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#pounditWednesday, April 17, 2024

New Patriots GM has blunt comment about the post-Bill Belichick era

Bill Belichick on the sideline

Oct 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reacts during the second quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots are aiming to establish a new identity now that they have parted ways with Bill Belichick, and Eliot Wolf says there is one significant change people might notice.

Wolf, who was recently promoted to director of player personnel in New England, had a blunt remark on Tuesday when asked how the Patriots are trying to change their culture. He said the team is aiming to have “less of a hard a– vibe” than in past years.

Wolf probably did not mean that as a shot at Belichick, though you can understand why many interpreted it that way. It is no secret that Belichick had an icy relationship with the media during his reign in New England. Wolf says the future Hall of Fame coach also had a different draft grading system than what the team now has in place.

“The previous Patriots system was more ‘this is what the role is.’ And this is more kind of value-based,” Wolf said, via Michael Hurley of WBZ News. “So, I think it makes it a lot easier for scouts to rate guys and put ’em in a stack of like, ‘This guy’s the best, this guy’s the worst,’ and everything in between falls into place. Rather than sort of more nuanced approaches. I just think it makes — it accounts value better and also makes it easier for the scouts in the fall as well as in the spring to determine where guys will get drafted.”

Wolf added that the draft process will be “a lot more collaborative” now. One of the criticisms of Belichick after Tom Brady left was that he did not listen to the scouting department enough and missed on a lot of draft picks because of it.

It sure seemed like Wolf wanted to let it be known that the Patriots are trying to do things much differently from the way they were done under Belichick. Though Brady had a lot to do with it, Belichick won six championships in New England. The Patriots might want to be careful about completely changing the culture that Belichick built.

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