Bill Belichick’s son Steve appeared to take on a much bigger role with the New England Patriots’ coaching staff last season, even if no one in the organization seems to want to acknowledge it. While many have assumed Josh McDaniels will eventually take over as the head coach of the team when the elder Belichick retires, that no longer looks like a sure thing.
Mike Florio and Chris Simms said on PFT Live recently that they could envision Steve Belichick becoming the head coach of the Patriots when Bill calls it a career. Florio said he began getting that sense when Steve took over calling defensive plays last season. Simms, who played for the Patriots for a brief period, agreed.
“I was around Steve a little bit,” Simms said, as transcribed by Ryan Hannable of WEEI.com. “He’s smart. He’s a really hard worker. I think he’s trying to stay in his father’s shadow — not to be a kiss ass or anything like that, but he wants to learn truly every little thing his dad is thinking about during a week or before a game.”
Simms also said he believes Steve Belichick’s quick rise up the Patriots’ coaching ranks could be the primary reason McDaniels got back into the head coaching conversation.
“Added to the fact that I think there are a number of people in football that look at it right now and think Belichick kind of screwed over Josh McDaniels with the coaching hires this year anyway — making him stay in the building, didn’t let him go down to Carolina and interview, never got a chance to interview with the New York Giants,” Simms said. “So, those are things I look at too and go. ‘Man, how can Josh be happy with Bill Belichick at this point now?’ I think that would favor Steve Belichick even more.”
Bill Belichick said years ago that he did not want to coach into his 70s, but the 67-year-old backed off that statement more recently. That probably has a lot to do with Steve becoming such an integral part of his father’s coaching staff. If you listened to audio of Steve without knowing who it was, you might even think you were listening to Bill talk. That has to excite Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
What are Bill Belichick’s secrets to success? Having Tom Brady as your quarterback for 20 years doesn’t hurt. But beyond that, the man knows how to run and build a team.
On Twitter Tuesday, NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah shared a document that highlighted Belichick’s fundamentals for offensive team-building. Jeremiah says he received the handout at a scout school. In reading it, you will see what Belichick’s offensive philosophy was back in 1991 (target the middle of the field and then work your way out). You will also see what he looks for at each position. One of the funny lines was Belichick saying you can have a dumb offensive lineman so long as they’re athletic.
Here’s the whole scouting guide:
I think you’ll enjoy this… We were given this handout during a scout school from my time with the Ravens. Coach Belichick has held true to almost all of this over the years. pic.twitter.com/pWB3oqo5JU
Belichick’s advice for scouting tight ends was notable. He wasn’t looking for great blockers but wanted someone who could play a role in the offense and at least get in a defender’s way. He even said don’t let the blocking issue get in the way of selecting a great player.
At the time, Belichick’s belief for running an offense included the following four things:
1) run the ball
2) pick up the blitz
3) pick up third downs
We’re guessing that perspective has now changed with the league and Belichick believes the pass figures more prominently into a successful offense. Still, it’s awesome to see this and how well it holds up 30 years later.
Tom Brady Sr. predicted years ago that the relationship between his son and the New England Patriots would end “badly,” but the elder Brady considers what happened this offseason to be more of an amicable separation.
In a recent appearance on the “Raising Fame: Sports Edition” podcast with Stephen Curry’s parents Dell and Sonya, Brady Sr. says he doesn’t like to use the word “divorce” to describe what happened with his son and the Patriots. He instead called it a “separation” and spoke about how much respect Brady Jr. has for Bill Belichick.
“I don’t know that it’s a divorce. Twenty years together is a long time. I can’t tell you the hundreds of times Tommy has said, ‘Bill [Belichick] is the best coach in football,’” Brady Sr. said, as transcribed by Nicole Yang of Boston.com. “Tommy sings Bill’s praises. Divorce sounds a little bit harsh.”
If you put the pieces together, it seems obvious that Brady wanted to return to the Patriots but was not shown enough appreciation by Belichick. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers gave Brady a two-year, $50 million deal that is fully guaranteed, while New England wanted to keep going year-to-year with the four-time Super Bowl MVP. Some viewed that as a sign of disrespect, and Brady certainly may have felt that way about it. However, Brady Sr. defended Belichick for doing what the coach thinks is best for the future of the Patriots.
“Bill’s got a lot of responsibilities to keep the Patriots on track,” Brady Sr. said. “That is a bigger responsibility than keeping Tommy under the hood. Both of them are mature individuals. I really respect Bill’s decision and respect Tommy’s decision as well. It’s OK to take different paths. You don’t have to stay joined at the hip.”
Again, Brady Sr. said nearly five years ago that the relationship between Brady and Belichick would not end well. If that meant Brady Sr. believed his son would finish his career elsewhere, he was right. However, it’s possible that the split ends up being beneficial for both sides.
