The notion that the New England Patriots would purposefully tank this upcoming season in order to improve next year's draft position is a hot topic right now.
For me I think this is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Sure it would make sense if it were any other coach on any other team. But the fact is that this is Bill Belichick, one of the most competitive and demanding coaches in sports history.
This offseason has been one full of drama and major changes, with future HOF players leaving the Patriots.
Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have been joined at the hip since defeating the then St. Louis Rams in 2001. The media and fans have long argued who’s been more responsible for this dynasty, a question both Tom and Bill are out to prove in 2020. Belichick is not going to allow his team to slip after Brady’s departure, this isn’t the main reason but just one to think about.
A few reasons Bill will not tank in 2020
This is Don Shula, the former Miami Dolphins head coach who passed away this morning at the age of 90. Belichick is behind him for all time wins and wants the record badly, so tanking a season won’t help his cause. Linda Holliday, who’s Belichick’s long time girlfriend, made it known that Bill is serious about the win record, and we all know he loves NFL history.
Bill Belichick is 68 years old and he’s on record saying that he won’t be coaching late into his 70's. The greatest coach in NFL history also went on record back in 2011, calling the Colts “suck for Luck” tank job “garbage.”
James Develin, who recently retired from the NFL due to a neck injury, was on WEEI talking about this utter nonsense. When asked if the Patriots would ever tank the longtime Patriot said everything we should already know.
“I think one of the biggest things about the Patriots organization is that everyone is focused on winning. It’s all about winning, it’s all about improving the team no matter what the cost. I think there will never be a day that there’s ever a second wasted in that building on purposely trying to position themselves in the draft. I just truly believe in my heart that will never happen. We will always be trying to win games and always put ourselves in the position to be a better football team.”
The dynasty that Bill has built will not include a season where they lose games on purpose. Joe Thuney was franchise tagged and Devin McCourty was guaranteed $17 million, these moves don’t equate to losing games.
The 2020 Patriots will look different that’s for sure but, the culture and work ethic will not change. Belichick demands greatness and now has a younger team to coach up.
If there is any silver lining to Brady leaving town it’s the offensive game plan. The fact that Belichick is sticking with Stidham and having a young offense means the playbook will be “dumbed down” so to speak. The young wide receivers without the complex offense run by Tom Brady is now gone. Stidham is the guy and I think the offense could benefit with a more basic playbook.
The defense will still be near the top of the league, so I’m not expecting a precipitous drop off and definitely not a season with 12 losses. Tanking for Trevor won’t happen. Sure, there will be bumps in the road with Stidham and the offense, but the Patriots are still coached by Bill Belichick. End of story.