Patriots ’20 Questions: Will Bill Belichick spend more time with offense in 2020?

Andy Hart and Ryan Hannable
July 09, 2020 - 12:14 pm
Categories: 

The Patriots are in the midst of the most interesting, important offseason in more than two decades. Tom Brady moved on to Tampa Bay. Bill Belichick remains in place with a veteran roster. There are plenty of questions and even more plentiful opinions regarding the defending AFC East champions. Over the next few weeks WEEI.com will ask and offer up answers to 20 of the most critical questions facing the 2020 Patriots.

Today’s question: Will Bill Belichick continue to oversee the defense or could he take a more active role on the offensive side of the ball out of necessity this fall?

Listen Live Now on WEEI

Hannable: While the offense will be without Tom Brady for the first time in 20 years, the Patriots defense still deserves the majority of his attention. 

First off, the defense still doesn't have a true coordinator and it would seem like nothing will change from a year ago when Belichick had more of a voice with that unit as Jerod Mayo and Steve Belichick split play-calling duties. And second, the Patriots offense still has one of the best offensive coordinators in the game -- Josh McDaniels -- leading the way. Not to mention the organization brought in an experienced quarterbacks coach in Jedd Fisch this offseason. The unit is in good hands from a coaching perspective.

Belichick still has a say with both sides of the ball as gameplans are run through the coach, but McDaniels is still in New England for a reason and doesn't need Belichick to help any more with the post-Brady offense.

HartWe all know that in reality Belichick oversees it all in New England. But, there is only so much time in the day/week and he is advancing in age. Even with the transition at quarterback from Tom Brady to, likely, Cam Newton, Belichick’s time and efforts are still more needed on the defensive side of the ball.

Josh McDaniels is one of the most experienced, proven offensive coordinators in the game. He’s certainly capable of overseeing whatever the Patriots offense looks like moving forward with more athleticism at the quarterback position. He also has a very experienced newcomer to lean on in quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch. By comparison, the defensive coaching staff remains pretty unproven, especially considering the loss of Bret Bielema. Jerod Mayo is in just his second season on the sidelines and Steve Belichick is in his second year as more than just a position coach.

A year ago players raved about Belichick’s importance to the success on defense for the NFL’s No. 1 unit. That group will have to be leaned on heavily again in New England in 2020 and must overcome its own key personnel losses (Jamie Collins, Kyle Van Noy and Duron Harmon). While Belichick will certainly have a significant say on where the Patriots offense goes this summer and in weekly game plans on that side of the ball, the veteran boss needs to be as involved as ever with his defense to ensure that the unit remains a key cog in the Patriots plan for success in 2020.

Related: Complete details of Cam Newton's contract with Patriots revealed