Level of Confidence in Direction of the Patriots Franchise

How confident are you that the Patriots are on their way to being legitimate contenders?

  • Very confident in where things are headed. In BB I trust!

    Votes: 24 7.0%
  • Confident that they'll figure it out but there is much work to be done.

    Votes: 94 27.2%
  • Cautiously optimistic but admittedly not too sure anymore.

    Votes: 81 23.5%
  • A little pessimistic given the QB situation and other factors.

    Votes: 73 21.2%
  • This team is going to suck for a while but will eventually pull through.

    Votes: 43 12.5%
  • This team will not contend again this decade. Abort ship!

    Votes: 18 5.2%
  • Ha - I'm not a Patriots fan and am enjoying every bit of this season!

    Votes: 12 3.5%

  • Total voters
    345

lexrageorge

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The Steelers have managed to figure it out.
Including the 2001 season:

Steelers: 14 playoff appearances, 7 playoff misses, 2 Lombardis, current record of 2-5.

Patriots: 18 playoff appearances, 3 playoff DNQ's, 6 Lombardis, current record of 3-4

Not sure what the Steelers managed to figure out that the Pats did not.
 

brendan f

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It's hard for me to answer this right now because I think Belichick had one of his worst coaching performances ever last night. If he had plans to pull Mac, fine, but to do it right after Mac made the awful pass only exacerbated the hornets' nest surrounding the QB situation. Horrible timing. The Bears' offense was geared toward QB runs the entire night yet the defense rarely found him. That's on the coach. Bill still obviously has some amazing traits, but the conservatism of his in-game decisions (if there's any question, punt or kick a FG), his baffling handing of the QB situation, and his inability to make in-game adjustments are getting hard to watch. He was clearly getting out-coached last night, and never found an answer.
His drafting is looking better of late but how much of that had to do with Kraft stepping in and (at least according to some reports) demanding that Bill begin relying on support people to help inform his drafting? It's hard to know. I have confidence that he can keep the team in the B- to B+ range (which is still pretty good) but I'm less confident he has the ability to do more than that.
 

lexrageorge

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His drafting is looking better of late but how much of that had to do with Kraft stepping in and (at least according to some reports) demanding that Bill begin relying on support people to help inform his drafting? It's hard to know. I have confidence that he can keep the team in the B- to B+ range (which is still pretty good) but I'm less confident he has the ability to do more than that.
What are these reports? Because they sound like total bullshit to me.
 

McBride11

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What are these reports? Because they sound like total bullshit to me.
I look forward to the report Kraft told BB to draft Brady at 199 and then bench the 100M$ Bledsoe...

I voted confident but work needs to be done. The last few draft classes have been great. Lot of cap space opening. The best coach in the NFL

There has been a brain drain last few years, but of course there is always the counter argument, few of the former coaches had great success - was it all BB all along?

Oline, secondary, RBs, DL (mostly) look top notch. LBs have a lot of work to be done.

Of course the biggest question is QB in the modern NFL. More ink has been spilled in the last 3 weeks on Mac v Zappe than Brady in 20 years (besides trolls).

I don't know the answer to the QB question. Hey since TB12 is gonna be single, bring him home for 1 last ride! Mac looked promising last year, less so this year. Zappe had a couple good games against weak pass D. Team has to evaluate what they have in practice and make a decision.

I think BB is the guy to take this forward, even with TB12, teams don't remain the best team in the league for 20 years without an excellent GM / HC. We have been spoiled

@j-man thoughts about Vrabel coming back are interesting. I could get behind that in a few years. But I also feel baby BB, MP / Judge, or McDaniels have a more inside lane
 

8slim

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Funny how that didn't apply to Brady, though. Should he have also been QB for life?
I imagine a lot of people would’ve been fine with that. I would have.

Bill, incorrectly, thought that Brady couldn’t fulfill on his desire to play deep into his 40s.

I was someone who was also fine with running back Pierce and Garnett because I love them so much. Danny Ainge knew better than me, and it has paid off handsomely to let them go.

Sometimes you get it right, sometimes wrong.
 

McBride11

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Funny how that didn't apply to Brady, though. Should he have also been QB for life?
Physical attributes, especially those of people playing at the highest level, decline more quickly than a person using their brain. I'm willing to wager most SoSHers here have lost a step or 3 athletically while their mental attributes continue to be strong,.

