New England Patriots

Jabrill Peppers shows support for Bill Belichick after win over Steelers

"I don't really like all the flak he's been getting."

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New England Patriots safety Jabrill Peppers has had enough of the anti-Bill Belichick discourse that has grown louder with each loss in 2023.

Despite his legendary résumé in New England, Belichick is widely considered to be on the hot seat amid the Patriots' abysmal season. Given his lack of success since quarterback Tom Brady's departure, many believe it's time to move on from the head coach who helped bring six Super Bowl titles to Foxboro.

Peppers isn't one of those people. After Thursday night's 21-18 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, he made it clear he has his coach's back.

"We needed it," Peppers said of the victory, which snapped a five-game skid. "I just feel good we could get it done for Bill and the rest of the coaches. They work extremely hard trying to put us in the right place to make plays and we did enough to win tonight. ...

Peppers believes the blame for the Patriots' 3-10 start needs to be placed squarely on the players, not Belichick.

"I don't really like all the flak he's been getting," he added. "Because it's on us as players to go out there and execute. I personally feel like the game plan has been phenomenal week in and week out and when we had the opportunities to make plays, we didn't make them, but we made enough tonight. So we're going to correct this tape, get our bodies back, and move on to KC (Kansas City)."

Thursday's win won't be enough to end the speculation about Belichick's future in New England. Still, Peppers' comments indicate the longtime Patriots leader hasn't lost the locker room.

Peppers has been one of the few bright spots for the Patriots this season. That continued in Pittsburgh as he logged his second interception and returned it 32 yards.

As for Belichick, Thursday's victory puts him only 15 behind Don Shula for the all-time coaching wins record.

Next up for the Pats is a trip to Arrowhead Stadium to take on the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Dec. 17. They will enter the weekend still owning the No. 2 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

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