So I’ve been slightly out of the loop this week, but from what I can gather, this week has pretty much turned into a referendum on the coaching tenure of Bill Belichick.
An ugly loss to Pittsburgh, coupled with seemingly questionable roster decisions, a shaky recent draft history and topped off by some off-the-field antics has apparently cause some in the region to call for the firing of Belichick.
Two local radio shows are leading the charge in this movement. 98.5’s Felger and Massarotti have been on this bandwagon for months, while Dennis and Callahan have leaped into the fray in the last week or so. Apparently the tipping point was Leigh Bodden. Gerry Callahan probably said “Leigh Bodden” a hundred times early this week. I would wager good money on the odds that Callahan had no idea who Leigh Bodden was prior to this week.
This is a topic for more detailed dicussion a bit later, but for now, here are some of the links from this morning.
Belichick, Brady comment on Edelman’s arrest – The courageous Jonathan Hall of WHDH grilled Belichick yesterday about the arrest of receiver Julian Edelman, and whether the coach has lost complete control of his team. I particularly enjoyed the final, supercilious paragraph of this report. “Kevin Faulk has experience with the law.” (I also believe the proper term is cited, not sighted.)
It’s always enjoyable when the news reporters come down to Gillette. I know the guy had a job to do, I know the questions, some of them, need to be asked, but confrontation is never going to work with Belichick.
Pressure’s on Tom Brady, offense – Karen Guregian says that the Patriots offense needs to find a way to deal with pressure.
Measuring the impact of Albert Haynesworth on the Patriots defense – Christopher Price looks at the good and bad from Albert Haynesworth.
Belichick defends cornerbacks performance – Tom E Curran has the coach saying the cornerback play wasn’t at the top of the list of problems against the Steelers.
Faulk focusing on the here and now – Mark Farinella has the running back not thinking about the Super Bowl against the Giants, or about his knee injury, but about what needs to be done right now.
Giant test for Wes Welker – Ian Rapoport’s notebook has the Giants confident that they can shut down Welker. The Globe notebook from Michael Vega has more on Belichick defending his corners. The Patriots Journal has more on Hall trying to get Belichick off his game. Rich Garven’s notebook has more on Haynesworth. The Enterprise notebook from Glen Farley has the team tight-lipped on the topic of Edelman.
Dale Sveum eyes 2nd chance in Boston – Gordon Edes looks at the former third base coach getting an interview to replace Terry Francona. More on Sveum from: Tim Britton | Peter Abraham | Scott Lauber | Maureen Mullen
Cubs, Sox wading into the same pool? – Lauber’s notebook says that the Cubs and Red Sox may consider some of the same people for their openings.
NBA lockout hits Big Baby hard – Jessica Camerato has Glen Davis talking about the lockout and his future in the NBA.
25 thoughts on “Belichick Referendum Week Continues…”
Gary did GUARANTEE that Jason Bay would wind up in New York. Unfortunately for GareBear he said it would be with the Yankees.
My personal GareBear fav: "Now that the Jets have signed Asomugha, how are the Pats going to beat them?!?!?!" The next day he signed with the Eagles… And Tanguay still wonders….
They want to be first. Felger and Mazz want to be able to say they were the first to say it is time for Bill Belichick to be replaced. They have no real evidence for this position…they just feel it because some things have not worked out perfectly. It is kind of like when the Pats win an ugly game 20-17 and then the mediots scream and yell about style points (unless the Pats beat the jets 20-17 then I am screaming about style points because I freakin hate the jets).
Bill Belichick has a Joe Paterno contract. He can stay as long as he wants regardless of results.The organization is incredibly well run with him in charge…is it perfect…no…but is it run better than the 31 other franchises…you betcha!
I honestly haven't heard F&M calling for BB to be dismissed. I agree they
project lots of hysteria, but the underlying message is that he's dropped the ball and that should be addressed, somehow. From my point of view they're right. Robert Kraft needs to call BB in on the carpet and ask him what's he doing and how do they fix it.
