The New England Patriots 2023 season is a flop, no matter what happens in the next two games. The season was lost months ago due to poor off-season moves, questionable coaching, and player management. Major moves are contemplated for 2024.
But what should happen to maximize this once-dynastic franchise's chances to rebound from the team's current bottom-of-the-AFC East standing?
Realistically, there aren't any clear-cut answers that will instantaneously remedy the team's shortcomings. Foolishly, after a Super Bowl victory in 2018, it essentially decided to jettison the architect of its six SB wins, Tom Brady. It has been a shadow of its former self since.
The total demise of the once-proud and dominant franchise is now a reality. Team owner, Mr. Robert Kraft, the primary architect of allowing Tom Brady to leave Foxborough, has important decisions to make. His team is now a cellar-dweller, and it's time for Kraft to step up to the plate and make some tough decisions. Will Kraft be up to the task? We will see soon enough.
The New England Patriots need a total organizational realignment
Bill Belichick (BB) has proven that he is a good football coach over the years. When he had Tom Brady at the helm, he was better than that. But since he's been less than average, and as has been outlined before, that has been largely due to his alter ego, Bill Belichick, the general manager. That BB has flopped.
A new top personnel person is required, and hopefully, Belichick, who can certainly use the support, should, at this point, be amenable to the idea. If he is not, then a complete and hopefully amicable parting of the ways is required. Hopefully, he'll be back to coach and have the assistance he sorely needs.
Wearing both personnel and coaching hats in the modern NFL is too big a job for basically anyone at this point. No one person can adequately both coach and be a hands-on GM. Belichick agrees, and here's what he had to say about that issue in November, as cited by cbsnews.com,
"Oh yeah, there's no way I could possibly do that. I mean, coaching is a full-time job. Personnel is a full-time job," Belichick said on the radio on Monday. "At some point, they have to merge together and be on the same page and figure out what's best for the team. But you can't be a full-time personnel person and be a full-time coach. It's impossible."
It would be a plus for Belichick, the coach, to relinquish that other role while, of course, still having major input at every stage. Look at it as you will, as a demotion or an adjustment, whatever way you evaluate it, it makes sense to bring in a top professional to run personnel for the New England Patriots going forward.
New England Patriots need a sea-change in personnel management
A new direction and dynamic in personnel management in Foxborough is essential. This means a complete break with the Belichickian personnel apparatus, which has proven incapable of adapting to the league's new offensive realities, among other shortcomings.
Whether Belichick, as Head Coach, is willing to accept a reduced role in personnel is highly questionable. The entire operation needs an overhaul, in essence, a tectonic shift. To effectuate this, owner Robert Kraft must hire someone from outside the Belichick personnel tree with new ideas and a new direction for the largely unproductive Patriots' personnel operation.
The new President of Personnel Operations needs to be armed with new and innovative ideas in team-building. The 2023 season was doomed before it commenced by a hopelessly ineffective offseason of team-building. A lack of attention to basics, like adding top offensive tackle depth, crushed any hope whatsoever of success by summer camp.
Whether Belichick is willing to adapt to a new reality in personnel is subject to conjecture. Many think he won't be. If so, He can then decide to leave and seek another opportunity which should be available to the six-time Super Bowl-winning coach. It should be his choice.
The hope is he'll remain Head Coach and finish his coaching career in New England. In any event, owner Robert Kraft has to restructure and set in place the framework for a future champion. The current system is outdated and needs structural change. That change has to begin as soon as possible after the final game with a new person hired to perform as "general manager." There's no other rational option.