BB made an educated guess based upon NFL player aging and Brady's age. Look, what Brady has done at QB is unprecedented. And honestly not likely to be repeated, well, for as long as the NFL lasts. BB was considering the future, thinking he wanted to make a strong team post his retirement. Losing TB12, who was still a top 5 QB before the end sucks, but I am not sure you can fault BB for that. Milloy had a couple good years in Buffalo post departure. AV had many good years. JC Jackson has looked a shell of himself. Put spending the money on AV vs getting Ghost and spreading money around, I side with Ghost for team building.

Brady's salary jumps from ~25m to ~40m, that is a lot less depth that can be accrued. (also personal conspiracy - Brady was seeing some writing on wall and wanted to max salary and not take discount anymore). BB realized the team had many holes / vets aging out.

Literally no coach has been this successful or good over 20 years as a HC then add in BB time as DC. Guy is a football savant. Perfect? no!. But if wants to coach into his 70s/80s, I am all for it.
 

FL4WL3SS

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Including the 2001 season:

Steelers: 14 playoff appearances, 7 playoff misses, 2 Lombardis, current record of 2-5.

Patriots: 18 playoff appearances, 3 playoff DNQ's, 6 Lombardis, current record of 3-4

Not sure what the Steelers managed to figure out that the Pats did not.
What are you talking about? I responded to a post about the 49ers ineptitude since their run in the 80s and 90s with the Steelers as a counterpoint. As in, if the Steelers can keep trucking on, so can the Patriots.
 

Salva135

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Literally no coach has been this successful or good over 20 years as a HC then add in BB time as DC. Guy is a football savant. Perfect? no!. But if wants to coach into his 70s/80s, I am all for it.
And literally no other coach has had Tom Brady for 20 years. Posts like these make me think there are still some people clutching to the idea that BB is going to keep the good times rolling somehow, as if he's the main catalyst. Those times ended the minute Brady walked out the door, and unless they find a QB, it's going to be BB as just another guy coaching just another team until he packs it up. If you want that, that's fine, I just wonder how this will sit with the fans and ownership.
 

twibnotes

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And literally no other coach has had Tom Brady for 20 years. Posts like these make me think there are still some people clutching to the idea that BB is going to keep the good times rolling somehow, as if he's the main catalyst. Those times ended the minute Brady walked out the door, and unless they find a QB, it's going to be BB as just another guy coaching just another team until he packs it up. If you want that, that's fine, I just wonder how this will sit with the fans and ownership.
This.

Not only was Brady a transcendent player but for many years his contract was cheap relative to his value, which was an enormous advantage in a salary cap league.
 

mauf

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I voted “a little pessimistic.”

The NFL Draft is a crapshoot. I never blamed BB for the poor drafts in the late 2010s, but by the same token, I don’t think the last two drafts reflect some new approach that can be sustained.

I believe BB is still an elite coach but think the current roster is easily bottom-10 talent-wise, maybe bottom-5. Do they have an above average position group? They certainly have a few bad ones.

The Pats have $54M in cap space next offseason but will have a lot of holes to fill. They won’t be able to build a roster like this year’s Eagles or the 2019 Niners that’s strong enough to carry a middling QB who just needs to avoid screwing things up.

So we really need Jones or Zappe to be good — not TB12 good, but more than a game manager. I wish I felt better about that coming to pass.
 

McBride11

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And literally no other coach has had Tom Brady for 20 years. Posts like these make me think there are still some people clutching to the idea that BB is going to keep the good times rolling somehow, as if he's the main catalyst. Those times ended the minute Brady walked out the door, and unless they find a QB, it's going to be BB as just another guy coaching just another team until he packs it up. If you want that, that's fine, I just wonder how this will sit with the fans and ownership.
Who would you like as coach then?
 

Eddie Jurak

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Bill Belichick is 70. How much longer do we think he is going to coach?

QB position aside, this team looks further away than a one-offseason rebuild can fix. I mean, maybe they have a good offseason and manage to sneak into a wild card slot next year.

But in terms of serious contending for a championship? I think they will need a longer rebuild. Is BB still doing this job at 72 through 74? Maybe. I would have expressed certainty that Tom Brady would be done years before he turned 45, yet here he is.

And then there is the QB position.

There is a precedent for BB executing a quick turnaround with this team. The 1999 Pats were 8-8. BB came in in 2000 and the team bottomed out at 5-11. Then they signed a bunch of FAs and won the Superbowl in 2001.

But I don't think that example applies to the current situation, for 2 reasons.

First, BB lucked into solving his QB problem in the 6th round in 2000. It wasn't pure luck - every other team had multiple opportunities to draft Brady and did not - but there was a heavy dose of luck there. In any case, neither Mac Jones nor Bailey Zappe is Brady. The odds that either is a franchise QB are pretty low.

