This off-season, Bill Belichick should take a page from his former quarterbacks playbook. Just like Tom Brady did, Belichick should leave the New England Patriots.
He’s been the head coach of the Patriots since 2000. That’s an eternity and then some, in the coaching world. He’s brought them six Super Bowl championships and delivered 328 regular season and playoff wins to date.
But if the hooded coach wants to stay active on the sidelines and chase down Don Shula for most wins of all-time, he might want to leave New England.
Several NFL teams will relieve their head coach of their duties the Monday following the end of the regular season. Commonly referred to as ‘Black Monday’. But a couple have already opened up due to in-season firings.
One of those jobs would be an intriguing place for Belichick to take a peek at. The Denver Broncos.
Why the Broncos?
The Broncos fired Nathaniel Hackett this week after an embarrassing blowout loss to the lowly Los Angeles Rams.
Denver was expected to be a contender in the AFC at the start of the year. They had a solid defense, good offensive playmakers and traded for one of the best quarterbacks in the last decade, Russell Wilson.
Broncos fans were ready for the ride.
But things derailed quickly for Denver. Hackett had a massive clock management blunder the first week of the season. Their blooming star running back Javonte Williams tore his ACL a couple weeks later. And your microwave has cooked better than Russ this season. He’s been brutal.
But that doesn’t mean the Broncos future is doomed. Their defense is still good. Williams’ leg will recover. And there is no way Wilson can be worse next year.
If Denver can bring in an upgrade at coach, they can certainly turn things around quickly.
New England’s future on the other hand isn’t as promising. Outside of Rhamondre Stevenson, they don’t have any good offensive weapons. Their defense isn’t top of the league. And they don’t have a long-term answer at quarterback.
Bringing Belichick into Denver would help elevate their defense. He excels at scheming on that side of the ball. Which would help immensely in a division with the Chiefs and Chargers.
For the offense, Belichick could bring in a former assistant to help right the ship, Bill O’Brien. Per Mike Florio, rumors have been swirling of O’Brien returning to New England to take over as offensive coordinator already.
I’m sure O’Brien would rather take a swing at righting Wilson versus growing Mac Jones. Not to mention he’d have Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, and K.J. Hamler as weapons on the outside.
Chasing Down Shula
A deal would have to be made between the Patriots and Broncos in order for Belichick to switch sides. You can insert joke here how Denver doesn’t have draft capital because they traded it away for Wilson. But if Belichick really wants out and if Kraft isn’t fond of him anymore, which there’s rumors of that too, then I’m sure the two teams can work something out.
This could be a good thing for both Belichick and the Pats. Belichick gets a fresh start with a new team. And New England can fully exit the Brady/Belichick era and move on.
As of today, Belichick is third on the all-time wins list for head coaches with 297. He is 31 victories behind Don Shula who has the most with 328.
31 more wins can easily take another four or five seasons, especially with Mac Jones or Bailey Zappe as your starting quarterback. Going to Denver with a better overall team could help Belichick reach that in a faster timeframe.
We’ve seen head coaches spend a ridiculously long time with one franchise and then end their careers with others. Most of the time those don’t end well.
Curly Lambeau spent 28 seasons with the Green Bay Packers going 209-104-21. He then spent the last four years of career split between Chicago and Washington compiling a record of 17-28-1.
Mike Shanahan was in Denver for 22 seasons with a record of 138-86 and winning two Super Bowls. He took a year off and went to Washington to coach for four years with a record of 24-40. Not great.
But they aren’t Bill Belichick. The man under the hood.
(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)