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The epilogue of a coach: Is that this the way it ends for Invoice Belichick?


When it comes time to deal with what was as soon as unthinkable — firing Invoice Belichick — it is just step one in a sophisticated course of. 

Invoice Belichick throughout the Patriots-Jets Week 3 matchup. Photograph by Al Bello/Getty Photos
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As sophisticated as everybody expects the divorce to be, let’s take note that is additionally a man who as soon as famously scribbled his resignation on a cocktail serviette. Invoice Belichick might ship Patriots proprietor Bob Kraft a singing telegram on his means out the door of One Patriot Place and it nonetheless may not be any weirder than the way in which he broke free from the Jets. 

Anybody with the slightest temperature for soccer (even Tiki Barber) can perceive that the time has come for a change of the teaching regime in New England, the place Belichick has dominated for a technology of unprecedented greatness (2001-2018) in addition to durations of incompetent miscues (all the things since). He received six Tremendous Bowls whereas in New England. He additionally misplaced three whereas in New England, together with carelessly throwing one to show some extent or one thing.

His recreation prep was as soon as so impactful that it made the NFL change its guidelines to be able to support its favourite son in Indianapolis. He additionally as soon as punted to the Jets in additional time. And also you’ve in all probability already heard all of the Canon/Canton jokes. 

No matter no matter San Mateo coattails he might have ridden en path to turning into thought to be one of the best of all time at his career, Belichick’s title will nonetheless go down as one of the memorable names to ever coach within the sport. Lombardi. Landry. Belichick. It has a hoop. 

Possibly he’ll even get Don Shula’s wins report some place else in the event that they’ll have him. 

If the Krafts suppose that there’s any section of their remunerating fan base pining for them to hold a “348” banner because the closing act of a dynasty, then they in all probability haven’t been checking their season ticket renewal price currently. When it comes time to deal with what as soon as appeared the unthinkable — firing William Steven Belichick as “HC of the NYP” — it is just step one in a sophisticated course of. 

However the deeper the Patriots slip into what is popping right into a misplaced season, one which has already began with a 1-4 report thanks partly to Belichick’s dangerous personnel choices, the extra easy it turns into. 

That’s as a result of whereas there’s the prevailing idea that Bob and Jonathan would by no means fireplace Belichick mid-season, out of the respect they’ve for the person they’ve employed for 23 years-plus in New England, there may come some extent the place he’s additionally damaging to the model he as soon as helped ship to dizzying new heights. As if we have to see if there shall be a “subsequent time” that he pulls a stunt like Sunday’s late-game punting fiasco whereas down 24 factors. Like Invoice Belichick, the person who holds a grudge like BenJarvus Inexperienced-Ellis holds the soccer, isn’t going to go down with no battle? 

What alternative do the Krafts have then? Is it value hanging onto rear mirror accomplishments only for a closing stamp within the report e-book that no one reads? 

Possibly each events will announce a mutual parting of the methods come January to stay the touchdown with a tidy Lexus-sized bow. Possibly Belichick will barricade himself in his workplace solely to inform authorities that he’ll solely negotiate with Ernie Adams, and no one else. The jury remains to be out.

But when issues proceed to progress the way in which some concern they may, the Krafts might haven’t any alternative however to yank the band-aid off earlier than season’s finish, thus creating an off-field distraction for a franchise desperately searching for course.

Cleansing home on the teaching workers isn’t so cut-and-dry. Kraft has already, sort of, hinted that linebackers coach Jerod Mayo could also be in line to develop into the subsequent head coach. What does that imply for guys like Joe Choose, Steve and Brian Belichick, and Adrian Klemm? Are they a part of the package deal with Mayo? Or do they get proven the identical door because the elder Belichick? Will the Patriots fireplace Invoice O’Brien because of his affiliation with Invoice, or will the Patriots fireplace Invoice O’Brien for his gross negligence on the offense? Issues are going to get sticky. 

As for Mayo, whereas he definitely would get head teaching appears to be like elsewhere, New England has to resolve internally whether or not or not inserting one other defensive thoughts is a brilliant thought able broadly being taken over by younger, offensive whiz-kids. Or, perhaps after watching the Pink Sox play Satan Ray cosplay, that ought to make him extra interesting. 

However the shift to a Mayo teaching kingdom can also be like going from “Police Academy 5” to “Police Academy 6;” you’re going to recycle the identical rubbish once more and attempt to make me imagine it’s higher? It’s going to take a complete lot extra free parking on Route One for me to purchase in on that one.  

Alternatively, what coach goes to willingly stroll right into a scenario the place he has to maintain the outdated coach’s youngsters and Mr. Kraft’s good pal on the workers? It’s honest to have the concern that the clear sweep the group desperately wants may not ever come. 

These developments shouldn’t come as any earth-shattering shock. If the Krafts weren’t already planning for a way issues may finish with Invoice when he saved making an attempt to inform them in regards to the genius of Matt Patricia (aka, one other group is paying him), they’re being negligent in the event that they aren’t now. The Patriots are headed for all-time low and wish new life. The identical new life that, on reflection, they’ve wanted for a couple of years now. 

There’s little likelihood Invoice would coach in New England whereas letting someone else store for the groceries. He may some place else. May the Maras welcome him again into the Meadowlands (May you think about Belichick going from Mac to Daniel Jones)? Possibly Belichick might do for Carolina what Invoice Parcells as soon as did for New England; give a bumbling laughingstock of a franchise some long-awaited legitimacy. Maybe 72-year-old Pete Carroll, his elder statesman by a complete 5 months, will retire and Belichick will take over for him in Seattle for one more 25 years. It’s occurred earlier than. 

But it surely’s over in New England. That’s develop into painfully clear. 

The one query may be, simply how dangerous will it must get week-to-week to be able to put Belichick on discover. 

I’d say being outscored 72-3 over the past two weeks may begin that dialog. Let’s see how lengthy the Krafts wait. Out of the identical respect that Belichick refuses to convey for anyone today.