They have said repeatedly that BB the GM needs to be replaced. In the next breath they always say BB the coach is the greatest coach evah! Its all sardonic. Mazz has had a hair across his tuchas about the Pats from the moment he was assigned the Pats beat years ago at the Herald. Because of the way info was controlled his lack of access was completely foreign to him. As such he found the Pats beat to be a very difficult assignment and has been negative towards them ever since. Felger does not like BB simply because others do. So when they call for the GM to be replaced they know one cannot happen without the other. They do it to generate controversy…not because they have the skills or temperament to ask better questions or generate more intelligent sports chat.
On Thursday, They continued with this talk with Bert Brear(sp) around from NFLN on G+Z (usual spot). It's not that they're calling for his head but at least a DC or someone like Mangini back around because not only are the defensive picks been horrible, there is very little progress/development.
Yes, it's silly to call for Belichick's firing. Who would the media want, the headline grabbing Rob Ryan on Dallas who undercuts his head coach, Jason Garrett? Or one of the fist pumping Harbaugh's? The Pats are a contender under Belichick every year, even WITHOUT Brady.
That being said, the numerous whiffs in the draft on the defensive side of the ball, coupled with the whiffs in free agency (Haynesworth, Adalius Thomas, Bodden, Shaun Ellis, letting Samuel go) have simply added up. There is no debate to this. The Patriots now have a terrible reputation defensively in this league with no Rodney Harrison or Tedy Bruschi to use the flood of bulletin board material to their advantage. It has to be said the same thing is happening to the Colts, by the way.
They traded for Hayesworth.
BB needs to take off the GM hat and let someone who knows how to draft in this era of the game take over. It's not the early aughts anymore.
I'm pretty sure Bellichick still knows a thing or two about drafting. Gronkowski, Hernandez, Solder, Vollmer, and Chung are all pretty good players. Not to mention McCordy, who may yet turn it around this season. The drafts the past few years have been well above average and I have a ton of confidence in BB to draft quality players.
Notice something about all those pretty good players save one? They play on offense. Why aren't their defensive young guys progressing or in McCordy's [sic] (It's McCourty) case backsliding? Why are the free agents/trades not panning out?
Don't say the scheme because that vanilla soft zone they play should be easy for any player to pick up.
This is where Felger and his lapdog become absolutely unlistenable. When the Patriots won games earlier this season, Felger would open up every analysis of the game with "this win doesn't tell us anything." Of course as soon as the team loses — which they have done 2 times in 7 games — it says EVERYTHING to him. We know what he wants to see — which is the total implosion of the organization — and it's going to put him into a very strange place ultimately when he's on the flagship station of the team itself.
As Bruce said, the tenor of the talk is what's so unbelievable. It's as if this team is 0-7, not 5-2. It's like they haven't made the playoffs in years, when in fact they were 14-2 a year ago. The conversation is so far over into the other direction that it's basically to the point now where you learn nothing from these shows other than 99% of these media people hate the organization. I've heard Mike Reiss belittled all over the place in the last few days (even Lou Merloni called him "Belichick's Right Hand Man", not to mention Felger's oft-quoted "fifth Kraft child" or whatever it is he's referred to him as).
There's certainly a place for discussion of the team's defense and their draft — though it certainly looks like they nailed it a year ago — and Belichick has made some wacky moves at times that warrant debate if not outright criticism…but what's the end game? Bringing back Pete Carroll?
Something tells me that Felger's not going to be happy until we're back in the Hugh Millen era and we can hear him finally say "I told you so" after being wrong for so very long.
"but what's the end game? Bringing back Pete Carroll? "
Nice strawman, there.
George I think he WAS a "fan" back when some of the media wanted Drew Bledsoe back in at QB during the first Super Bowl run. I don't think he's in that same place these days.
Reiss actually has been very critical of the Patriots the last few weeks.
Not to be redundant, because you have all made similar points… but, it really is both unbelievable how the local media write/talk about this team, but even worse is how they mis-characterize the fans.
6 months ago, I may not have said this, but I really feel like Greg Bedard is the most on-point with his analysis. He can be critical, WHICH IS FINE, but he also lends some perspective. Tom Curran is not far behind, either.
Belichick deserves critisicms for drafts & free agent signings, absolutely. But how about one of these schmoes check other teams draft resumes and free agent scorecards?? They're not good. If drafting gems in the first 5 rounds every year were easy, they'd all do it. Then, he gets mocked for trading his draft picks for more picks… well, ask raider/redskin fans about who'd they rather have drafting for them.
And I LOVE when the locals start saying… 'the Pats drafted X and they could have had Y!' That's a parlor game that you can play EVERY round at least 15 times!
With all due fairness to Felger and Mazz, they never criticized Belichick as a coach. They just said he needed a stronger voice to debate him in the personnel department. They just didn't feel he was being challenged and was just surrounded by "yes" men, which I thought was reasonable, since during the period of their greatest success he was surrounded by RAC, Charlie, Mangini and Pioli. Fatty and the Forehead I can't speak for because I just can't listen to them.
With all due fairness to Bill Belichick, Felger and Mazz have not NEVER criticized Belichick as a coach. They second guess BB quite often. Why'd he call that play, why'd he go for it on that play, why didn't he punt, why didn't he kick a field goal? ….. In fact, F&M do more complaining and whining than most including rants against Julian and Francona. That's just their MO.
I know the circumstances are totally different, but in some ways this feels the same as last year when they released Randy Moss. REMEMBER THAT?…The talking heads and some fans started going into panic mode. All of a sudden Moss was the media's favorite player. I remember some media going as far as saying the Pats were, "giving up on the season" and of course the cries of, "Who's going to stretch the field"??!! The Pats only ended up going 14-2
Once again I know this is a different situation, but it's really the same old song. Media and some fans getting all hysterical at the midway point of the season. *YAWN*.
It's all about filling the 4 hours, even if it's just crap being thrown on the wall.
For whatever reason certain media members in Boston and Nationall have wanted Bill Belichick to fail since the moment he got the job. I stopped trying to explain it years ago.
It's easy to explain. He makes their job harder by telling them nothing at press conferences therefore they hate him….just like anyone would hate anyone or anything that makes their job harder than it needs to be.
The media's problem, collectively, is that the FANS don't care if their job is harder because Belichick gives them nothing. Belichick's job is to win games, not do PR, and this disconnect between what the media think and what fans want is a massive gap. Does anybody give a crap that Shalize Manza Young doesn't get enough information to write an article on Tuesday?
Stop complaining and try and be objective. People want information and want to see the team win games — the media's happiness is really something nobody cares about outside of the media.
I don't know why you have a negative rating for this post. Anyone who's been paying attention since 2000/2001 can see that there are certain media members, in this town in particular, who can't stand BB and relish every opportunity to rip him. It was harder to do when the Pats were winning Super Bowls and having 16-0 regular seasons; but now it's easier for them and they're absolutely loving it. Among the roll call of shame: Borges, Shaughnessy, Mazz, the retired Kevin Mannix, who was a big BB basher before he quit, and Gregggggg Easterbrook, just to name a few.
The Patriots could win every single game the rest of this season, win the Super Bowl, go 19-0 for the next 10 years winning every game 95-0 and Felger will still never be happy and Massarotti will still bitch and moan about the team non-stop. 🙂
I know I'm immediately going to be branded a "Kool-Aid drinker" for this, but here I go anyway:
1-Since the team won Super Bowl 39, their combined regular season/post-season record (through last Sunday) is 83-30–yes, I know they haven't won a Super Bowl since then, but then again, if Asante Samuel catches the ball that Eli threw right to him at the start of that Giants' winning TD drive….
2-Belichick's draft record over the past four drafts (2008-2011), despite some of the higher-profile misses, still stacks up as one of the better records in the league (more than half of the current roster is made up of draft picks and undrafted free agents acquired since 2008).
3-When you're in the playoffs every year, your ability to have "homerun" drafts is limited by draft positioning (see Indy's current debacle as Exhibit A). Green Bay's recent draft success has been augmented significantly by poor regular season records in 2006 and 2008, which allowed them to pick in the Top 10 of the first round the following April(s).
83-30….I mean, c'mon. Wouldn't most fan bases kill to root for a team that successful?
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