Patriots Already Distancing Themselves From Bill Belichick

The New England Patriots already appear to be shifting away from some of Bill Belichick's core principles.

Jan 11, 2024; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft (left) and Patriots
Jan 11, 2024; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft (left) and Patriots / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

By picking Bill Belichick disciple Jerod Mayo to replace the legendary coach, many assumed the New England Patriots were content to stick with familiarity instead of embracing wholesale change for the 2024 season.

However, it appears Belichick's departure has already caused some major shifts within the franchise as they look to pave a new path forward.

Pats exec Eliot Wolf, who is now calling the shots as the acting general manager with Belichick gone, spoke with reporters about New England's changing approach this season. Wolf noted one thing the team wants to work on is getting away from the "hard-ass vibe" it was associated with while the ever-grumpy Belichick was running the show.

The departure from the Belichick way doesn't stop there, however. Wolf noted major changes to Patriots' scouting style as well.

He said they've gone away from looking at players within specific roles and more their overall value. Wolf also added this approach is "a lot more collaborative" than the previous iteration.

Both of these comments from Wolf show a clear distancing of New England from its previous lead man. Belichick had a ton of power as the top decision-maker with his dual coaching and GM role, but the tail end of his tenure showed that method didn't work for this new era of Patriots football.

Embracing a different model of scouting is big on its own after Belichick's recent draft failures, which caused the team be so uncompetitive lately. Perhaps this style of thinking will help cut down on busts or players who don't last past their rookie deals with the team.

Meanwhile, it's abduntantly clear the tightly wound culture Belichick created didn't lead to better results over the past few seasons. With players being even more expressive in this current day and age, the toned-down preference likely did more harm than good in terms of attracting players.

By wanting to get away from that and overhauling their scouting approach, it seems New England's Belichick influence is dwindling by the day.

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