Is the pressure mounting on New England renowned defensive genius Bill Belichick? How much of a genius can he be having one of the NFL’s worst passing defenses in the league over the past five seasons? What has Belichick won since the league’s rules changed to favor the offenses with one of the best QB’s in the league? What has he won since 2007 when Spygate came to light? I’m playing Devil’s advocate a bit, but follow me:
What if I were to tell you that a defense ranked 24th in passing yards allowed in a five year span over the regular season. A five year span, with 16 games per season, equals 80 games and that is a good sample size. What if I told you that 10 games of that was against an offense (Dolphins) that averaged the 21st best passing attack over the past five seasons. 10 more games were against a passing offense (Jets) that ranked 27th. 10 more against a team (Bills) ranked 24th over the past five seasons in their passing attack. 30 of those 80 games, or 37.5%, against dud-divisional pass offenses.
He’s been let off the hook by hosts of shows blaming the GM in Belichick rather than the coach. As a coach, you have to recognize the same talent as a GM after all. It’s what is referred to as your team’s depth chart. Really, he’s had an advantage being the GM because if he wants to instill a particular style of defense, he can draft to fit that need.
The truth is his desired style of defense hinged on stopping the run and having a good percentage in the redzone. Problem with that is if you give up so many yards that your opponent is always in the redzone, the opponent then has more opportunities to score. I’ll ask this – Two opponents get beat 33% of the time in the redzone – one team allows one touchdown in three tries, another allows two touchdowns in six tries. Which team is better off?
I still believe Bill Belichick is a great head coach. As fans, we need to realize that the model of consistency throughout Belichick’s time here has a lot to do with Brady and the ability Tom had to bail out his defenses, or lack there of. The reason there is so much pressure on Belichick is because they’ve recently hit a 10-year bench-mark since winning a championship and we don’t count AFC East titles around here. They’ve been to two more Super Bowl’s and should have won in 2007.
Belichick isn’t well liked by certain folks within the NFL, so players and coaches mention Spygate to agitate him and Patriots fans. The fact is, as a fan, you can’t get mad when players like Cary Williams mention Spygate, even though it has less to do with Spygate then their overall approach on defense. The bright spot being, Belichick got it right in 2014.
He brought in the league’s premier defender in Darrelle Revis and paid him as such. Because he’s been drafting players that excel in pass defense throughout the past three seasons in Jamie Collins, Dominique Easley, Dont’a Hightower, Logan Ryan and Chandler Jones. Don’t forget about the acquisistion of Will Smith, who when right can rush a passer well.
All he’s done as a GM throughout the past five seasons will have to come together this season. Going on 1o years with an elite quarterback and winning zero Super Bowls is too long. I’m a fan, but it’s too long. As much as Brady has benefited from having Belichick calling the shots, his place as the greatest quarterback in history has yet to be sealed because of Belichick.
Belichick has the right personnel, he hand picked the defensive coordinator, he has depth and for the moment he has the health that the Patriots didn’t have last season. This defense will be a top three defense and boy does Belichick ever need it.
hear us talk about Belichick and much more on the latest edition of the TitleTownTalk podcast.