Second, when BB came in in 2000, he was an innovator who was light-years ahread of the league as a whole. Not so anymore. This is not a "lost his fastball" argument. This is more like "BB invented the fastball in 2000, but now 85% of the league throws it and many coaches and GMs throw it almost as well as he ever did." The early BB Pats teams profited greatly by the relative stupidity of the rest of the league and that gap has been closed over the years.

Bottom line, whether BB has enough time left to turn this team around is an open question and I am skeptical.
 

jmanny24

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Who would you like as coach then?
I know this is sacrilege but maybe somebody who isn't 67-71 as a head coach without Tom Brady. Brady proved he can win at a high level without bb, still waiting for the reverse. If he's still a great coach than either his coaching skills have waned or his talent evaluation is bad because on the whole the roster is bad. And yes I fully expect all sorts of yeah buts and other reasons this isn't true but the bottom line is 67-71
 

BaseballJones

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I know this is sacrilege but maybe somebody who isn't 67-71 as a head coach without Tom Brady. Brady proved he can win at a high level without bb, still waiting for the reverse. If he's still a great coach than either his coaching skills have waned or his talent evaluation is bad because on the whole the roster is bad. And yes I fully expect all sorts of yeah buts and other reasons this isn't true but the bottom line is 67-71
What do you mean by “high level”? He won 10 games in a season with the freaking Cleveland Browns. He won 11 games with freaking Matt Cassel. He won 10 games last year with a rookie QB.

No he hasn’t won a super bowl without Tom Brady. So is that what you mean?
 

BaseballJones

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Also… how many coaches have a really good record without a really good (doesn’t have to be Brady) QB? I don’t mean for just a single season (because BB has those too). I mean overall, for a decent period of time.
 

brendan f

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What are these reports? Because they sound like total bullshit to me.
https://www.boston.com/sports/new-england-patriots/2021/04/05/report-bill-belichick-robert-kraft-draft/

The report from Breer never specifically said Kraft stepped in, though reading between the lines, it sounds like Kraft at the very least had a conversation with Bill about the draft and relying on more people. Kraft's quote to the media was "I've seen a different approach this year," so he clearly is noting a change in philosophy. It certainly seemed like Groh had a large part of the decision-making process in this year's draft. Unless you completely distrust Kraft, it's not bullshit.
 

Silverdude2167

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QB position aside, this team looks further away than a one-offseason rebuild can fix. I mean, maybe they have a good offseason and manage to sneak into a wild card slot next year.
This is where I feel like I am seeing a different team than most.
If (a massive if), Mac or Zappe figure it out this year the team is in pretty good shape. Right now I would say they need to improve the o-line, d-line, and LB core to be a contender. With the draft and FA money, they should be able to do that this off-season (talking like 4 players + some depth pieces).

It all is going to come back to the QB position obviously and they are fucked no matter what till they find a good QB, but beyond that, you can easily see a team that is close to ready to compete.

Also, all this Brady talk is insane (not referring to the quoted post).
We saw him in 2019, he is only winning when he has a great team around him (no offense to him, but he is old), put him on these Pats teams for the last few years and he is probably still married...
 

fiskful of dollars

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Also… how many coaches have a really good record without a really good (doesn’t have to be Brady) QB? I don’t mean for just a single season (because BB has those too). I mean overall, for a decent period of time.
Great point. Gibbs is the only HC I can think of that remotely comes close. His QB talent was there (Theismann, Williams were legit pros, Rypien had 1 magical year) but not elite, IMO.
 

lexrageorge

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I voted "little pessimistic given the QB..."

I'll start by noting that the Patriots look like a thoroughly mediocre team, and one of the characteristics of a mediocre team in the NFL is that there are some days the team will look unstoppable and others where they will look as bad as a 2-win team. They have some good players, and hopefully some rising stars among their rookie/sophomore class in Stevenson, Barmore, Strange, the Jones "twins", etc. But also a lot of holes to fill. But the biggest question is in the undoubtedly most important position on the field, the QB.

It's unclear to me what they have in Mac Jones. Sophomore slump? Adjusting to new coaching/system? Or simply a young player that has hit his ceiling? To be fair, it can be a 2-3 year process to know for sure. As noted by other posters, the Pats have until after next season to make a decision if Mac is worthy of an expensive 5th year option. But as I am being asked to grade the team's prospects today, I can only look at the current trend for Mac, which has been underwhelming to say the least. And I'm a fan of Mac.

