Belichick’s Path Back to the Top
The path back to winning for Bill Belichick is as easy as parroting Tom Brady’s search for a contending roster following his departure from the New England Patriots. Like Brady at 42, the 71-year-old Belichick doesn’t have too many of his best years left either, which is why the QB targeted Tampa Bay.
The Bucs had Mike Evans and Chris Godwin at receiver, possessed enough assets and in-house talent to shore up the defense, and played in the NFC South. With Drew Brees on his way out, the division was Brady’s for as long as he was upright. It was a business decision on par with any of LeBron James’ free-agency choices.
Perhaps the NFC South is Belichick’s motivation for taking multiple interviews with the Atlanta Falcons, but hopping from one franchise without a QB to another would be peak hubris. You know Belichick wants the all-time coaching wins record, which he’s 26 shy of, but at last season’s four-win pace it would take seven more years to attain.
Do you think a coach as decorated as Belichick wants to spend his final stop grinding out eight- and nine-win campaigns for a team that’s churning butter? The man likes to act and lead as if he’s free of ego and vanity, but he wears a trademark hoodie every Sunday. Comfort my ass. You don’t personally alter your wardrobe if you’re not looking for at least a little bit of attention.
Wait, is that why he’s interested in Atlanta? Because they’re tweeting like interviewing the future Hall of Fame coach is an accomplishment? Belichick is going to show Brady a thing or two by running the same division he jumped to all while winning a playoff game, maybe two?
The catch is there’s not enough time to draft and develop another quarterback. This is a win-now scenario, and if the most successful team stacker of all time, LeBron, taught us anything, it’s that you don’t wait around for Andrew Wiggins to turn into a bust. You trade him for Kevin Love and hope fate gets Draymond Green suspended for Game 5.
I know Belichick spent a large portion of his tenure in Foxborough actively trying to minimize Brady’s importance, but a guy who watched his QB drag ill-equipped offenses to six rings and gobs of playoff wins should know that defense and a great signal caller are what wins titles in this era. Unless Belichick’s been hiding a Kyle Shanahan-esque offensive scheme in his other sweatshirt, there’s no reason to give him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to scoring points.
The organization with a head-coaching vacancy and the closest thing to a franchise quarterback is the Los Angeles Chargers. Belichick’s list of potential next jobs should start and stop there. Taking a year off is preferable to the Falcons, Raiders, Titans or any of these other QB-less destinations. Unlike Brady’s courtship, Belichick can be relatively patient, but he can’t force himself on a roster. Maybe the Eagles fire Nick Sirianni after a slow start next year, or the Jaguars grow tired of Doug Pederson frittering away Trevor Lawrence.
Three more nine-win seasons and Belichick will be atop the coaching mountain. One more title and he can shove it up Robert Kraft’s nostril while pretending he doesn’t care about tying Brady for Super Bowl rings. But by all means, give another young QB an inferiority complex en route to four wins and further questions about a pretty flawless coaching resumé.