The New England Patriots return to action this weekend and all eyes are on Bill Belichick, yet again. The team's season-long struggles have the Patriots head coach on the hot seat as New England heads into a Week 12 meeting with the New York Giants sporting a 2-8 record — good for dead last in the AFC.
With every passing loss, Belichick faces more and more scrutiny with many wondering just how long of a leash he has left. It's got to the point where one NFL Hall of Famer has completely run out of faith in the Pats bench boss.
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Appearing on Jason Whitlock's Fearless podcast earlier this week, Hall of Fame defender Warren Sapp didn't hold back when discussing Belichick.
Sapp starts by saying how "all things that never happened" on past Belichick-led teams — offsides on 4th and 1, untimely penalties, etc. — are occurring every week this season. The nine-time Pro Bowler would like the 71-year-old to address those issues at press conferences rather than his typical short-worded answers.
And like most people criticizing Belichick this season, Sapp attributes the Patriots' struggles over recent years to a lack of Tom Brady.
While there's no replacing the greatest quarterback of all time, it's clear that New England swung and missed when it used the 15th overall selection in 2021 to draft Mac Jones. Now, the Patriots have to turn to the 2024 NFL Draft to start their "QB-of-the-future" hunt all over again.
"Tom Brady is the reason why you're Bill Belichick. Lawrence Taylor is the reason why you're Bill Belichick. Maybe the greatest football player on offense... and defense to be in the National Football League.... That's who you owe that to. "- Warren Sapp
Unless something changes, the general feeling is that the Patriots will wait until the end of the season to fire Belichick out of respect. While insiders like Dan Orlovsky have reported that Belichick could easily find a new coaching job elsewhere, Sapp doesn't believe that's the case.
"[The 'Patriots Way'] is out the window and you can't recreate that somewhere else because no one cares about it. No one respects that but [Belichick] and the old school football guys. It was a beautiful thing he had running but it's gone."- Warren Sapp
It's hard to disagree with Sapp on his assessment. While Belichick deserves praise for everything he did for the Patriots, it's becoming increasingly clear that he just doesn't fit in today's NFL and that's okay because, eventually, the game passes everyone by.
Hopefully, Belichick gets the Patriots on track to end for a respectable finish to the 2023 campaign. Otherwise, recency bias might have fans remembering his struggles over the six Super Bowl titles he helped the franchise win.
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