Why NFL Teams Have Said No to Bill Belichick and Could Continue To Reject the Legendary Head Coach

Bill Belichick won't be on an NFL sideline for the first time since 1985. Could this be the beginning of the end for the legendary coach?

Bill Belichick being on an NFL sideline had been a given for almost 40 years, but that’s no longer the case. With Belichick on the outside looking in for the first time in almost a half-decade, could this be the beginning of the end of a historic coaching career?

We examine the very real possibility that Belichick may never pace an NFL sideline again.

Bill Belichick Is Used to Full Control

Today’s NFL is very much a collaborative effort between the front office and the coaching staff. The days of having a head coach who bore the brunt of the decision-making both on the field and in the world of talent acquisition, are few and far between. However, this is something that Belichick had become very accustomed to during his time with the New England Patriots.

Over the last 25 years in New England, Belichick oversaw general manager duties, in addition to his head coaching responsibilities. Yet, in this current NFL setting, franchises no longer see the value in that like they may have at one point.

Reports suggest that Belichick would be willing to forgo total control if the situation were right. While that sounds good, asking an all-time great coach to change his philosophy just for a franchise fit, seems unimaginable.

Belichick has won at a high level doing it his way. The idea that a tiger could all of a sudden change its stripes seems far-fetched. To expect Belichick to be able to come into a situation and sit on his hands without the same level of roster control he’s accustomed to is a truly big change and one that may end up hindering him going forward.

Implementing Old School ‘Patriot Way’ Would Be a Challenge

Belichick’s style of coaching is well-documented. His no-nonsense, stern, stick-to-the-task-at-hand approach is admirable when you’re winning. However, coming into a new franchise with a younger generation that may not necessarily respond to that “tough love” style like players of yesteryear risks Belichick’s message falling on deaf ears for some.

Belichick has decades of proof that his plan works when a team buys in, but that’s far easier said than done and feels harder than ever to implement. It also didn’t hurt that he had the greatest QB of all time under center for most of those years to smooth over the imperfections.

The idea that Belichick could come off the couch, squeeze his style into an organization, and have a full top-to-bottom buy-in seems to be a bigger challenge than it would’ve been in the past. However, it’s the current-day NFL that he’s trying to break back into, and you wonder just how much of that message would be received in today’s day and age.

Lost Trust in Staff Building

One of Belichick’s biggest disappointments in the later years of the Patriots’ days was the buddy system he seemed to breed. While he demanded excellence of his players on the field and in the locker room, Belichick seemingly always had a softer spot for his coaching staff and would act as a landing spot for those who were friends of his after they had been cast away elsewhere.

Coaches like Matt Patricia and Joe Judge were able to fail in their previous spots, then know they could land back in New England in a comfortable role with an old friend in a familiar place.

That friend-zone atmosphere may have been the biggest demise of QB Mac Jones’ career in New England. The confusion around the offensive operation and just who was running what seemed to stunt his growth tremendously.

Can Belichick assemble the staff needed to bring a franchise to the promised land? Could he forgo a friend in need for the right decision? While they seem trivial, they’re valid questions for Belichick, who has always seemed to take care of those in his ecosystem.

Belichick’s new home may not want to bring that with him. And for that, it may have played a huge part in why he’s still without an HC job now, possibly into the future as well.

Could Belichick Make Necessary Changes To Stick Around?

Belichick’s pedigree speaks for itself. No one can question the man’s body of work, and he did it his way through and through. Yet, it may be that very thing that has him off the sidelines this season.

It was a surprise to many that Belichick did not land anywhere during this coaching cycle. Maybe this time afforded will allow him to reflect and possibly make the changes he sees fit to get another crack at it.

KEEP READING: Bill Belichick Eyeing 3 Teams for 2025

Is he willing to do so? Will teams buy into it? All valid questions that won’t be going away anytime soon.

Miss football? The 2024 NFL Draft is almost here, boss. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s all-new Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls — lone wolf or with your friends!

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast!

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review!

Related Articles