With the Washington Commanders hiring of Dan Quinn this morning, this years' head coaching hiring cycle is complete. There will be a lot of discourse and analysis around which franchises hitched their wagons to which coaches, but the coaches left empty-handed make for quite an interesting target of scrutiny as well.
Sensing an opportunity, Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey honed in on one target in particular, former New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
Patriots News; Marlon Humphrey Takes Ridiculous Shot at Belichick
Now, perhaps Humphrey is still reeling from the number one seed Ravens' letdown home playoff performance on Sunday in the AFC Championship Game against the Kansas City Chiefs, but he does bring up an intriguing point.
The lack of general interest in Belichick is a major storyline, as the Atlanta Falcons, whom Belichick interviewed with twice, appeared to be the only team with tangible interest in the eight-time Super Bowl champion. In the wake of Dan Quinn's hiring in Washington, there was some reporting that Belichick's name may have come up in the Commanders' hiring search, but nothing approaching the level of interest expressed by owner Arthur Blank in Atlanta.
Reporting on the Falcons' decision to move ahead with Los Angeles Rams' defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, instead of Belichick, presents a microcosm of why many teams may have elected to go in a different direction.
First off, Belichick enjoyed largely unchecked power in Foxborough, commanding many player personnel decisions as the team's de facto general manager in addition to his head coaching duties. All expectations were that he would place those same demands on his next destination. As reported by Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated's Monday Morning Quarterback, Blank wanted to hire Belichick in Atlanta, but "those around him, fearing what that could mean for them, nudged him in different directions." With the hiring of Belichick, those in the front office saw his hiring as risking their jobs, or at the very least, seeing their input in decision-making highly devalued. Therefore, those in the front office weren't exactly champing at the bit to give Belichick their seal of approval. The amount of power that the former New England head coach would expect likely gave a lot of decision-makers pause.
Secondly, Belichick's age has emerged as another contributing factor. Belichick will be 72 when the next season starts, and if he did place an ultimatum to enjoy unilateral decision-making in personnel control, owners would be completely uprooting their existing infrastructure for only an estimated two years of his services. Breer similarly reported this line of thinking: "after a while, the amount of change hiring Belichick could require weighed on Blank. Especially when taking into consideration that making that amount of change might only get him two years of Belichick."
Belichick currently has 333 career wins, only 14 behind the legendary Don Shula. All expectations are that he would pass Shula and then promptly ride off into the sunset, hence the two-year timeline.
Bill Belichick can still be a very good coach in this league, but his hiring would come with a lot of baggage and ancillary fallout. At the end of the day, these are billionaire owners running multi-billion dollar businesses, and they are not going to make decisions in a vacuum. Jerry Jones could be the only hope.
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