Bill Belichick was quick to say that Cam Newton is the New England Patriots’ starting quarterback after the team drafted Mac Jones in the first round, but it sounds like that is less of a sure thing now.
Belichick spoke with reporters at the start of training camp on Tuesday, and he was asked if there will be a quarterback competition in the coming weeks. He said everyone has a “clean slate.”
That’s a big change from what Belichick said immediately after the draft. He conceded that Jones and Jarrett Stidham would have a chance to compete but called Newton “our quarterback.”
Newton is still the favorite to start in Week 1, but there have been numerous reports that Jones could push him for the starting job. The Patriots have improved their supporting case by signing tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry and wide receivers Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne. They’ll likely give Newton a chance to improve upon his abysmal 2020 season with those new skill players, but there will be plenty of pressure to make the switch if Newton struggles.
Even Newton has had very high praise for Jones. One anonymous Patriots player also had a very telling comment about the former Alabama star recently. Belichick has always said that he will do whatever he can to put the team in the best position to win. If that means playing Jones, that is what he will do.
Bill Belichick chose to let Tom Brady leave the New England Patriots as a free agent last year, and the coach then had to watch his former quarterback immediately go out and win yet another Super Bowl. Did Belichick reach out to Brady after the quarterback’s latest accomplishment? We’ll probably never know.
Belichick was asked by a reporter on Wednesday if he spoke with Brady after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV. You won’t be surprised by his response.
We would bet Belichick reached out to Brady in some way, even if it was only by text message. That would be very petty of the coach to ignore Brady’s seventh Super Bowl after the two won six together.
There was a lot of talk before Brady left New England about his relationship with Belichick deteriorating, and some of it was probably true. That said, Brady made it clear how he feels about Belichick with the comments he made before the Super Bowl last year. The two may be determined to best each other, but we doubt there are any seriously hard feelings.
The Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski Tampa party continues! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Tampa Fiesta shirt. You can buy it here.
Julian Edelman has retired after 11 seasons in the NFL, all spent with the New England Patriots. Now that he is done playing football, Edelman is able to share a few interesting details about his time in the league.
Edelman appeared on “Green Light with Chris Long” for an interview that was published on Tuesday. In the interview, Edelman talked about how Bill Belichick would get on players during film sessions (15:15 mark). Edelman says he called these film sessions “Bill Tube.”
Edelman says he would be featured on “Bill Tube” after fighting with teammates. Edelman specifically brought up how Belichick got on him for a fight with teammate Stephon Gilmore.
“So he sits and rewinds it like 45 times and he stands up and says like, ‘What the f— are we doing! We can’t have this!’ Just going on and just ringing me like, ‘You know what Edelman? You’re over here thinking you’re a tough guy.’ Just getting on me in front of the team … but I think low-key he loved it,” Edelman said.
Edelman says that when he got older in his career, he started to find “Bill Tube” entertaining.
Belichick is famous for being extremely detailed in his preparation. He is also notorious for being hard on his players, including his biggest stars.
The NFL is set to release its full 2021 regular season schedule on Wednesday night, but the dates of many big games have already leaked. Perhaps the most noteworthy matchup will take place on “Sunday Night Football” in Week 4.
According to multiple reports, the New England Patriots will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the Week 4 Sunday night game. That will mark the first time Tom Brady faces his former team and returns to the place where he won six Super Bowls in two decades.
It would not be a surprise if that game draws higher ratings than any other regular season contest in 2021. The storylines will be endless, as there has been a lot of talk about the relationship between Brady and Bill Belichick souring before the quarterback left in free agency last year. Both future Hall of Famers will undoubtedly want to get the best of the other, whether they admit it publicly or not.
Belichick and Brady will probably do their best to convince people the Week 4 matchup is “just another game,” but there is no reason to believe that. The Patriots will come up with some extravagant tribute to Brady prior to kickoff, and fans in New England will give him the reception he deserves. Brady will then turn into the enemy as soon as the clock starts winding.
In addition to Brady, Rob Gronkowski will also be returning to Foxboro for the first time as a visiting player. Belichick and Gronk have played nice since Gronk left the Patriots (evidence here), but there is probably some tension there, too.
The Week 4 “Sunday Night Football” game will be must-see TV.
It’s long been assumed that Bill Belichick’s eventual successor as New England Patriots head coach is being groomed as part of the staff already. The latest speculation, however, centers on a name we haven’t heard before.
Boston Globe NFL writer Ben Volin suggested in an appearance on WEEI’s “The Ken and Curtis Show” that the Patriots may be grooming Patricia as Belichick’s heir apparent. Volin noted that Patricia’s signature has been on every contract the Patriots have agreed to this offseason, suggesting he has taken on many of the responsibilities of former director of player personnel Nick Caserio. Volin thinks this was notable because it suggests Belichick trusts Patricia to handle these contractual responsibilities despite Patricia not really operating in that area before.