Fortunes can change quickly in the NFL. The Eagles had 4 straight playoff DNQ's prior to winning the Super Bowl (behind Carson Wentz and Nick Foles), and had a 4-win season two years ago. It's the nature of the sport, and it doesn't require tanking to the #1 draft pick to improve either. The Pats have had what appear to be 2 straight solid to very good drafts, and an OK draft the prior year (Duggar looks like a keeper for sure). But an upper echelon QB (or even a QB like Foles that catches lightning in a bottle for half a season) makes the rebuild that much easier.

Bottom line is that if Mac can turn things around and develop into a top 10 or 15 QB over the next season and a half, then there's reason to be optimistic again.

To me, the bigger longer term issue than Bill's coaching longevity is what happens in the ownership box. There are a lot of possible directions the franchise can take once Bob Kraft takes a seat at the highest skybox. Someone noted the 49'ers earlier, and they are a cautionary tale of what can happen when ownership turns into a real life tale of The Succession.
 

mauf

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Also… how many coaches have a really good record without a really good (doesn’t have to be Brady) QB? I don’t mean for just a single season (because BB has those too). I mean overall, for a decent period of time.
Brian Billick fits the bill. Also, Shula had some good years, including a Super Bowl appearance, in the interregnum between the Griese and Marino eras.

The fact that I only had two examples, and that I had to reach back 40 years for one of them, sorta proves your point.

Edit: I’ll disagree with @fiskful of dollars on Gibbs because I think Theismann and Rypien were “really good,” at least for a time.
 

lexrageorge

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https://www.boston.com/sports/new-england-patriots/2021/04/05/report-bill-belichick-robert-kraft-draft/

The report from Breer never specifically said Kraft stepped in, though reading between the lines, it sounds like Kraft at the very least had a conversation with Bill about the draft and relying on more people. Kraft's quote to the media was "I've seen a different approach this year," so he clearly is noting a change in philosophy. It certainly seemed like Groh had a large part of the decision-making process in this year's draft. Unless you completely distrust Kraft, it's not bullshit.
You are making a huge leap of logic that is simply not supported by those reports.

Did Belichick change his approach to the draft? Don't know for sure, but Caserio left, so something was going to change no matter what. Belichick had plenty of reasons to elevate Groh other than Kraft telling Bill to do so.
 

McBride11

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I know this is sacrilege but maybe somebody who isn't 67-71 as a head coach without Tom Brady. Brady proved he can win at a high level without bb, still waiting for the reverse. If he's still a great coach than either his coaching skills have waned or his talent evaluation is bad because on the whole the roster is bad. And yes I fully expect all sorts of yeah buts and other reasons this isn't true but the bottom line is 67-71
So again, who would you like as coach or GM? If one is going to raise issues, they should also offer a solution or alternative. Same still applies to @Salva135 who has been ‘without tb12 the world is ending’ across multiple threads.
 

Jungleland

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This is where I feel like I am seeing a different team than most.
If (a massive if), Mac or Zappe figure it out this year the team is in pretty good shape. Right now I would say they need to improve the o-line, d-line, and LB core to be a contender. With the draft and FA money, they should be able to do that this off-season (talking like 4 players + some depth pieces).

It all is going to come back to the QB position obviously and they are fucked no matter what till they find a good QB, but beyond that, you can easily see a team that is close to ready to compete.
I agree with this for the most part. Tackle, speed at LB, and figuring out QB away from being a team I’d expect to make the playoffs and win at least one game provided Belichick coaching. Obviously at least 2 if not all 3 of those positions are hard to fill without serious investment. But this team is in a better place as far as young talent than it’s been in a few years. (Honestly, they should already be better than last year’s team, which was legitimately decent.)
 

Cellar-Door

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Somewhere in the middle. I think it's still generally a well run franchise, they have drafted very well of late, but with no clear QB.

Beyond the QB my other concern is the lack of replacement of brain drain. The Patriots haven't been adding outside young coaches enough, it's all people's relatives and former coaches here who tanked somewhere else. Now, maybe that's just a 1 year thing after McDaniels left, but if it's an indication Bill is becoming less willing to listen to new people and ideas it's a franchise sinker.
 

brendan f

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ou are making a huge leap of logic that is simply not supported by those reports.

