Even after 20 years of dominance, Bill Belichick has become a polarizing figure in New England.
The Patriots' longtime head coach hasn't seen the same success since the departure of legendary quarterback Tom Brady. So far in the post-Brady era, Belichick's Patriots have been the definition of mediocre with a 26-27 record.
That just won't cut it for Pats fans who have such high expectations after six Super Bowl titles. Some have even called for Belichick's job and placed the blame squarely on him for the team's woes.
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That doesn't sit well with PGA star and New England native Keegan Bradley. He joined the latest episode of Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast and asked Pats fans to give Belichick a break.
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"I think it's brutal," Bradley said of fans blasting Belichick. "I listen to (98.5 The Sports Hub's) Felger & Mazz every day and I can't believe the calls that come in on Belichick. I want to shake these people and be like, 'Don't you remember the 20 years?'"
The Patriots can improve to 2-2 on the year with a win over the Dallas Cowboys this Sunday. Bradley believes the team is just one weapon away from being a legitimate threat in their conference.
New England Patriots
"I think this team is decent. I look at the team and I think, if they could just get one wide receiver, I think they're one of the best teams in the AFC," he said. "When I watched (Belichick's) press conference after the Dolphins game, he seemed genuinely shocked to have lost that game. I think they really thought they were going to win that game. I think he thinks this is a good team and I think he's sort of surprised."
Another reason Bradley refuses to hate on Belichick? The Patriots have simply given him too many fond memories through the years to feel any resentment toward the current group.
"I say this about the Patriots all the time: The Super Bowls are great but what they gave me over those years with my family, it's my happiest memories," Bradley said. "I grew up in Vermont, I watched them win their first Super Bowl in my basement with my dad. And when we're high-fiving, it was just the best.
"I watched a couple with my dad, and then midway through the dynasty I went to two Super Bowls with my wife, who's from New England too. We went to the (Malcolm) Butler interception (in Super Bowl XLIX vs. the Seattle Seahawks) and the 28-3 (comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI). And then the last Super Bowl, I was holding my son. So my whole life, I base my memories off of Patriot moments. I would love to see Belichick, I would just love to see this team post-(Tom) Brady do well."
Also in the episode:
- Can the Patriots’ offense adapt?
- How the Patriots should use Ezekiel Elliott and Rhamondre Stevenson.
- How beatable are the Cowboys?
- Full interview with Keegan Bradley.