Because of the way the Patriots season has transpired thus far, many have been clamoring for answers to explain how the team got into the hole they are currently in. The once-dominant team was not just respected for their winning and accomplishments but also for their fundamentally sound football in all three phases of the game.
The Patriots were a team that the 31 others in the league tried to emulate, especially with their quarterbacks and outstanding special teams. That now feels like a piece of the past, as the team continues to be their own worst enemy through the first six games.
Besides the questionable performances overall, there has also been uncertainty regarding Bill Belichick and whether his coaching no longer resonates with the players. The legendary head coach earned a reputation for being a no-nonsense guy who expected you to do your job and do it well, no matter who you were or what position you played.
But the way the team has looked on the field, and the seemingly carefree attitude from Belichick, has created confusion and worry, especially with so much season left to go.
On top of that, there has been so much discussion about his job security, which has enabled several debates about whether or not it would be the right decision to move on from him mid-season. Those who oppose that decision believe he should remain in his position for the 2024 season, but his behavior has created doubt in even the most "In Belichick, we trust" fans.
That makes this resurfaced video from A Football Life on the 2009 Patriots even more interesting.
One season removed from Tom Brady tearing his ACL in the opening game and just two seasons after becoming the first team in the modern era to go undefeated, that Patriots team that year was unable to recreate the magic they accomplished since then.
Despite their talented roster, it was an underwhelming start through the first five games, similar to the feeling of the 2023 Patriots. But the significant difference between the two, other than the talent levels of the rosters, is the Patriots were 3-2 during that time in 2009, whereas the current team is heading into Week 7 with just one win.
Although they cannot be compared in most ways, the resurfaced video of Belichick's speech to the team applies to today's team.
He describes the 2009 roster as essentially unmotivated, lazy, and not playing up to the standard. They were struggling to make good plays and come back from falling behind, which could explain the 2023 Patriots team so far.
Other than his words, Belichick's attitude comes off differently than what we've seen from him over the last few seasons. He's always been a more reserved coach, never showing his cards to anyone and not providing many soundbites for the media. That remains true, but that fierceness to win feels absent of him as of late, contributing to the overall blah attitude of the team this year.
It is partly responsible for the fan and media-created theory that several players dealing with injury are not trying their darndest to return sooner than later, if at all. Or even the most recent gossip suggesting the front office is more keen to tanking the rest of the season instead of improving and becoming more competitive, all for the glory of a higher first-round draft pick.
Even if just some of that is indeed true, it's not a good look nor the vibe the Patriots have ever been known for. Hopefully, it's not the case, and it's just fake drama created by miserable fans or media members because we know they love company.
However, it may be beneficial for Belichick and the coaching staff to look back at video clips like this and change their current approach to help get the team back on track.