Patriots Head Coach and General Manager Bill Belichick announcing his return for the 2023-24 season (Steven Senne/AP News/Photo Courtesy of Bleacher Report)

Belichick’s Bad Power Balancing

In the midst of a poor 2-5 start to the New England Patriots’ NFL season, long-time Head Coach Bill Belichick (he/him) has found himself on the hot seat. Whereas many sports franchises have separate people for the roles of general manager and head coach, Belichick is one of the few to do both. He has complete control over roster building and management, as well as play calling and game-time decisions. Within this past year, however, arguments have been made for the ousting of Belichick on both fronts. 

In terms of his head coaching tenure, Belichick has been, up until this season, the best in the game. Though generally a defensive mastermind, this season has been hampered by coaching that sees Belichick surrounding himself with yes-men.

Throughout QB Mac Jones’s (he/him) career, Belichick has had three offensive coordinators who were all on their second stint as a coordinator for Belichick. Between Josh McDaniels (he/him), Matt Patricia (he/him), and Bill O’Brien (he/him), Jones has not had consistency or, frankly, any quality at his primary source of coaching. 

However, many of the problems for Belichick the Head Coach present themselves due to the actions of Belichick the General Manager, as he was made de facto general manager when he assumed the role of head coach in 2000. While it’s nobody’s fault that Matt Judon (he/him), Christian Gonzalez (he/him), and Kendrick Bourne (he/him) went down with season-ending injuries, the overall lack of offensive firepower is indicative of needs going ignored in favor of playing Moneyball. There was hope in the offseason of getting him a top-flight receiver.

After a falling out in Arizona, All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins (he/him) was on the free agency market, and the Patriots were a major contender for his services. Belichick balked at the offer, however, and allowed him to sign for two years with the Titans, resigning Jones to another year of a sub-par receiving core to compliment his sub-par NFL readiness.

While there’s still plenty of football left to play, this season could have many implications for Belichick’s future in Foxborough.

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