Bill Belichick Will Coach Patriots In 2022, But Will Coaching Staff Change?

'It's not surprising that other teams would be interested in talking with them'

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The 2021 season was not Bill Belichick’s final campaign as New England Patriots head coach.

Belichick, who turns 70 in April, was asked Sunday in his end-of-season video conference whether he plans to coach the Patriots in 2022.

“I’d say that would be accurate,” he said one day after New England was bounced from the playoffs with a 47-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills.

That might not be true for every member of Belichick’s coaching staff, however.

Inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo already has received a request to interview for the Denver Broncos’ head-coaching vacancy — he “absolutely” plans to interview — and reportedly will be a “leading candidate” for the Houston Texans opening, as well.

Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has yet to receive any publicly reported interview requests, but longtime NFL reporter Aaron Wilson reported McDaniels has generated “significant interest around the league” as a head-coaching candidate, mentioning the Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants as teams that are “believed to be strongly considering” him.

On the personnel side, the Bears reportedly hope to interview Patriots scouting consultant Eliot Wolf for their general manager position.

Belichick wouldn’t directly address any of these reports, but he did say the external interest in his lieutenants is not surprising.

“I don’t think it’s really my place to comment on other teams’ jobs or who they’re looking for or what they’re doing or whatever, so I’ll leave that to them,” Belichick said. “But whatever it is, we’ll obviously comply with, and however those situations turn out, that’s, generally speaking, out of our control. So we’ll see what happens. If something happens, we’ll adjust to it and react to it, but I don’t know.

“We have a lot of good coaches. It’s not surprising that other teams would be interested in talking with them or other staff members. Same thing with the scouting staff. We’ve had that. We basically have that every single year. So how that goes and what will happen, I don’t know. That’s not my decision to make. But certainly, if there’s an opportunity for somebody that’s at a high level that we can’t provide here, I understand that they would have to consider that. So we’ll see what happens with that.”

The Patriots also could see staff changes unrelated to outside opportunities. Special teams coordinator Cam Achord could be on the hot seat after the Patriots were uncharacteristically sloppy in the kicking game this season. Running backs coach Ivan Fears, 67, wouldn’t say whether he plans to coach next season. A Joe Judge or Brian Flores return could be possible after the ex-Patriots assistants were fired from their head-coaching jobs with the Giants and Miami Dolphins, respectively.

With the wounds from Saturday night’s blowout loss still fresh, Belichick said he plans to wait before making any decisions on roster or staff changes for next season.

“The day after the season with the players and the roster is definitely not the time to make those decisions on any level — the team level or the player level,” Belichick said. “We all need to step back, catch our breath, take a longer view of things, and at some point, we’ll talk about certain situations — players that aren’t under contract, players who — whatever their future is with the team or whatever their situations are, those will all be dealt with at a later point in time. Certainly not today or tomorrow or the next day.

“I know there have been some questions about staff members, previous staff members that were here and so forth, other staffing around the league and all that. Again, I’ve been totally focused on Buffalo. I haven’t really thought of any of that, so that’s another process that’s certainly out in the distance. I haven’t really given it any thought or time or attention. I put everything we had into Buffalo.”

The Patriots finished the regular season 10-7 before losing to the Bills in the wild-card round.

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