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Bill Belichick Out in New England; Press Conference at Noon



New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichck

After 24 years Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots are breaking up. The winningest head coach of the NFL’s Super Bowl Era is “parting ways” with the franchise. A press conference featuring Belichick and Robert Kraft is scheduled for noon on Thursday.

ESPN’s Mike Reiss and Adam Schefter were first to break the news.

Reiss reports that there have been ongoing “cordial” discussions between Belichick and Kraft since the end of the season. A decision was made that going their separate ways would be the best option.

Bill Belichick stated  he was willing to do whatever was in the best interests of the franchise. That answer was in response to a question about Belichick’s willingness to give up power in making personnel decisions. Although his public statement indicated a willingness to “just coach” it is unclear how much he was willing to concede in the decision-making process in New England.

What is clear is that the New England Patriots do not want this to be viewed as Bill Belichick being fired. It is clear from Reiss’ reporting that there is an emphasis on talks being respectful, and the ultimate decision being mutual. Certainly there are PR concerns from the Patriots standpoint with such a move. Bill Belichick took over a team that had never won a Super Bowl and helped lead them to six. He guided the most successful two decade run in football history.

Tom Brady departed New England four years ago. That is a short span to lose both the greatest player and greatest coach in the history of the sport. Brady went on to win a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The football world eagerly awaits Bill Belichick’s next move, with the Atlanta Falcons being the top team rumored at the moment.

In terms of the three men most responsible for building the Patriots Dynasty, only Robert Kraft now remains in Foxboro.

New England Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo is considered the favorite for the job. Mike Vrabel, recently fired by the Tennessee Titans, is another top candidate. With eight head coaching openings in the NFL, there was pressure on Kraft to make a decision or risk losing top options to other jobs.

Belichick exits New England Patriots with a 266-121 regular season record, 30-12 in the playoffs. However, the last playoff win for Belichick was Super Bowl 53, when the 2018 Patriots took home another Lombardi Trophy. They have not made the playoffs in 3-of-4 seasons. This year’s team finished 4-13, the worst record for a New England Patriots team since 1992.

The New England Patriots will replace Bill Belichick will be replaced by another head coach. But just like Tom Brady’s departure four years ago, nobody should expect the replacement to equal the success of their predecessor. Belichick leaves behind nine AFC Championships, six Super Bowls, and a level of success not likely to be seen again.

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