Over the last two decades as head coach for the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick has turned the franchise into one of the greatest ever, helping to win six Super Bowls and creating a standard of excellence only found in Foxborough.
In addition to the team’s success, Belichick has put his name in the conversation for greatest coach of all time, regardless of sport.
With all of that established, he may very well be heading to the hot seat.
As bizarre as that may sound, Belichick has not been meeting the Patriots’ standard over the last season and a half — ironically, a standard that he created. Everyone tries to point to the quarterback position as to why, with that, uh, one guy leaving New England to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but there’s so much more behind it.
The Patriots have a number of flaws that have prevented them from dominating in years past, and a lot of it points back to Belichick. From roster construction, play calling and game management, Belichick has made his fair share of mistakes over the last few years.
When you are in a position of power, you’re going to get a lot of the praise for things going right, and that is why Belichick is considered the greatest. That is also why he’s under a lot of fire now, because you get the blame when things go wrong as well.
In reality, Belichick’s extensive resume of success will likely buy him more losing seasons than any other coach. If the 2-4 Patriots fail to turn around this season, it would be a surprise if he is immediately let go, but it’s not insane to think he’d be on some form of the hot seat after two consecutive losing seasons.
3 reasons Bill Belichick could be on hot seat after 2021
3. Reluctance to evolve with the NFL
While the rest of the NFL is advancing to analytics and just plain gutsiness as they play a more risky brand of football, Belichick remains conservative, even more so than in his past. That is the reason that Belichick is under so much scrutiny after a 35-29 overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Having many opportunities to take a risk and hit the Cowboys with a dagger, he played it safe and it ultimately cost him the game.
The inability to progress won’t be accepted for long, because the league will simply leave the Patriots behind. One can only hold onto tradition for so long before it is evident that not adjusting with the times comes with a risk. Even Belichick’s close friend and fellow great coach Nick Saban has learned that lesson coaching the Alabama football program.
Saban knew that if he wanted to continue to dominate college football, he would have to alter his philosophies as the game dictated. It’s time for Belichick to take a page out of Saban’s book and evolve his coaching style. If he doesn’t, as Saban put it, “You’re not going to win anything.”
Not winning will eventually mean the end to his time in Foxborough.