Connect with us

New England Patriots

Kelley: “The Dynasty” Confirms Bill Belichick Was a Goner

Published

on

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick discusses their loss to the Miami Dolphins

Apple TV’s “The Dynasty” docuseries has released the first four episodes. It has shown a lot of important moments from the Patriots past. It covered Robert Kraft purchasing the team, the first three Super Bowl wins, the Super Bowl loss in 2007, and the Spygate saga. But the series also foretold the future of the team. Specifically the fate of Bill Belichick.

Tough to watch what has been said in “The Dynasty” and not conclude Bill Belichick was a dead man walking in 2023. What if last season’s squad had miraculously won the Super Bowl? Would “The Dynasty” have still been released? And if so, would Bill Belichick have wanted to stick around any longer?

New England’s run under Bill Belichick was the most incredible stretch in the history of professional football. But after only four episodes it is already clear a period that brought Patriots fans so much joy is being remembered quite differently in hindsight than it unfolded in reality.

“The Dynasty”

In Episode 1 Robert Kraft discussed Belichick naming Tom Brady the starting quarterback even after Drew Bledsoe was cleared to return.

“I thought Drew (Bledsoe) was treated unfairly,” Robert Kraft stated 22 years later. The decision to be “unfair” would help Kraft’s franchise win six Super Bowls.

And when the Patriots narrowly lost a game to the St. Louis Rams, easily the most dominant team in the NFL at the time, Kraft concluded, “Watching the game, I felt that Bill (Belichick) had let us down.”

When the “Tuck Rule” was discussed in Episode 2, Kraft thanked God for the referee, Walt Coleman. There was no mention at all that Bill Belichick himself knew the Tuck Rule. New England’s coach knew it should be the Patriots’ ball, and why. Yet nobody thanked the man upstairs for the man in the hoodie.

Episode 3 crams all three Patriots Super Bowl wins from 2001-to-2004 into one chapter. The back-to-back titles in 2003 and 2004 are barely touched on. Bill Belichick’s genius game plan to beat the Rams in Super Bowl 36 is barely touched on. St. Louis coach Mike Martz does comment though, stating the Patriots got away with cheating in that game by holding and hitting players illegally, knowing that not everything could be called. So Belichick is not shown as a genius, but rather as a cheater. And that is before an entire episode devoted to the “Spygate” scandal.

Did Robert Kraft Protect Bill Belichick?

Episode 4 is devoted exclusively to the 2007 season and the Spygate saga. Robert Kraft says he called Bill Belichick “a real schmuck” for cheating to get an advantage that only ranked one on a scale of 1-to-100. Kraft then states to the camera:

“Look, I was pissed with Bill (Belichick). But when you have division from within it can be very disruptive and dangerous. So, I protected Bill.”

Kraft goes on to explain that he protected Belichick by calling the NFL. Kraft wanted to protect Belichick’s reputation. So, he convinced the league to punish everyone, including the franchise, but not suspend Belichick. The Patriots coach was fined instead.

It is extremely unclear how any of this protected Bill Belichick’s reputation. It is even less clear how then speaking about doing this in a docuseries wouldn’t undo whatever previous protection was done. If Robert Kraft was truly trying to protect Bill Belichick in 2007, he certainly did not seem to care about doing so while this docuseries was being made.

Disadvantage, Belichick

Belichick is put in an extremely difficult situation during the filming of the docuseries. Unlike others who can speak freely about their feelings and memories, Belichick was still employed by the New England Patriots while this was being filmed.

I asked “The Dynasty” director Matthew Hamachek about this imbalance to Belichick’s disadvantage. Hamachek had said about 70 people were interviewed for the series. I asked how many interviewees were employed by the New England Patriots while the interviews were being conducted.

“Less than five,” Hamachek responded.

The only non-Kraft employees shown so far have been Bill Belichick and Robyn Glaser. I wonder if Belichick would still stoically bite his tongue recounting certain aspects of his tenure if the interviews were conducted after he had “parted ways” with the franchise.

It has been noted by some in the Boston media that Belichick was reportedly not as generous with his time as others. I have to ask, why would he have been? He was not able to speak freely at the time, and the focus seemed to be on how horrible he was. In seven years (2001-to-2007) the New England Patriots won three Super Bowls and had the first 16-0 season in NFL history. Somehow 25% of coverage for that timespan is devoted to Spygate. Sprinkle in the owner calling the head coach a shmuck while claiming to want to protect said coach’s reputation.

Parting Ways

Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots “parted ways” following the 2023 season. This docuseries makes it quite apparent Robert Kraft was planning to do so before the season even started. No chance the Patriots owner makes these comments about a man he planned to continue working with.

Kraft met the media alongside Belichick at a press conference following the firing of the winningest coach of the Super Bowl Era. All the right things were said.

“The man standing to my left brought the leadership and coaching skills that were needed to make the type of unprecedented success that we have had possible,” lauded Kraft. “Coach Belichick will forever be celebrated as a legendary sports icon in New England.”

It is tough for New England to celebrate a disloyal, unfair, schmuck though. Those are all descriptions of Bill Belichick from “The Dynasty” to date. And from what I’ve been told, the worst is yet to come. Hard to fathom these episodes being aired with Bill Belichick still employed by the Patriots. It is one thing to know one’s former employer badmouths them. It is quite another to have to walk into the office and face that co-worker daily.

Seems Robert Kraft knew while he spoke that would not be an issue for him and Bill Belichick. The New England Patriots owner cannot bear the burden of everything that is said or shown in “The Dynasty.” He is, however, responsible for what he says. What Kraft says makes it hard to imagine Bill Belichick coaching New England in 2024 was ever truly on the table.

Award-winning blogger, Dan's work has also been featured on Fox Sports, Boston Metro, Barstool Sports, MLB.com, and many other outlets.

Patriots News in Your Inbox

Enter your email address to sign-up and get our posts sent directly to your inbox!