There is no doubt that Patriots fans have been spoiled for the better part of two decades, but since the departure of Tom Brady, there have been plenty of questions surrounding the franchise. One question at the forefront is whether or not coach Bill Belichick still has what it takes to lead the team toward another championship.
“There is a new narrative in the NFL that is building steam,” Rich Eisen said on his show Friday. “The narrative is a dangerous narrative. I think this is a fire-playing situation for people in on this. Bill Belichick has lost it; that’s the narrative.”
Eisen defended Belichick, adding that he doesn’t have time for “drama” or “anything like that” because it only started to build after Patriots owner Robert Kraft revealed that he was contacted by Meek Mill about Lamar Jackson wanting to play in New England.
“He might have just been like, ‘Hey, Meek Mill called me,’ and that’s just a funny nugget on television,” Eisen said of Kraft’s intention behind the comment. “But the totally unintended or unspoken message from that is that Bill is uninterested in Lamar.”
So does not being interested in Jackson mean that Belichick’s ability to coach should be questioned? Not according to Eisen. He doesn’t think Belichick’s ability should be questioned, but rather the fans need to recognize that he will need to build the Patriots around Mac Jones.
“You have to build and draft around (Mac Jones),” Eisen said. “The drafting around hasn’t done as well yet either, I’m not saying he’s completely sterling, but he still is Bill Belichick.”
Co-host Chris Brockman disagreed with Eisen and said Kraft and Patriots fans should not settle for mediocrity when there are different expectations for a team like New England that has won six Super Bowls.
“It’s been four years without a playoff win,” Brockman said. “I just think Bill is so stubborn he would try and rather win with someone so mediocre just to prove that it wasn’t all Tom Brady than to try and bring in Lamar Jackson, who’s got an MVP on the shelf and play this dynamic, explosive new age brand of football.”
Brockman added that if the New York Jets are able to add Aaron Rodgers, then the Patriots would most likely finish fourth in the AFC East.
“So, when I say that Bill is coaching for his job this year and you think I’m crazy, I’m not.”
Kraft has recently backed Belichick amid criticism and scrutiny surrounding the coach at the 2023 NFL annual meetings in Phoenix.