Did Belichick change his approach to the draft? Don't know for sure, but Caserio left, so something was going to change no matter what. Belichick had plenty of reasons to elevate Groh other than Kraft telling Bill to do so.
I am drawing an inference based on the reporting that's available. The inference I'm making is far from a logical leap. If you think that Kraft came out to the media and expressed his dissatisfaction with recent drafting, noted a change in approach and literally had no conversation with Bill about it during that time, I think that's naive. I certainly wouldn't expect Kraft to come out and say he had a closed door meeting with Belichick and wanted changes in his approach to drafting. Also, I wasn't saying that Kraft asked Bill to promote Groh, only that he was empowering those around him more. That's from Breer's reporting, not from me.

Beyond the QB my other concern is the lack of replacement of brain drain. The Patriots haven't been adding outside young coaches enough, it's all people's relatives and former coaches here who tanked somewhere else.
Good point.
 

BigJimEd

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https://www.boston.com/sports/new-england-patriots/2021/04/05/report-bill-belichick-robert-kraft-draft/

The report from Breer never specifically said Kraft stepped in, though reading between the lines, it sounds like Kraft at the very least had a conversation with Bill about the draft and relying on more people. Kraft's quote to the media was "I've seen a different approach this year," so he clearly is noting a change in philosophy. It certainly seemed like Groh had a large part of the decision-making process in this year's draft. Unless you completely distrust Kraft, it's not bullshit.
Agreed with @lexrageorge that you seemed to be reading into the article what you want to read.

As for Groh, do you realize he was promoted this year? As Director of Player Personnel, he is obviously going to be heavily involved in the draft. That report is from 2021 when Ziegler took over for Caserio who had been there a long time so there would obviously be changes. This year Groh likely made some of his own changes. They did still have a small draft room though.

Of course, many were surprised Belichick promoted Groh over the more experienced Wolf who interviewed for a couple other GM jobs. The reports were that Belichick was very high on Groh. The Patriots were also able to keep Wolf giving him a newly created position of Director of Scouting.


As for the subject of the thread, it all comes down to QB. I think they have some good young talent. They have some weak spots but are not far off from true contending if, if, they can get good, consistent, above-average QB play. Road will be tougher within division particularly with Buffalo though who looks poised to be among the top teams for the next several years.
 
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Toe Nash

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Unless you're the Bills with Josh Allen or the Chiefs with Patrick Mahomes (I'm still not totally sold on Jalen Hurts and Philly), which franchise REALLY, honestly, has the right to be super optimistic about the future? The Chargers? They have a really good QB but they never seem to get there. Cincinnati? They have loads of offensive talent, but they lost to the crappy Steelers at home and the window when their elite talent is affordable is not big. Having Burrow on a $50m a year deal is quite different than having him on a rookie deal, ya know?

Who else really should be optimistic? Dallas? Ugh. The Giants? Please. Nobody in the North or South. The 49ers? Maybe, but they're kind of all in now and their QB of the future is a GIGANTIC question mark. AFC....Denver? No. LAC? Just mentioned them. LV? Ehhhh....not really. Nobody in the South unless you really think that Lawrence is the next megastar. Tennessee? The days of Henry are soon coming to a close, and Tannehill can't carry the load, and then what? Baltimore? Maybe, if you think Jackson is the real deal. Miami? Sure they have talent but Tua is also a huge question mark.
I disagree with this. Any team with a franchise QB should be optimistic about the future because you can rebuild the rest of the roster in just a few years. The Bills and Chiefs are the best but some of the Chiefs' core is getting pretty old and the Bengals...made the super bowl last year?

Your dismissal of lots of these teams is nuts. Lamar Jackson is a literal MVP. Hurts is 4th in the NFL in ANY/A and has just 2 picks. Dallas has star talent and Dak is still good. I don't love Cousins but the Vikings are solid.

You say the Bills and Chiefs are "locked in" but if that means no one else should be optimistic I don't see it.
 

brendan f

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Agreed with @lexrageorge that you seemed to be reading into the article what you want to read.

As for Groh, do you realize he was promoted this year? As Director of Player Personnel, he is obviously going to be heavily involved in the draft. That report is from 2021 when Ziegler took over for Caserio who had been there a long time so there would obviously be changes. This year Groh likely made some of his own changes.
No, I'm not reading into the article. I'm reading the article:

"With that in mind, Breer suggests the change in approach Kraft mentions revolves around Belichick opening up the floor to more voices to weigh in on prospects, 'not just to his top guys, [new director of player personnel] Dave Ziegler and [scouting consultant] Eliot Wolf, but also those rising through the organization, like national scout Matt Groh.'”
 

