February 26, 2024

Patriots

“Make no mistake: It is ugly there proper now. Individuals I’ve spoken to with the group paint a depressing image.”

Invoice Belichick after the Patriots’ win over the Steelers. AP Picture/Matt Freed

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There’s a “rising perception” across the NFL that Invoice Belichick won’t be the Patriots’ head coach subsequent yr, in keeping with ESPN’s Dan Graziano.

Graziano mentioned based mostly on previous experiences masking teaching legends Don Shula, Joe Torre, and Tom Coughlin, in addition to conversations with folks contained in the Patriots group that he doesn’t count on Belichick to be fired.

He expects that it will likely be the group’s resolution to maneuver on, and that Belichick will disagree with it, however in the end an announcement will probably be made making an attempt to honor Belichick earlier than transferring on.

That’s what occurred with every of the three aforementioned coaches, Graziano mentioned.

“That is my expectation for what occurs on the finish of the season in New England,” Graziano wrote. “Based mostly on a number of conversations with folks in and across the constructing. Make no mistake: It’s ugly there proper now. Individuals I’ve spoken to with the group paint a depressing image. The Patriots haven’t simply been shedding — they’ve typically been non-competitive on offense.”

“Think about how exhausting it’s to inspire a protection to play after giving up six factors and shedding,” one supply informed Graziano.

Linebackers coach Jerod Mayo is among the many prime candidates to take over as head coach after Belichick is gone, in keeping with the report.

“Sources near the Patriots consider Kraft’s plan coming into this season was for Belichick to teach two extra seasons and have Mayo take over in 2025,” Graziano added. “Belichick entered the season needing 18 wins to catch Shula for many profession victories (common season and postseason mixed) amongst NFL coaches, and the thought was he might get that accomplished in two seasons.”

However with the Patriots 3-10 and the season having gone “off the rails,” Kraft is contemplating retooling his plan, in keeping with Graziano. Titans coach Mike Vrabel, who was just lately inducted into the Patriots Corridor of Fame, was talked about as one other candidate New England might pursue.

“A number of sources in and across the constructing say Mayo taking up subsequent yr is the almost certainly consequence,” Graziano wrote. “Although others are not sure that’s the way in which Kraft will go. Mayo must promote Kraft on who will probably be answerable for the offense, the quarterback’s improvement, and personnel. That might all occur and work out in Mayo’s favor, however it doesn’t sound prefer it’s a 100% positive factor.”

The report comes not lengthy after NBC Sports activities Boston’s Tom E. Curran reported that the choice to maneuver on from Belichick has already been made.

Belichick answered every query about his future on Wednesday with some variation of “I’m preparing for the Chiefs.”