New England Patriots

How should Belichick's Patriots tenure end? Bruschi gives interesting take

Bruschi played under Belichick for nine seasons with the Patriots.

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The New England Patriots have a 1-4 record for the first time since 2000, which was Bill Belichick's first season as the team's head coach.

The Patriots' awful start to 2023 has ignited the debate over whether this will be Belichick's final season in New England.

A midseason change at head coach seems highly unlikely no matter how bad it gets in Foxboro this season. Belichick has earned the right to finish the campaign given what he means to the franchise.

Belichick's future was a topic on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown, and former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi gave an interesting take on how he wants his former head coach's remaining tenure in New England to unfold.

“What do I personally feel how this should go, and how this should end with Bill Belichick?” Bruschi said. “This is just my personal feeling on what should happen. I want him to coach his ass off this season and get six, seven wins. Have them playing respectable by the end of the season — and walk away. That’s what I want my former coach to do. Don’t — (Don) Shula doesn’t matter. You’ve got multiple Super Bowls over Shula. You’re a better coach.”

That's a powerful statement from Bruschi. And the potential scenario he laid out seems pretty reasonable. Belichick could help stabilize the franchise over the last 10-11 games and then hand it over to the next guy, which could end up being linebackers coach Jerod Mayo.

Another potential scenario is keeping Belichick as the head coach but having someone else make the roster decisions. Not many teams these days give the head coach full control over the roster. Many of Belichick's roster moves in recent years have been poor, to say the least.

Belichick is 71 years old and arguably the greatest coach in pro football history with a record six Super Bowl titles (plus two more as a defensive coordinator). He has nothing left to prove, and outside of Don Shula's all-time record for wins -- Shula has 347 wins (including playoffs), while Belichick enters Sunday with 330 -- there's not much more history for him to make.

But if the Patriots continue to lose games and the culture around the team worsens, team owner Robert Kraft should at least consider making a coaching change in the offseason.

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