BaseballJones

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I disagree with this. Any team with a franchise QB should be optimistic about the future because you can rebuild the rest of the roster in just a few years. The Bills and Chiefs are the best but some of the Chiefs' core is getting pretty old and the Bengals...made the super bowl last year?

Your dismissal of lots of these teams is nuts. Lamar Jackson is a literal MVP. Hurts is 4th in the NFL in ANY/A and has just 2 picks. Dallas has star talent and Dak is still good. I don't love Cousins but the Vikings are solid.

You say the Bills and Chiefs are "locked in" but if that means no one else should be optimistic I don't see it.
I wasn't intending to suggest that teams shouldn't have some optimism. I'm talking about long term success kind of optimism. I mean, let's go through the list again.

Lamar Jackson is terrific, a former MVP. But what have the Ravens done under him? With him and a widely-acclaimed terrific coach and front office, here's what Baltimore has done:

14-2 (yay..that's awesome) but lost in the divisional round
11-5 (big step down), again lost in the divisional round
8-9, missed the playoffs
4-3 so far and not exactly looking like world beaters

What about Baltimore tells you that this team is set up for championship success?

Minnesota? Really? Cousins posts good numbers but they've never won ANYTHING with him at the helm. Five seasons with Cousins at QB:

8-7-1, missed playoffs
10-6, lost in the divisional round
7-9, missed playoffs
8-9, missed playoffs
5-1, doing well so far this year

I mean, 3 of the last 4 years with him at the helm, they've not even made the playoffs. The one time they did they got bounced in the divisional round. What championship hopes does this franchise really have, honestly?

Cincinnati...well, Burrow is terrific, no denying that. Here's the run under Burrow.

4-11-1, missed playoffs - rookie year, totally deserves to be cut some slack
10-7, went to the Super Bowl - yes amazing, but that was a pretty magical run they went on, let's be honest, and not really a model for sustained success
4-3, doing meh so far this year...definitely better the last few weeks

This is one team where I think they have some optimism, but as I said in my first post on this, it soon will be the case that their amazing skill players will cost HUGE dollars. Chase will command $20m a year when he hits free agency. Higgins will be close. And Burrow? Dude will, in a couple of years, be commanding a $50 million a year salary. It's a lot harder to build a winning team when your QB and top two WRs are making $90 million instead of the $19.1 million worth of cap space they're currently taking up. Same players, but they're soon to be making nearly 5x the amount of money, and that's a crap ton of money that can't be spent elsewhere.

I already said that *I* am not sold on Hurts and Philly. I could be proven wrong about that, but I'm still a Hurts skeptic right now. If he proves me wrong, he proves me wrong, and I can live with that.
 

rodderick

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Physical attributes, especially those of people playing at the highest level, decline more quickly than a person using their brain. I'm willing to wager most SoSHers here have lost a step or 3 athletically while their mental attributes continue to be strong,.

BB made an educated guess based upon NFL player aging and Brady's age. Look, what Brady has done at QB is unprecedented. And honestly not likely to be repeated, well, for as long as the NFL lasts. BB was considering the future, thinking he wanted to make a strong team post his retirement. Losing TB12, who was still a top 5 QB before the end sucks, but I am not sure you can fault BB for that. Milloy had a couple good years in Buffalo post departure. AV had many good years. JC Jackson has looked a shell of himself. Put spending the money on AV vs getting Ghost and spreading money around, I side with Ghost for team building.

Brady's salary jumps from ~25m to ~40m, that is a lot less depth that can be accrued. (also personal conspiracy - Brady was seeing some writing on wall and wanted to max salary and not take discount anymore). BB realized the team had many holes / vets aging out.

Literally no coach has been this successful or good over 20 years as a HC then add in BB time as DC. Guy is a football savant. Perfect? no!. But if wants to coach into his 70s/80s, I am all for it.
The success of QBs who play well into their 40s is pretty comparable to HCs who coach well into their 70s. There's about as much reason to believe Bill will be an outlier as there was for Brady.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
25,467
This is where I feel like I am seeing a different team than most.
If (a massive if), Mac or Zappe figure it out this year the team is in pretty good shape. Right now I would say they need to improve the o-line, d-line, and LB core to be a contender. With the draft and FA money, they should be able to do that this off-season (talking like 4 players + some depth pieces).

It all is going to come back to the QB position obviously and they are fucked no matter what till they find a good QB, but beyond that, you can easily see a team that is close to ready to compete.
I totally agree with this. If you gave THIS team, say, Justin Herbert, the offense would absolutely be piling up points at a crazy good rate, which would also help the defense considerably. If they figure out QB, this team would be a really solid contender RIGHT NOW.
 

