As the Patriots head to Germany this week, it’s hard not to wonder if Bill Belichick is heading into dangerous waters to the point where Sunday’s outcome might potentially determine his future here in New England.
Given that teams in the past who were in this position with a trip overseas on tap and a bye week to follow have used this time to part ways with their head coach, it’s hard not to wonder if that’s potentially in play for Belichick this weekend.
When you take into account all the questions locally given all the discussion to this point about Belichick’s future, along with Jonathan Kraft’s comments being caught on camera Sunday, it doesn’t feel like anything is necessarily off the table.
Even ESPN’s Mike Reiss, who is one of the most down-to-earth reporters in the region, wonders if something bad might happen this weekend.
Reiss appeared on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich on Monday, and he admitted that he’s not spending any additional time after Sunday’s game to enjoy Germany because he’s afraid something might transpire on that front.
While he doesn’t believe Kraft would make a move midseason, it doesn’t change the fact he’s still concerned about the possibility.
“I’m not going to stick around after, but I’ll go out Thursday,” said Reiss. “The team’s going to leave Thursday, so they’ll fly overnight, get in Friday morning Germany time. And then, so we’ll have Friday there, they’ll do some media stuff Friday, and then we’ll have Saturday before the game.”
“Fred [Toettcher], I’ve got to be honest with you. I mean, I’ve thought about it, but I feel like I can’t be away from the team enjoying myself in the event that … I’m not saying any news is going to happen, but you have to be responsible to the possibility, you know?”
When pressed for his opinion by co-host Rich Shertenlieb, Reiss cited history as to why he hasn’t completely ruled out the possibility depending on how things play out.
“Well, Rich, I mean, I will say I don’t think it’s going to happen, but I think if we look at history, there have been times where sometimes, these international games, I don’t think the coach makes it back with the team,” said Reiss. “And I’m not saying that’s going to happen, so I want to be 100% clear, but I just think when you’re a reporter covering a team, it’s hard to detach yourself from the team during the season because you’re wired to always just be on call. Regardless of anything.”
One other reason Reiss believes Belichick will survive this weekend is because, at least to this point, the team is still playing at a level where there doesn’t appear to be any quit. As long as that continues, he believes that Belichick will remain the head coach.
“I don’t, personally, and I think I go back to our conversation after one of the blowout losses maybe that we had Monday morning after one of those games, and I think I had said after the season would be the time,” said Reiss. “I would be personally surprised if they went during the season. Especially because I look at it … so like the Raiders as an example … like, that team, you could argue, they stopped playing on Monday night when they lost that game.”
“Like, it just, you could tell … this team, they haven’t stopped playing. I mean, they had the ball with a chance to tie or win yesterday, you know what I mean? If we saw more games like the Cowboys and Saints back-to-back-to-back, then I think the conversation picks up steam. But that’s just sort of my sense of it, guys, not based on any concrete information.”
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary