New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has come under fire, and rightfully so, for some bad decisions over the years. Trusting Matt Patricia with offensive play calling, drafting N'Keal Harry, and signing Jonnu Smith, to name a few. These missteps do not fall on the head coach, though. They are the errors of Bill Belichick, the GM.
As a coach, finding any flaws with Bill Belichick is hard. Week in and week out, he is the most prepared coach in the league. Belichick has an answer regardless of the opponent and the situation.
One glaring hole in his genius may be the fact that he has yet to figure out a defense to contain a mobile quarterback. It's not just Justin Fields and Lamar Jackson who can run for record numbers on even the best Patriots' defense (I'm still terrified of what Jalen Hurts will do to them in week one).
Belichick is consistently burned at the worst times by players Aaron Rodgers or Trevor Lawrence. Players who can pick up 10-15 yards on a quick scamper when the play breaks down.
His infatuation with stopping them and his inability to do so has led to a fascination with having one himself. He flirted with Lamar Jackson in the offseason, so blatantly he was practically tampering.
He signed Malik Cunningham to the richest deal ever for an undrafted free agent. I pointed out in a previous article how Justin Fields was the guy he really wanted in the 2021 NFL Draft. His dream quarterback has eluded him year after year, but he may be there for the taking in the 2024 draft.
There were big questions about Shedeur Sanders when choosing a college after his senior season of high school football. He was a 3-star recruit and ranked 37th among quarterbacks by 247 Sports. He decided to attend Jackson State and play for his Hall of Fame dad.
What seemed like favoritism overshadowed being named the best freshman in all of the FCS and being the offensive player of the year as a sophomore last season. The naysayers credited his success to playing against weak competition and scoffed when his dad named him the starter at Colorado.
An impressive spring game was not enough to convince people, and he and his team were counted out before the season even began. Then came his FBS debut against the 17th-ranked TCU Horned Frogs. Touted as having an elite secondary, they would surely give Deion's kid a wake-up call.
Welcome to the big leagues, kid, right?
510 yards and four touchdowns later, he has set the internet and social media ablaze. He's being talked about as an elite quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft, and some have even tweeted about him being the first overall pick.
That may be a stretch, and it's a good thing for the league's greatest coach of all time. Sanders may play exceptionally this year and possibly even win the Heisman, but his detractors will never go away, and their voices (as irrelevant as they are) will drive down his draft stock.
Belichick will never coach a Patriots team into the top 10 of the draft, but the beauty of Sanders (other than his elite arm and soft touch) is that he will be available whenever the Patriots do pick.
He can get out of the pocket, break ankles, and burn corners up the sideline, but he's not Lamar Jackson. He's a legitimate pocket quarterback who can get out and run like Jackson if he has to. He could be the player Belichick has been dreaming of for two decades, which means he could be the quarterback to carry the Patriots through another dynasty.
If you are sleeping on Sanders, it's time to wake up. Share Bill's dream, and bask in the glory when it finally comes to fruition.