BigJimEd

Member
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Jan 4, 2002
4,500
No, I'm not reading into the article. I'm reading the article:

"With that in mind, Breer suggests the change in approach Kraft mentions revolves around Belichick opening up the floor to more voices to weigh in on prospects, 'not just to his top guys, [new director of player personnel] Dave Ziegler and [scouting consultant] Eliot Wolf, but also those rising through the organization, like national scout Matt Groh.'”
So what in that quote (which is Breer's thoughts) says anything about Kraft stepping in? Kraft's not even mentioned in that part.

The change Breer talks about is Groh who Belichick promoted a year later over one of "his top guys" which to me doesn't seem like a huge change. Just that he valued Groh. Even if it is a major change in philosophy, you still haven't provided evidence that Kraft forced it or was part of it.
 

Rudy's Curve

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Jul 4, 2006
2,358
Man you’re quick, I just changed it
Ha, just happened to catch it at the right time. Even with Keenum, that team was really good - they led the league in fewest points allowed. They were just spent after the Minneapolis Miracle and ran into an Eagles juggernaut.
 

Shaky Walton

Member
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Nov 20, 2019
804
My confidence level in Bill, as HC, is at its all time low. His handling of the QB situation and his coaching staff has been abysmal.

Amazing to think that I now rank the Bruins and Celtics organizations ahead of the Patriots in terms of decision making!! Especially the Bruins, who have been guided poorly for a minute.

Bill owes a big thank you to Chaim Bloom, who I regard as only a notch ahead of Grady Little as to baseball acumen.
 

Toe Nash

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Jul 28, 2005
5,733
02130
I wasn't intending to suggest that teams shouldn't have some optimism. I'm talking about long term success kind of optimism. I mean, let's go through the list again.
Eh, this might be semantics, but if this is your criteria I don't think the Bills or Chiefs should be that optimistic about "long term success" either. The Chiefs lost Hill and Kelce is going to be done soon. They have a lot of UFAs after this year without much space so they will have some tough decisions, and they had better hope this year's draft picks hit. Maybe they can win with Mahomes and not much else, maybe not. The Bills are perhaps better set up for a few years but they have to restructure or cut a bunch of guys this offseason as the Allen contract hit balloons to >$40m.

There is not much difference between the two teams above and someone like the Bengals or Ravens other than how many good players they have under rookie deals.

You always have to keep drafting well to have sustained success but you always have a chance if you have a good QB, and if your team sucks outside of QB you can remake the roster quickly. If you have some bad drafts your team will suffer but if you have a top QB you can pretty quickly rebuild.
 

luckiestman

Son of the Harpy
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
33,449
My confidence level in Bill, as HC, is at its all time low. His handling of the QB situation and his coaching staff has been abysmal.

Amazing to think that I now rank the Bruins and Celtics organizations ahead of the Patriots in terms of decision making!! Especially the Bruins, who have been guided poorly for a minute.
I really disagree on the coaching point. I think the coaching is excellent. I can’t think of many teams that Mac would look better on because I am not that high on his tools. The Chiefs and….maybe the Rams.

The team building? They are 20-20 since losing Brady. Doesn’t seem that bad.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
25,467
Eh, this might be semantics, but if this is your criteria I don't think the Bills or Chiefs should be that optimistic about "long term success" either. The Chiefs lost Hill and Kelce is going to be done soon. They have a lot of UFAs after this year without much space so they will have some tough decisions, and they had better hope this year's draft picks hit. Maybe they can win with Mahomes and not much else, maybe not. The Bills are perhaps better set up for a few years but they have to restructure or cut a bunch of guys this offseason as the Allen contract hit balloons to >$40m.
The Chiefs have adapted quite nicely to life without Hill, and Kelce is showing literally no signs of "being done soon". But I agree about their overall team payroll situation, and I said years back that things will get a lot tougher once Mahomes is making huge money. It's just that he is SOOOOO good. Like so so so so good, that he can make up a lot of that. Same with Allen. He's incredible. A whole level or two above guys like Herbert and Burrow (even if Burrow can put up crazy stats).

There is not much difference between the two teams above and someone like the Bengals or Ravens other than how many good players they have under rookie deals.

