The New England Patriots and Bill Belichick are moving in different directions. New England will start looking for a new head coach while Belichick can go wherever he wants if he wants to continue to coach. Based on comments made this week in press conferences, Belichick seems to still want to coach.
It was strange that the Patriots chose to have two different press conferences on Thursday. One that featured Kraft next to Belichick but with no questions being allowed from the media. In the second press conference, Kraft stood alone and did answer the media's questions.
The Patriots, meaning Kraft, are clearly trying to put on a good face for the public after the departure of a coach who has led the team since 2000. That makes sense. However, having a bit more substance and bare-bones truth would be more cathartic for Patriots fans.
In terms of making the "right decision" on moving on from Belichick, Kraft was vague. He literally said, "Things happen." Not exactly insightful. He mentioned what had gone on with the Patriots for three or four years did not meet expectations and that the Kraft family had a duty to fix the issue, but again, he did not go into detail.
It's almost as if Kraft made a change without truly knowing what the outcome would be and as if he did not know how to remedy the Patriots' current situation. That is a scary thing.
Robert Kraft may not have the answers to how to fix the New England Patriots
As far as whether the Patriots' success was more due to Tom Brady than the head coach, Kraft said he did not think Brady nor Belichick would have accomplished six Super Bowl wins without the other. That is an extremely corporate answer and one that is so middle-of-the-road as to not give a substantive truth. That is Kraft's right as he earns money from ticket sales and concessions sales, as well as a myriad of other ways of owning the team, so to not be divisive was likely the best way to answer the question.
Kraft did say he had no real reservations about Belichick leaving the organization and said that both he and Belichick felt now was the right time to part ways. Again Kraft used the word "marriage" when referring to the relationship he and Belichick had. That wording seems taken directly from Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll's press conference on Wednesday about his leaving Seattle.
The difference is Kraft also has had a much more hands-on approach to running the Patriots than the Allen family had in running the Seahawks. While Kraft implied Belichick had total control over football decisions, Patriots fans know this not to be the case because of some financial restrictions in New England chasing certain free agents. Kraft owns the team to make money and he isn't going to allow anyone to make decisions that cost him money.
Kraft said Belichick earned the right to have so much control over football operations after the third Super Bowl (that seems odd as most other organizations have not won that many championships and giving Belichick control after Super Bowl win number two might have made as much sense). This again implies that Kraft has really been in control over the team because of financial implications than Belichick simply doing whatever it is Bill Belichick wanted to do.
Kraft also did not give much detail about how long he thinks the Patriots will take to find a new head coach and general manager. The Patriots owner did say he gets upset when the team does not win and he would do his best to find a coach who can win as much as Belichick. But lightning striking twice when New England also has no general manager seems like a reach.
The Patriots needed to make a change probably. But Robert Kraft might just not like the results that change brings.