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MORSE: Has the NFL Game of Football Passed Patriots Coach Bill Belichick By? – Notes

Mark Morse
Mark Morse on Twitter
2 months ago at 10:43 am ET
Posted Under: Patriots News

MORSE: Has the NFL Game of Football Passed Patriots Coach Bill Belichick By? – NotesDavid Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Belichick is now 71 years old.  No NFL Head Coach in his 70’s has ever won a Super Bowl.  Bruce Arians at age 68, is the oldest head coach to win a Super Bowl and he did that with Tom Brady and Tampa Bay in 2021.

Belichick’s stubbornness and his lack of honesty with the media is getting very tired.  Despite what Belichick said in his post-game press-conference, he benched New England Patriots receiver Demario Douglas for fumbling in the 1st Quarter.  He also used it as an excuse because the team is falling behind early.  He never gives credit to Miami’s Bradley Chubb for making a great play and terrific hustle to get back into the play and strip the ball out from behind Douglas, who never saw him coming.

I say Belichick’s stubbornness cost the Patriots the game by benching Douglas, one of the few players that can get yards after the catch.  Belichick also called up Jalen Reagor from the Practice Squad so that he could make Kayshon Boutte inactive.  Boutte made the same rookie mistake twice in the game when he didn’t get two feet in bounds on a sideline play.  The last time was the final offensive play of the game for the Pats killing a potential game-winning drive versus Philadelphia.

Let’s face facts here.  Bill Belichick was outcoached by Mike McDaniel.   McDaniels adjustments and offensive ingenuity had the Patriots Defense on their heels all day.  The Tyreek Hill 2-yard TD was pure genius.   Miami saw in video study the way the Patriots would handle the goal line when there were two Wide Receivers to one side.  The CB would shade the receiver on his outside shoulder and the Strong Safety would play the TE heads up but set back off the line to give shade to the WR running a quick slant.  McDaniel put the TE in motion late in the snap count and almost immediately snapped the ball giving the Patriots defenders no time to communicate.  Christian Gonzalez was on Tyreek Hill and Kyle Dugger had Durham Smythe.  When Smythe went in motion past Hill, Gonzalez switched to take Smythe, but played him inside.  Smythe ran to the back corner of the end zone clearing things out for Hill.  Dugger never moved and was very susceptible to an inside dig fake and move outside for an easy pitch and catch for the TD by Hill.

The Patriots Defense had made a second-half adjustment and were bottling up the edges and keeping the Dolphins off the board.  They were keeping the Pats in the game.  McDaniel again adjusted and called for an inside run by Raheem Mostert against a single high Safety.  Unfortunately, that single high Safety was Kyle Dugger.  He is not a Free Safety.  He is an in the box hybrid LB/SS.  Dugger takes the wrong angle to tackle Mostert and gets burned for a game winning 43-yard TD run.

Let’s talk about Bill Belichick the GM.  His method of evaluating talent is antiquated.  When he was signed as Head Coach in 2000, he completely revamped the way the Patriots evaluated talent.  Their grades on players were much different than other teams and in doing so, elevated players into higher draft positions.

Take the case of Safety Jordan Richards who was selected in the 2015 2nd round of the draft.  Richard was projected as between a 5th to 7th round selection.  His combine numbers were mediocre.  His 40-yard dash was 4.65 which is slow for a safety.  Richards didn’t perform well in the Vertical or Broad jumps.  His saving grace was an excellent 3-con drill (6.74).  The Patriots placed a higher value on the 3-cone drill and anything under 7 was very good.

They also gave higher marks if the player was a Team Captain on his college team, which Richard was, they get higher marks.   Patriots Player Personnel director, at the time, was Nick Caserio.  He led the Pro-Day workout for Richards, which led to him being taken in the 2nd round (#64), which was very high.  NFL Draftscout had him rated as a 5th – 7th round pick.  Richards was a draft bust.

The Patriots do all their own scouting and do not belong to either of the Draft Scouting Services (BLETSO or National).  Many of their top scouts left the organization because they felt their inputs were not being listened to when Bill Belichick made the team’s selections.  I do believe that Matt Groh and the present group of scouts has had more input into recent drafts.  Remember this: there are no players on the present roster from the 2019 Draft.

Drafting players with known injuries like Sony Michel (Knee), Dominique Easley (Knee), Cam McGrone (Knee).  That rarely works.  If they have to sit out their 1st season, they are down to 2 years left on rookie contracts.

When was the last time a Patriots Draft Pick received a second contract from the Patriots?  It was James White in 2017.  He was entering the final year of his contract and was coming off that tremendous comeback in Super Bowl LI.  White had 110 yards receiving and 29 yards rushing while scoring 20 points and setting a record for receptions in a Super Bowl with 14.  In 2015, Devin McCourty received a 2nd contract only after testing the Free Agents market.  In 2010 The Patriots signed Stephen Gostkowski, who was limited as a Restricted Free-Agent.

Ted Karras had to leave and sign a one-year contract with the Miami Dolphins before he re-signed with the Pats the next season. He left a second time over a million dollars.  If the Patriots had kept Karras and Joe Thuney, their Offensive line would have been set for 5-6 years.  The Patriots have developed a very bad reputation by not re-signing players they have drafted and developed.  If a player wants to make their money, they will have to find it with another organization.

The Patriots Add Incentives to Trent Brown’s Contract

They didn’t have to do this, but they added incentives which will give Brown up to an additional $2M this season.  There is no extension.


Posted Under: Patriots News

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