Oct 30, 2022; East Rutherford, NJ, USA;  New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick  before the game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Belichick becomes second-winningest coach in NFL history

Bill Belichick earned his 325th win (regular season and postseason) on Sunday, becoming the second-winningest coach in NFL history.

The New England Patriots (4-4) defeated the New York Jets (5-3) 22-17 in East Rutherford, N.J., giving Belichick sole possession of second place on the all-time list. He passed the legendary George Halas (324 wins), who coached the Chicago Bears for 40 years.

It was also the Patriots’ 13th straight win against New York.

Belichick, 70, is in his 23rd season as New England’s coach after spending five seasons (1991-95) with the Cleveland Browns. Under Belichick, the Patriots have won six Super Bowls and have finished first in the AFC East 17 times.

The all-time leader in wins is Don Shula (347), who spent 26 seasons coaching the Miami Dolphins after seven seasons with the Baltimore Colts.

–Field Level Media

Oct 24, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) drops back to pass during the first half against the Chicago Bears at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots QB Mac Jones named starter vs. Jets

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones will be under center to start Sunday’s game against the New York Jets, coach Bill Belichick announced Thursday.

“Mac took a full workload (Wednesday). I expect him to be fully available here for the game and ready to go,” Belichick said Thursday.

When a reporter asked Belichick to confirm that Jones would be the starter, the coach responded with the following:

“That’s what I just said, isn’t it? He got a full load,” Belichick said.

Belichick added that Jones is getting the start because he’s fully healthy. Jones played for the first time on Monday since sustaining a high-ankle sprain on Sept. 25.

Jones was pulled after three series in the Patriots’ 33-14 loss to the Chicago Bears on Monday night. Belichick said after the game that Jones wasn’t removed for performance. However, he also said it wasn’t a medical decision.

Rookie Bailey Zappe replaced Jones and played the rest of the game, throwing for 185 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions.

The Patriots (3-4) visit the New York Jets (5-2) on Sunday.

–Field Level Media

Patriot coaches Joe Judge and Matt Patricia confer as they talk with QN Bailey Zappe as QB Mac Jones studies his play list on his wrist after Jones was replaced by Zappe during the 2nd quarter.

15 Pats Bears 102422 Bb

Bill Belichick avoids ‘hypotheticals’ on QB situation

If the New England Patriots didn’t have a quarterback controversy before Monday night’s game, they certainly do now — and coach Bill Belichick, predictably, made no attempt to douse it the morning after.

Rookie Bailey Zappe replaced Mac Jones after three series in the Patriots’ loss to the Chicago Bears on Monday night. Jones guided New England to just 51 yards of net offense, but Belichick said after the game that Jones wasn’t removed for performance. However, he also said it wasn’t a medical decision.

Further, Belichick said Jones knew going in that he wasn’t going to play the whole game.

Belichick was asked Tuesday morning if Jones would be the starter moving forward, if healthy.

“That’s a hypothetical question,” Belichick said. “So let’s see where that is and what that is.”

Belichick was then asked if Jones was healthy enough to keep playing after 18 snaps against the Bears.

“Well, that didn’t happen,” Belichick said. “So that’s another hypothetical question.”

Zappe threw for 185 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions in relief of Jones, playing the rest of the game.

While Jones said postgame he knew the plan was for both QBs to play, Zappe wasn’t as succinct.

“If that decision was made for me to go in, then I was gonna go out there and do the best for my team,” Zappe said Monday night.

Leading to the scrutiny of a pre-plan for a two-QB night was that Jones was pulled after throwing an interception. Jones threw for just 13 yards and rushed for another 24 in his three series.

“Part of the plan, I think coach Belichick did a really really good job explaining it to me, I knew what the plan was,” Jones said. “The timing’s the timing, but we’re on the same page and there’s no hard feelings. I wish I had played better while I was in there.”

The Patriots (3-4) visit the New York Jets (5-2) in Week 8.

–Field Level Media

Jan 2, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick watches from the sideline as they take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots to go without coordinators in 2022

The New England Patriots won’t have a coordinator on the offensive side of the ball either in 2022.

Speaking at the NFL league meetings in Palm Beach, Fla., Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said Monday he won’t officially name an offensive coordinator for this season. He hasn’t had a defensive coordinator since Matt Patricia left to become head coach of the Detroit Lions in 2018.

“I’m not big on titles,” Belichick said. “We don’t have to call any (plays) for a while.”

Belichick did not say who will call plays for the Patriots on either offense or defense. But he’s not replacing longtime OC Josh McDaniels, who left to become the new head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders.

Fired in Detroit, Patricia is back on Belichick’s staff, as is former New York Giants head coach Joe Judge. While Patricia’s background is on defense and Judge’s with special teams, Belichick said both of them will work on offense.

“It’s important that all our players get good coaching,” Belichick said. “And we plan on doing that.”

