Bill Belichick wants to avoid any possibility of the New England Patriots having a losing season in the near future.
That fear of future failure is what led the Patriots to select Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo No. 62 overall in the 2014 NFL draft Friday. Belichick specifically said the Patriots want to avoid having a season like the 2011 Indianapolis Colts, when they went 2-14 after Peyton Manning missed the year with a neck injury.
“I think organizationally, in our organization I don’t think we would put together a team the way Indianapolis did it when they lost Manning and they go 0-16, 1-15 or whatever it was,” Belichick told reporters Saturday night at Gillette Stadium after the draft was completed. “I don’t think that’s really what we’re looking for. Unfortunately when we lost Tom (Brady) in 2008 — we had a player that could step in and we won 11 games. We want to be competitive even if something happens to a player at any position.
“I think depth is always important. You never know when you’re going to need it. But I don’t think we’d be happy going 1-15 if we had an injury at one position. But other people have different philosophies. I’m just saying that the contrast to that example. I don’t think that’s really what we’re trying to do.”
It worked out for the Colts, since quarterback Andrew Luck just happened to declare for the draft in 2012, but selecting No. 1 overall doesn’t always turn around a franchise’s fortunes.
The Patriots have put an emphasis on drafting a backup quarterback since Brady suffered a torn ACL in 2008, selecting Ryan Mallett in the third round of the 2011 draft and Garoppolo in the second round last weekend.