Tom Brady and Bill Belichick had their fair share of issues over the years, but they managed to downplay almost all of them and continue winning championships no matter how hard the media tried to drive a wedge between them. When it came to Brady’s contract negotiations, however, it is clear the two have not been on the same page in a very long time.
ESPN’s Seth Wickersham published a lengthy piece about the divorce between Brady and the Patriots, and in it he discussed how the tension between coach and quarterback hit a boiling point in 2017. It was around that time that Brady began heavily promoting his TB12 brand, and that and the growing presence of Brady’s personal trainer Alex Guerrero was clearly a source of frustration for Belichick. However, Wickersham says Brady’s contract situation was always the biggest issue between Brady and Belichick.
Brady signed a series of short-term deals in his final years with the Patriots. When he was 39 in the fall of 2017, he made it clear he intended to play into his mid-40s and wanted an extension from the team that would allow him to finish his career in New England. Belichick refused to give him one, and Wickersham reports that Belichick and Brady had a “blowup” during a meeting to discuss the quarterback’s contract in late 2017.
Brady then met with Patriots owner Robert Kraft and is said to have received “mixed signals.” Not long after Brady’s meetings with Belichick and Kraft, team president Jonathan Kraft told the media Brady has “earned the right” to decide when he wants to leave New England. The implication seemed to be that Brady would leave when Brady was ready, but that’s not what happened.
Prior to the 2018 season, the Patriots added $5 million in incentives to Brady’s contract. He never reached the incentives and probably never wanted them. What he really wanted was a multi-year extension. When Belichick refused to give him one again last offseason, Brady had the Patriots give him assurances they would not franchise tag him. He also almost walked out of training camp because he was so disgusted with the situation.
Given everything we know, the report we heard about what the Patriots were willing to pay Brady for 2020 and beyond does not sound accurate. In the end, Belichick handled Brady the same way he would handle any other aging player with declining skills. Brady felt he earned the right to be treated differently, and you can certainly understand why. Belichick has never given any player preferential treatment in contract negotiations, and the way he the Brady situation unfolded proves The Hoodie never will.
Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have teamed up yet again! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Tampa Fiesta shirt. You can buy it here.
Bill Belichick is known as one of the most serious and focused coaches in all of professional sports. That makes a new story from Boston Celtics CEO Wyc Grousbeck even funnier.
On Saturday’s episode of ‘WEEI Extra Sauce with Greg Hill,’ Grousbeck recalled how he sought counsel from Belichick with the Celtics up 23 points on the Los Angeles Lakers in a potentially decisive Game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals. Grousbeck wanted Belichick to calm him down a bit, but the Celtics CEO did not get the reaction he expected.
“I go ‘Bill, what do you think?’ and I was thinking he would calm me down because we could have won the championship that night, or not if we blew it,” Grousbeck said, via Ryan Hannable of WEEI. “If anyone is going to give you the party line, ‘One play at a time, do your job’ it’s going to be Bill. I looked to him for that and I said, ‘Bill, what do you think?’ He goes, ‘Are you kidding me? You’re the bleeping world champions. You can celebrate right now.’ I was like, ‘I just got jinxed by Bill Belichick.’
“He bought a round of tequila shots for the entire bar, the entire club and we beat them by 30. I love Bill.”
The Celtics did, in fact, go on to win the game by 39 points to clinch the title. No jinx from Belichick there.
There is plenty of evidence Belichick has a softer side that comes out when he’s not focused on his duties with the Patriots. It’s just that very few people get to see it. Grousbeck, it seems, is one of the fortunate few.
Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have not been completely ignoring each other this offseason, but it doesn’t sound like the contact they have had with one another has increased the chances of Brady re-signing with the New England Patriots.
Brady and Belichick had a phone conversation on Tuesday, Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston reports. While the exact details of the discussion are unknown, a source told Curran the conversation was not particularly productive and that Belichick spoke with Brady as if the quarterback is “still under contract.”
Belichick is a man of technicalities, and Brady is still technically under contract with the Patriots. Remember, this is the same coach who refuses to discuss the specifics of any injury because he simply is not required to. He has also been known to neither confirm nor deny that the Patriots have signed a particular player until that player is officially under contract, even when the transaction is all but completed and has been widely reported.
From the way it sounds, Belichick is treating Brady the same way he would any other impending free agent. The coach has done the same with star players in the past, and it’s no surprise he is trying to treat a four-time Super Bowl MVP the same way. Of course, that may not sit well with Brady and could be interpreted as Belichick’s way of telling the 42-year-old he is not overly concerned about losing him in free agency.
If the Patriots truly want Brady back, they are eventually going to have to sit down and have a serious contract negotiation with him. At this point, it’s possible Belichick is content to let Brady shop himself around and see what’s out there. We know there are several teams that are preparing to offer Brady a contract, and perhaps Belichick knows Brady is not going to leave without hearing what New England has to say.
The feeling surrounding Tom Brady’s impending free agency has largely been that the New England Patriots are playing hardball with their most important player in franchise history, but that speculation may be a bit overblown.
With reports having surfaced last week that Brady is telling those close to him he is unlikely to return to the Patriots next season, many assume the quarterback is frustrated that the team has not yet sat down at the negotiating table with his representatives. While there may be some truth to that, Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston expressed confidence on Monday that Brady and the Patriots are “not in a Cold War.”
The Patriots still want Brady back in 2020. And since Bill Belichick is ultimately in charge of personnel decisions, that means he is not ready to part ways with the four-time Super Bowl MVP just yet, even if there is a belief that Belichick wants to prove he can win with another quarterback.
According to Curran, text messages have been exchanged between Brady and the Patriots, so the idea of the two sides ignoring each other just because they haven’t discussed a new contract yet is not accurate. Not only that, but the Patriots have already been active in exploring ways to overhaul their offense, which is almost certainly Brady’s top priority heading into his age-43 season. Brady is reportedly still planning to “listen closely” to what the Patriots have to say.
Fans have been looking for any sign that Brady is leaving New England, and it has even gotten to the point where people are trying to lipread. It looked like we may have gotten a clue about Brady’s future when he attended a college basketball game with Julian Edelman over the weekend, but an audio clip put that to rest.
We still find it hard to believe that Brady will want to start fresh in a new system with a new coaching staff. As long as the Patriots don’t completely low-ball him with an offer, they still have a better chance than any team to sign him to a new deal.
There is a wide-ranging belief that Bill Belichick is ready to move on from Tom Brady and may be at odds with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft over how to handle the situation, but that belief is apparently not rooted in reality.
“They want Tom Brady to return. They think they can get him back and they are willing to go where they have not gone before to do it,” Rapoport said. “I don’t believe that Belichick and Kraft are on different pages as far as what they would be willing to pay Tom Brady. I have not heard that. It would be surprising to hear that is true.”
Dollars and cents are only one factor in the Brady negotiations, as he wants the Patriots to come up with a legitimate plan for improving the team’s offense around him. He would probably be willing to take less money (like he has throughout his career) if he can be assured a better supporting cast next season. However, the reported willingness of Kraft and Belichick to pay Brady big money signals that the coach is not anxious to prove he can win with another quarterback, as many have speculated.
As the owner of the team, Robert Kraft has the final say over anything that happens with the New England Patriots. That includes roster decisions, but Kraft trusts Bill Belichick to handle that side of the business — even when it comes to Tom Brady.
Kraft has an extremely close relationship with Brady and has said many times that he considers him a son. That has led many to believe Kraft would step in and use his veto power if Belichick wanted to part ways with Brady, but Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston says that would not happen.
Kraft has never meddled in roster decisions and is not going to start now. While there is a wide-ranging assumption that Brady wanted the Patriots to trade Jimmy Garoppolo in 2017 and Kraft made it happen, Curran was told that is not the way it played out. Belichick made the decision to trade Garoppolo, and the coach will ultimately decide whether or not the Patriots can work out a deal to keep Brady in 2020 that makes sense for the franchise.
“The owner has declared many times he wants Brady to remain a Patriot,” Curran wrote on Sunday. “But my understanding is that, just as he wouldn’t force Brady to stay under a franchise tag, he won’t intercede if Belichick concludes moving on from Brady is the best course of action.”
Even if there was a time when Kraft would have sided with Brady in any potential Brady-Belichick power struggle, it would make sense for the owner to side with his head coach now. Brady will turn 43 before the start of next season, and he has said he wants to play until he is 45. Realistically, the Patriots are going to get two or three more seasons out of him at the most. Belichick, on the other hand, could decide to coach well into his 70s. With his son Steve on the coaching staff now and playing a major role with the defense, there’s no reason to believe Belichick plans to retire anytime soon. If Kraft ends up having to choose between two more years of Brady or a decade of Belichick, the choice should be an easy one.
What do fans around the NFL think of Bill Belichick? Well, they view him as a villain.
The NFL honored the top 100 people in the league’s history as part of the 100th anniversary of the league. They did so during the pregame ceremony ahead of Super Bowl LIV between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
When Belichick was introduced, the New England Patriots flashed his Super Bowl rings and was booed:
Belichick didn’t even bring his entire jewelry stash.
He has won six Super Bowls as a head coach for the Patriots and won two as an assistant coach with the New York Giants. But it doesn’t matter — whether you’re a Chiefs fan, 49ers fan, or Dolphins fan especially, you probably are driven to boo him. And he loves it that way.