Patriots coach Bill Belichick is speaking out after a recent comment about the team’s past sparked pushback from one of its most notable alumni.
Days after Belichick cited “the last 25 years” The long-time coach explained Wednesday why New England fans should feel hopeful about the future. The Boston Globe.
“We’re not resting on our past laurels; that’s not the message to the team or the fans,” Belichick stated.
“We have never operated that way and aren’t now.”
Belichick’s reference to the past caught former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi off guard.
During an appearance Tuesday on ESPN’s “Get Up,” the three-time Super Bowl champion — who played for the Patriots from 1996 to 2008 — said Belichick’s take is “off-message.”
“I don’t know how many times I’ve been in meetings with Coach Belichick and the very first meeting is, ‘I don’t care about anything in the past.’ We win Super Bowls, ‘last year doesn’t matter.’ Pro Bowls don’t matter, All-Pros don’t matter. ‘Everything you’ve done last year doesn’t matter, fellas. It’s about who we are going forward,’” Bruschi claimed, According to NESN.
Bruschi incorporated the approach of Belichick, who won six Super Bowls from New England. “was surprising to me.”
“This is what the good teams do. Players hold coaches accountable also when they get off-message. Right now, Coach Belichick is off-message,” Bruschi spoke.
“That is something that his players shouldn’t hear — that he is basing some optimism to fans on ‘what I’ve done the last 25 years.’ I don’t know if I’ve ever heard Bill mention something like that in terms of his whole body of work. It was surprising to me.”
The Patriots made their last appearance at the Super Bowl in February 2019. In that time, New England’s then-quarterback Tom Brady won 13-3 against the Los Angeles Rams.
Brady left the Patriots on March 2020, and won his seventh Super Bowl with Tampa Bay in February 2021.
The Patriots have only reached the postseason once after Brady’s exit, in what was a wild-card loss to the Bills in January 2022.
New England was third in the AFC East at 8-9 last season.
Belichick said Monday there’s “a lot of work to do” Between now and September
“Long way to go,” Belichick during the NFL owners’ meetings in Phoenix, According to NESN.
“It’s March. We play in September. There’s a long way to go, a lot of work to do.”
As for quarterback Mac Jones, who is entering his third season in New England, Belichick would not commit to the former Alabama product as the Patriots’ starter.
Elsewhere, Patriots owner Robert Kraft lauded Jones, who struggled in his sophomore season as Matt Patricia and Joe Judge took over the offense after Josh McDaniels left to become the Raiders’ head coach.
“I think we experimented with some things last year that frankly didn’t work when it came to him, in my opinion. We made changes that I think put him in a good position to excel,” Kraft.
The Patriots hired Bill O’Brien as their new offensive coordinator in January.
It’s been an interesting week for Belichick and Kraft, Tom E. Curran from NBC Sports Boston Recently, the relationship between them was described as follows: “icy” And “wary.”
“It’s interesting, because I watched them last week at the Devin McCourty retirement ceremony sitting next to each other, and there was an embrace at the beginning. But when they put a microphone in front of them, they are putting their agendas out there in very specific ways,” Curran stated earlier this week.
“The non-committal verbiage (from Belichick) around Mac when you know that Robert is laying at your feet blame for Mac failing last year is probably the biggest wishbone in all of this. So, I think they’re wary of each other, and they’re kind of peeing on their territory.”