–Field Level Media

In 2002, Tom Brady at  media day at the New Orleans Superdome as both the New England Patriots and the St. Louis Rams answered questions from media personel as the field was being prepared for this Sundays Superbowl game.

Tom Brady thanks Pats after initially omitting them in retirement post

Tom Brady has covered a lot of ground throughout his legendary career, from winning seven Super Bowl titles to routinely writing his name throughout the NFL record book.

A thorough competitor on the field, Brady had one omission during his lengthy social-media post that announced his retirement from the NFL on Tuesday.

Brady did not acknowledge the New England Patriots in his statement. Yep, not one time did the 44-year-old mention the team with which he won six of those Super Bowl titles and spent the first 20 years of his NFL career.

Brady’s initial statement lived on social media for approximately three hours before he returned to address the Patriots. After all, Brady and Bill Belichick own the record for Super Bowl appearances (nine) as a player and coach combination.

“Thank You Patriots Nation (heart emoji) I’m beyond grateful. Love you all,” he wrote on Twitter.

In his initial statement, Brady thanked his past teammates and coaches, and told his current Tampa Bay teammates he loved them in the multi-part post that included personal thank yous to Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht, head coach Bruce Arians, personal trainer Alex Guerrero, agent Don Yee, Brady’s parents and wife, Gisele.

Brady initially did not mention the Patriots, however that didn’t stop the club from showing its respect for their longtime quarterback.

The Patriots posted an illustration of Brady riding a duck boat off into the sunset with the caption: “It was quite the ride. Thank you and congratulations.”

New England also released a statement from franchise owner Robert Kraft.

“Words cannot describe the feelings I have for Tom Brady, nor adequately express the gratitude my family, the New England Patriots and our fans have for Tom for all he did during his career. A generation of football fans have grown up knowing only an NFL in which Tom Brady dominated,” Kraft said.

“… You didn’t have to be a Patriots fan to respect and appreciate his competitiveness, determination and will to win that fueled his success. As a fan of football, it was a privilege to watch. As a Patriots fan, it was a dream come true.”

The Patriots drafted Brady with the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft out of Michigan. He won three Most Valuable Player awards and earned 14 of his record 15 Pro Bowl selections with New England.

–Field Level Media

Dec 26, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick watches from the sideline as they take on the Buffalo Bills in the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots’ Bill Belichick says he plans to coach in 2022

Bill Belichick says he plans to coach the New England Patriots in 2022.

“I’d say that would be accurate,” Belichick said Sunday when asked about returning for a 23rd season with New England.

Belichick, who turns 70 in April, has coached the Patriots since 2000, winning six Super Bowl championships.

New England’s season ended Saturday with a 47-17 wild-card loss to the Buffalo Bills.

Including his tenure with the Cleveland Browns (1991-95), Belichick has won 290 regular-season games. He ranks third all-time behind Don Shula (328) and George Halas (318).

–Field Level Media

Jan 20, 2019; Kansas City, MO, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates with coach Bill Belichick after the AFC Championship game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Chiefs 37-31 in overtime to advance to fifth Super Bowl in eight seasons. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Belichick praises Tom Brady, denies refusing to meet QB

Bill Belichick was quick to toss verbal bouquets toward Tom Brady during his press conference on Wednesday morning, four days ahead of the New England Patriots’ home game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Patriots coach spoke glowingly of the 44-year-old Brady, who spent his first 20 NFL seasons with New England before heading to Tampa Bay to win his seventh Super Bowl title in February.

“Nothing Tom does surprises me,” Belichick said of the 14-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time NFL MVP. “Tom does all things well … plays hard, takes care of himself. He’s talked about playing until 50. … If there is anyone that can do it, it’s probably him.”

Belichick, however, wasn’t in the mood to address recently released excerpts of an upcoming book — “It’s Better to be Feared” — on the Patriots’ dynasty.

Well, save for one comment.

Belichick denied one allegation that he declined to meet Brady in person when the quarterback desired to speak with him about leaving the team in March 2020. Instead, according to the book, Belichick said he wasn’t available and insisted to speak to Brady on the phone.

“No, that’s not true,” Belichick said. “And I’ve heard a few things about this book, and it sounds like it’s a lot of second-, third- and fourth-hand comments. But I’m not going to get into that. I’m going to focus on this game, and try to prepare for this game.”

The book will be published on Oct. 12.

The game between the Buccaneers (2-1) and Patriots (1-2) will be played on Sunday night in Foxborough, Mass.

The prime time contest also will feature the return of Rob Gronkowski. The five-time Pro Bowl tight end played a large role in helping the Patriots win four Super Bowl titles during his nine seasons with the club.

“I appreciate everything they’ve done and I have a ton of respect for them,” Belichick said. “But this Sunday we’re on opposite sides of the field and we’re going to do what we can to not make them enjoy the night.”

