Bill Belichick is a legendary figure in the NFL coaching ranks, operating as both coach and head of the front office in New England for more than two decades, but despite putting forth a Hall of Fame career with the Patriots, he is not untouchable when it comes to hot seat talk.
Since the departure of Tom Brady, the Patriots have not been able to regain their footing as one of the AFC’s elite, watching as the Chiefs and other teams, including the division rival Bills, have passed them by. As such, there’s mounting pressure on Belichick to get the Patriots back to that level, and given he is the one making personnel decisions too, there isn’t anywhere to really deflect the blame when the team falls flat.
Given his stature as an iconic figure in New England, few would expect him to be on a real hot seat, but NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran — who is as respected and plugged in a Patriots reporter as there is — explained to Rich Eisen that he thinks that’s exactly the case, with his seat having grown steadily warmer since 2019.
“He’s been there with different levels I’d warmth since 2019.”
— Rich Eisen Show (@RichEisenShow) July 17, 2023
As Curran lays out, it all dates back to Belichick not giving Brady the contract he demanded and convincing Robert Kraft it was the right decision to let him go, which of course saw Brady then win a Super Bowl with the Bucs while the Pats took a step back. Since then the Patriots have flailed offensively and while Curran doesn’t think there’s quite a mandate of win a playoff game on Belichick to keep his job, he does think if the team looks as listless as last year and disorganized, Belichick could be asked to step aside to allow defensive coordinator Jerod Mayo to take over as head coach.
We’ll see if this comes to fruition or if the Pats can make a surprising leap forward this season, but in a division with two very good teams in Buffalo and Miami, as well as a Jets team that finally has a high-level quarterback in Aaron Rodgers (although, how great he still is remains to be seen), that task will be immensely difficult.