New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is currently the favorite to win the NFL Coach of the Year Award in 2020 for the fourth time in his career.
This upcoming season is going to be one of Bill Belichick’s greatest tests yet with the New England Patriots. For the first time in 20 years, Bill Belichick is preparing for a football season without the team’s longtime franchise quarterback Tom Brady.
Belichick and Brady went through the NFL and the entire AFC conference repeatedly, winning six Super Bowl championships throughout their two-decade tenure together.
After the departure of Brady — and adding more fuel to the fire of the fans — legendary Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski elected to come out of retirement and requested to be traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to reunite with Brady — a wish the Patriots essentially granted to him.
In addition to the departures of Brady and Gronkowski, Belichick and the Patriots also needed to retool their linebacker corps after the losses of Jamie Collins, Kyle Van Noy, and Elandon Roberts in free agency.
Altogether, it has made 2020 one of the more challenging and busy offseasons in recent history for the Pats.
All the while in the midst of replacing and retooling the defensive side of the ball, Belichick has been preparing to start the season fresh with the young and inexperienced second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham, who the Patriots are invested in after selecting him in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Stidham has only attempted four passes — completing 50% of them and tossing a pick-six — and is still untested and unproven in the NFL.
The Patriots are accustomed to always being atop of the AFC East, but for the first time in nearly 20 years, the division is unpredictable. The Dolphins, Bills, and Jets have spent the last few years building their teams to keep up with the Patriots, and it finally seems like they potentially have caught up with the Pats — who have won the division 17 times in the last 20 years.
Belichick — who is on pace to potentially break the legendary Don Shula’s all-time win record of 347 — could also find his name tied with Shula perhaps in another type of honor. In addition to having the most wins, Shula also earned four NFL Coach of the Year awards during his legendary career, which is the most in NFL history.
Depending on the type of season that Belichick — who already has three NFL Coach of the Year awards in his trophy case — can manufacture in 2020, he could tie Shula in this regard. In fact, he is the current favorite to win the award again this season.
The New England Patriots did a great job of upgrading and improving their team in the 2020 NFL Draft. With that being said, there are going to be a lot of young and inexperienced players floating around the field under Belichick’s orders this year.
If the Patriots can still produce a successful season in the first year with a young team — as well as the first year without Brady — then Belichick will without any doubt bring home his fourth NFL Coach of the Year award.