in their roles with the Patriots and have earned their promotions to head coach. Luckily for the Patriots, this is something they have experience dealing with.
While Kraft, Belichick and Tom Brady have been around for all 19 seasons, the same cannot be said for the coordinators. Following Super Bowl 39, the third championship for the Patriots in four years, the Patriots coaching staff was poached.
Offensive coordinator Charlie Weis left to be the head coach at Notre Dame, while defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel left to become the head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
That is another thing that Kraft is proud of, as the Patriots have had plenty of people receive higher ranking jobs within other organizations.
"“I think we’ve had five or six of our people are either general managers or head coaches at other teams,” Kraft said. “It’s a credit, as long as we don’t populate the whole league, but if we’re worthy, I mean, I think it’s a great credit to Bill [Belichick] and the coaching staff for what they’ve been able to accomplish.”"
This will be the second time that McDaniels leaves the Patriots for a head coaching job. He took over the Denver Broncos in 2009, lasting only two seasons. He was with the St. Louis Rams for one season before landing back with the Patriots in 2012.
The Patriots were fortunate enough to get him back that time. It is unlikely he will be back with the Patriots this time around given all he learned in his first experience as a head coach.
With McDaniels and Patricia liking on the way out, the Patriots continuity will be challenged. However, as long as the trio of Kraft, Belichick and Brady are around, the Patriots will remain the team to beat.