You always have to keep drafting well to have sustained success but you always have a chance if you have a good QB, and if your team sucks outside of QB you can remake the roster quickly. If you have some bad drafts your team will suffer but if you have a top QB you can pretty quickly rebuild.
One of the things that makes sustained success so hard is that, as NE found out, you're always drafting later in rounds, and over time that depletes the talent on the team.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

Throw Momma From the Train
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May 20, 2003
36,235
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I don;t understand how this coaching staff cannot figure out how to stop a running QB. It's been a problem for years and they never, ever do anything about it. Watson, Jackson, Allen, and Fields have all destroyed them recently. It's BB's most confounding blind spot. And given the way the league is evolving, it's seriously holding back the team's success.
 

brendan f

Member
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Jan 13, 2019
340
e change Breer talks about is Groh who Belichick promoted a year later over one of "his top guys" which to me doesn't seem like a huge change. You lose a long time voice and there will be changes. Even if it is a major change in philosophy, you still haven't provided evidence that Kraft forced it.
You're right. My choice of wording was too strong. Breer's reporting seems based mostly on Kraft's statement, so It's certainly possible Bill realized his own mistakes and made changes based on recent draft failures. It's also very possible Kraft had words with Bill about the drafting and wanting to make improvements. We don't know for sure. I doubt there was a mandate from Kraft (too strong), but I also doubt there was no conversation (too weak). However, you are right that there is not clear evidence.
 

luckiestman

Son of the Harpy
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
33,449
I don;t understand how this coaching staff cannot figure out how to stop a running QB. It's been a problem for years and they never, ever do anything about it. Watson, Jackson, Allen, and Fields have all destroyed them recently. It's BB's most confounding blind spot. And given the way the league is evolving, it's seriously holding back the team's success.
There are not that many running QBs so if you build your team to stop most offenses you might have a leak somewhere. A similar critique used to be leveled against FSU defensive coordinator Mickey Andrew. His D could never stop good TEs. Well, how many college teams run their offense through their TE? This flaw never seemed to stop FSU from ending the season in the top 5 which they did for 10 years in a row or something like that.
 

Garshaparra

New Member
Feb 27, 2008
562
McCarver's Mushy Mouth
BB is clearly in the Shula/Noll/Landry camps here, legendary coaches in the SB era. What happened with each:

- Shula: retired at 66, 14 years after the 'Phins last SB appearance in 1982. His teams only had 1 losing season after that 1982 SB appearance, with Marino an all-time great QB at the helm, but never did win a championship
- Noll: retired at 59, 12 years after the Steelers' last SB appearance (with him as coach) in 1979. His teams were quite competitive until the mid-80's, and then mostly middling after that.
- Landry: retired (fired!) at 64, 11 years after the Cowboys last SB appearance (with him as coach). His teams were very competitive through the mid-80s, and then a disastrous 3-13 final season did him in.

This in mind, do we really think that BB would get the Landry treatment, only 4 years after the last SB appearance (and win!), and only 2 years into a true rebuild? His age and considerable recent success are the outliers, but I do think the perception is older people can still hack it in this day and age. IMHO, he should be given Shula-level rope, and leave when he's ready. That does mean a lot more confounding choices, and perhaps losing seasons, but if anyone's earned such treatment, it's Bill.
 

jmanny24

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Feb 6, 2003
664
What do you mean by “high level”? He won 10 games in a season with the freaking Cleveland Browns. He won 11 games with freaking Matt Cassel. He won 10 games last year with a rookie QB.

No he hasn’t won a super bowl without Tom Brady. So is that what you mean?
Yes was more so meant post Tb12 but he wasn't exactly great shakes in Cleveland either outside of 94
 

Silverdude2167

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Oct 9, 2006
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Amstredam
Yes was more so meant post Tb12 but he wasn't exactly great shakes in Cleveland either outside of 94
In Cleveland he rebuilt the team, went 11-5 made the playoffs and won a game and then was 3-1 before the owner announced he was moving the team and it all fell apart...

People who point to Cleveland as a strike against BB are either not aware of what happened there or are being intellectually dishonest...
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
25,467
In Cleveland he rebuilt the team, went 11-5 made the playoffs and won a game and then was 3-1 before the owner announced he was moving the team and it all fell apart...

People who point to Cleveland as a strike against BB are either not aware of what happened there or are being intellectually dishonest...
This. 100%.
 

luckiestman

Son of the Harpy
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
33,449
In Cleveland he rebuilt the team, went 11-5 made the playoffs and won a game and then was 3-1 before the owner announced he was moving the team and it all fell apart...

People who point to Cleveland as a strike against BB are either not aware of what happened there or are being intellectually dishonest...
They really need to watch Cleveland ‘95