Bill Belichick has been the coach and General Manager of the Patriots since 2000. Since becoming GM and Coach, he has led the Patriots through football’s most successful dynasty, becoming football’s greatest coach in the process. But the time has come for him to step aside in the front office.
I still trust Bill as a game planner and head coach of the Patriots, but the last few years have shown that he has lost his touch for front-office work.
Reports came out today alleging that the Patriots have Mac Jones on the trade block. According to PFTs Chris Simms, Mac Jones is in trouble with Bill because Mac went outside the team for help last season.
"“Jones actually started calling members of the Alabama coaching staff in order to get some information as to how to properly run the offense under long-time defensive coach Matt Patricia.”"
With Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston adding in a radio appearance on WEEI.
"“That really pissed Bill off.”"
Now the validity of the report of Mac on the trade block has been questioned all day, with sources saying different things, so I’ll leave that to the reporters.
I want to focus on the implications of Mac in the dog house.
So let me get this straight. Bill is mad at Mac for being angry at a system that Bill himself created. When Josh McDaniels left for Las Vegas, the Patriots had a chance to hire an OC, but he didn’t. Opting instead to roll with a plan that by training camp, everyone knew was going to fail
Mac is not entirely innocent, Bailey Zappe played better for his two starts than Mac in the same offense, but Bill should not be putting his QB “In the dog house” for something he has every right to be mad about.
This old-fashioned, authoritarian mentality is falling out of favor in the NFL. Bill can’t seem to adjust to this fact. This is very different from the coach version of Bill. A coach that became famous for “halftime adjustments” and being one step ahead of league trends on defense.
This isn’t even the first questionable call of the offseason. The Jakobi Meyers situation showed us that Bill does not value homegrown talent. Smith-Schuster, on paper, is the better player, but he wasn’t Mac Jones’s favorite target like Meyers. Bill signing Juju to the same contract as Meyers’ Raiders deal only made the situation feel weirder than it already was.
The questionable moves go way back, from Malcolm Butler’s super bowl benching to the end of the Brady era, drafting Cole Strange in round one. Bill’s ego has led him to be the kind of GM that thinks he has all the answers by going against the grain.
Robert Kraft gave complete personnel control to Bill in 2000 and, outside Brady’s final years, has let Bill do what he wants. But the dysfunction of 2022 caused Kraft to get involved. After their end-of-year meeting, the two agreed they would hire an actual OC and offer defensive play caller and former player Jerod Mayo a contract extension.
At the time, I thought that was all Kraft needed to do. But, sadly, I think I was wrong.
Bill Belichick should NOT be fired.
He is still an incredible coach and game planner. But we can’t ignore the many errors and questionable calls made by him as GM. I believe the team would be better off with Bill as a coach and someone else as the general manager.