“They had to choose one person, and they chose him,” Volin said. “It does seem like they are broadening his skill set, and it makes me wonder if they are setting him up to be the heir apparent to Belichick.”
It wasn’t a huge shock that Patricia rejoined the Patriots’ staff following his ill-fated tenure as head coach of the Lions. However, it’s been clear that Belichick is giving him significant responsibilities quite quickly. The Patriots might also believe that Patricia would have better luck coaching a team that’s already more accustomed to New England’s unique organizational culture.
Of course, there have been other names tossed around as potential successors to Belichick. Patricia’s name seems to be one to watch, though.
Bob Baffert gave a shoutout to Bill Belichick after his horse won the Kentucky Derby on Saturday.
Baffert and Belichick participated in an interview together that aired during NBC’s coverage of the race Saturday. The interviewed featured the two because both are leading champions of their respective sports; Belichick has won six Super Bowls as an NFL head coach, while Baffert entered Saturday as a six-time Kentucky Derby winner.
Baffert’s horse, Medina Spirit, won the Derby despite having 12:1 odds. The victory even left Baffert surprised.
In an interview with NBC after the race, Baffert gave a mention to Belichick.
“I think Bill Belichick gave me a lot of luck today with that interview,” Baffert said.
Baffert has now won seven Kentucky Derby races, which is more than any other trainer. Belichick needs to win another Super Bowl to catch up.
Here is video of the race if you missed it:
ESPN college football personality Paul Finebaum delivered quite the hot take on Bill Belichick.
Finebaum was a guest on an ESPN Radio program on Friday morning. He talked about Belichick, who extended his trust in Nick Saban by drafting former Alabama quarterback Mac Jones in the first round on Thursday.
Finebaum said he thinks Jones is a “very good quarterback,” but he also accused Belichick of “getting lazy.”
“I’m also a little concerned with this rather lazy, ‘Well, Bill Belichick knows what he’s doing!’ Um, really? Have you guys watched the New England Patriots in the last couple of years? … He’s made some dubious coaching hires, starting with his son. He’s made some disastrous draft picks,” Finebaum said.
“I’m more concerned for Bill Belichick’s future in New England than I am Mac Jones’ future in New England. Because I see a coach who was a perfectionist, who did everything right all those years, who was untouchable, and I see him getting lazy late in his career.
“Nick Saban has never changed. … He’s still the same guy he was 10 years ago, 15 years ago, 20 years ago. Bill Belichick is not!”
That is quite a hot take from Finebaum. Belichick has one 7-9 season and now all of a sudden he’s lazy? Give me a break. The guy has had his issues drafting at times, but that didn’t stop him from winning.
We’ll see how he does the next few years. But if he doesn’t do well, it won’t be due to laziness, but more likely because he doesn’t have Tom Brady anymore.
Maybe one day Finebaum will end up apologizing for this take like he did with Lane Kiffin.
The New England Patriots finally landed a quarterback fans can be excited about during Thursday night’s draft, but Bill Belichick immediately made it clear that Mac Jones has a lot of work to do before he can think about earning a starting job.
Belichick told reporters after the first round of the draft that Newton remains New England’s starting quarterback. He said both Jones and Jarrett Stidham will have a chance to “compete” but that Newton is the team’s starter.
Of course, there is a long way to go before the start of the regular season. The Patriots re-signed Cam Newton to a team-friendly deal, and the belief all offseason has been that he was more of an insurance plan than anything. He’ll benefit from having a year under his belt in the team’s offense, and Belichick will definitely give him a fair crack at earning the starting job. But if Newton does start in Week 1, he will likely have to play well to remain in that spot.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft made it clear recently that he does not feel Newton got a fair shot in 2021. If Jones needs a year to develop, Newton could serve as a bridge quarterback of sorts for Belichick.
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The New England Patriots decided that Mac Jones was their quarterback and drafted him No. 15 overall on Thursday. Jones already seems to have some similarities to Bill Belichick.
Well, at least the two have a similar walking style.
Check out this great video that puts Jones’ walk side-by-side with Belichick’s:
Business. Purpose. Swagger.
Belichick and Jones. It’s a combination to come for years.
The video of Jones walking came on draft night. The video of Belichick came from this clip a few years ago.
One of the highlights of the NFL’s virtual draft last year was the appearance Bill Belichick’s dog made, and it looks like the little guy is ready to dominate the war room again this year.
Belichick’s dog Nike has his own Instagram page, which is likely run by the coach’s longtime girlfriend Linda Holliday. On Wednesday, the pooch was shown making his “final preparations” for the first round.
ESPN had live cameras set up during the draft last year to capture the setups for every NFL team’s coach and general manager. That meant Belichick had a camera on his setup in Nantucket, Mass. When it came time for the Patriots to make their first pick, Nike was sitting at the table rather than Belichick.
The Patriots have gotten some great mileage out of Nike’s draft appearance, as they even sent a great tweet about it during their free agent spending spree. We can probably expect that to continue during this year’s event.