–Field Level Media

Aug 29, 2021; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick looks up during the first half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Belichick doubles down on vax opinion

Saying he wanted to clarify a comment about vaccinations he made last week, New England head coach Bill Belichick on Monday doubled down on his opinion that COVID-19 vaccinations don’t “solve all our problems.”

Belichick reiterated that “no player has been released or kept because of their vaccination status,” a reference to the release of quarterback Cam Newton last week.

But he didn’t back off his opinion about vaccinations in general, despite pushback from the NFL late last week.

“My comment relative to the vaccinations, really the way I feel is, that’s an individual decision for each person to make,” Belichick said Monday. “As a team, we’re better off if everyone is vaccinated and that being said, even if everyone is vaccinated, that doesn’t solve all our problems as we’ve seen, multiple players, head coaches, assistant coaches throughout the league have tested positive for COVID even after they have been vaccinated.”

His comments echo the statement he made last week after Newton was released.

“There’ve been a number of, quite a high number I would say, of players who have had the virus who have been vaccinated, so your implication that vaccination solves every problem, I would say that has not been substantiated based on what’s happened in training camp (throughout the NFL) this year.”

NFL chief medical officer Allen Sills pushed back on that notion last Friday.

“We released our data … from the first three weeks of August, and that data has consistently shown higher rates of infection in unvaccinated players than in vaccinated players,” Sills said.

“We know that vaccines are working,” Sills said. “What we are seeing are some vaccinated people who test positive. But their illness tends to be very short and very mild, and that’s exactly what the vaccines were designed to do.”

–Field Level Media

Published Caption:  Patriots receiver N'Keal Harry fends off Dolphins defender Jerome Baker after a third-quarter reception in Week 1. [The Providence Journal / Kris Craig] Original Caption:  Patriots receiver N'Keal Harry fends off Dolphins defender Jerome Baker after a third-quarter reception in Week 1.

Patriots Expecting More From N Keal Harry

Bill Belichick talked with WR N’Keal Harry on trade request

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Monday he has spoken with N’Keal Harry on the heels of the wide receiver’s agent making a very public trade request on his behalf.

“N’Keal and I have talked about it. I think we had a good conversation,” Belichick said. “We have a good relationship, so not going to get into all that.”

Harry, 23, acknowledged last week that he has considered remaining in New England.

“I’m a Patriot right now. I’m very okay with being a Patriot,” Harry said on Friday. “Right now I’m at a New England Patriots training camp and I’m just trying to make sure I can do everything I can to fit in with this team, and do anything I can to help this team get wins.”

Harry’s agent, Jamal Tooson, wrote over social media on July 6 that the former first-round pick was in need of a change of scenery.

“For the past several months, I have been working in cooperation with the Patriots behind the scenes to put a plan in place to allow N’Keal to thrive in New England,” Tooson wrote at the time. “Through two seasons, he has 86 targets, which obviously hasn’t met the expectations the Patriots and N’Keal had when they drafted a dominant downfield threat who was virtually unstoppable at the point of attack in college.

“Following numerous conversations with the Patriots, I believe it’s time for a fresh start and best for both parties if N’Keal moves on before the start of training camp. That’s why I have informed the Patriots today I am formally requesting a trade on behalf of my client.”

Harry recorded 33 receptions for 309 yards and two touchdowns in 14 games last season. The 6-foot-4 wideout has 45 catches for 414 yards and four scores in 21 career games since being selected by the Patriots with the 32nd overall pick out of Arizona State in 2019.

–Field Level Media

Jul 28, 2021; Foxborough, MA, United States; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (50) watches New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) during training camp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Belichick: Cam Newton is Patriots QB … for now

Veteran Cam Newton is the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots. At least for now.

That’s what coach Bill Belichick told reporters Saturday, reiterating the comments he made after the Patriots selected Alabama quarterback Mac Jones in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft in April.

Still, Belichick acknowledged he could change his viewpoint as training camp progresses in Foxborough, Mass.

“We’ll take a look at the whole situation,” Belichick said. “I don’t think you want to evaluate players at any position off one or two plays, or maybe a day. So from a consistency standpoint, that’s always important. And obviously production. So hopefully those things will be good, and I’m sure it will be a hard decision.”

Since training camp opened this week, Newton has taken the majority of the snaps, followed by Jones.

Newton, a former No. 1 overall draft pick and the 2015 NFL MVP with the Carolina Panthers, is in his second season with the Patriots. Brought in to fill the very big shoes of Tom Brady, Newton was 7-8 as a starter as the Patriots missed the playoffs for only the third time in 20 seasons. He completed 65.8 percent of his pass attempts for 2,657 yards and eight touchdowns with 10 interceptions. He added 12 touchdowns on 592 rushing yards.

Newton, 32, told reporters Friday that he knows his grip on the position isn’t secure.

“Ever since I’ve been here, there’s been a quarterback competition,” he said. “I think, in essence, that’s the underlying Patriot Way. Every position has a competition there, and quarterback is no different.”

–Field Level Media