Matthew Slater defends Bill Belichick amid latest criticism from the loss in Germany
Most of the discussion surrounding Bill Belichick this season has been negative, with calls for him to be stripped of his GM title or removed entirely from his position on the Patriots becoming louder as the weeks go on.
Speculation has suggested the negativity stemming from the losing season has transformed into a distrust of Belichick by the players, mainly due to his questionable decision-making. Although it may be true for some on the team, tenured special teamer Matthew Slater shared his support of his long time head coach, stating his belief in Belichick has not wavered despite their unfavorable season.
"I have as much faith in Coach Belichick as I’ve ever had. There's no reason to be doubting who he is as a leader and a coach for this football team. The struggles that we've had on the field this year are due to us and our inability to execute. It’s got nothing to do with Coach Belichick."
It's good to hear that perhaps the locker room is not in chaos regarding their feelings toward their head coach. However, Slater's assertion that Belichick has nothing to do with their struggles this year is disingenuous.
Of course, because of who he is and due to being a member of the team, Slater would never openly criticize Belichick, no matter what. So, to that degree, he deserves a pass. But at the end of the day, Belichick is the head coach and the general manager, two significant roles for any team in professional sports.
Claiming he holds no responsibility for the team's shortcomings disregards the importance of what those roles do for any franchise, even if Slater didn't mean to imply that.
He did mention they are (slightly) aware of the barrage of negativity that has circled them throughout the season and stressed the importance of not revealing too much about what's going on inside the building, something the Patriots have historically been successful at.
"I'm sure there's a lot of negativity going on around our team right now. You can't let people who don't know the half of what's going on inside the building impact what's going on inside the building."
Other than the apparent mutual respect between Belichick and Slater being the basis for what the special teamer said about the coach, not revealing too much about whatever is going on in the locker room is likely another explanation for his open support.
Considering the amount of vitriol being spewed about the Patriots as a whole, especially Belichick, having a supportive roster despite it all is essential for the rest of the year, even more so, with other parts of the team being in utter chaos.
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