Patriots Take: No change with Belichick until Shula’s record broken

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick (left) and owner Robert Kraft hold the AFC Championship trophy after 24-14 victory over the Indianpolis Colts at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, Jan. 18, 2004. (Photo by Kirby Lee/Getty Images)
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick (left) and owner Robert Kraft hold the AFC Championship trophy after 24-14 victory over the Indianpolis Colts at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, Jan. 18, 2004. (Photo by Kirby Lee/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots seasons came and went from 2001 to 2019 and one thing was certain, with the all-time NFL’s best player Tom Brady on hand, you’d win and win big. Now, since his bungled departure, as they say, all bets are off, except that the team will likely be mediocre.

The sentiment in this space has consistently been that it was Brady the whole time. The myth that the coach was responsible for the team’s two-decade-long New England Patriots success story has now been totally debunked. Only the most ardent Bill Belichick supporters can adhere to that myth now.

Belichick’s record without Brady is below .500. Those are the facts, fantasies and illusions notwithstanding. Without Brady, the Patriots are just another team struggling to make the playoffs. In two of the three years without Brady, they haven’t.

In the one season they did, they were summarily dispatched or rather bludgeoned in a one-and-done by a far superior and better-coached Buffalo Bills. One should ask, “where was the great defensive genius then”?

The halcyon days of automatic AFC titles, likely AFC title games, and numerous (though fewer than should have been) Super Bowl appearances are long gone. The New England Patriots are mediocrity, folks. Get used to it. It’s not likely to end soon and here’s why.

New England Patriots are hamstrung by their own ineptitude

New England Patriots
Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots Nation has to face a grim reality, at least for the short term, there will likely be little change in the team’s fortunes soon. The Patriots organizational personnel ineptitude is one reason they are unlikely to advance in the near term.

That fact has been pointed out often in this space and elsewhere. This team can’t draft. Its free agency decisions are largely a waste of owner Robert Kraft’s cash, and they persist in making the same mistakes season after season, decade after decade.

The insular modus operandi of the Belichick regime by almost exclusively hiring from the Friends of Bill (FOB) coaching and personnel tree is a prescription for disaster, now that the Great Safety Valve, Tom Brady has fled the scene.

Why is it not likely to end in the short term? That’s actually relatively easy to answer. Owner Robert Kraft is clearly dissatisfied with no playoff wins in four years, spending a lot of cash on free agents who are terrible, and his team is now the worst thing he could imagine, irrelevant.

Yet, even with these circumstances evident, Kraft won’t make the same mistake twice and broom an all-time greatest (at least perceived), out the door as he imprudently and calamitously allowed it to happen to Brady.

New England Patriots will allow Bill Belichick to beat Don Shula’s wins record

Though oddsmakers may disagree, it’s an absolute lock that Mr. Kraft will demure, and allow Belichick to reach his goal. That would be earning the all-time winningest coach label by beating the wins record of legendary coach Don Shula.

Then and only then will he ease the “GOAT” gently out the door. Belichick now has 329 wins and Shula had 347. That’s 19 wins to claim the record. Facing facts, that’s about two full seasons more of Patriots’ mediocrity to endure, if not three.

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So New England Patriots fans, buckle your seat belts, batten down the hatches, and hold onto the guard rails. We’ll be suffering this awful business for another two or three seasons, at least. Then and only then when Belichick and his FOB faux empire are retired will a new era begin.

It’s sad to say that Belichick brought this calamity on himself. His own pride caused his undoing. They say “pride comes before the fall”. It’s true in this case for certain.

Belichick is now being victimized by his own pride and ineptitude in personnel management with mediocrity being the very likely last vision seen in his final years of coaching.

Next. Patriots Insider: How Bill Belichick killed ‘The Patriot Way’ in 2022. dark

By foolishly sending Brady packing, he has tarnished his once-glowing coaching reputation. He himself has made it abundantly clear that it was Brady who was responsible for all the success all the time.

Unfortunately, for New England Patriots fans, this will last a few seasons longer. As they say in Foxborough, it is what it is. It’s a shame really, none of this had to happen at all.