Why has Bill Belichick gone from unquestionable to doubtable?

Nick Friar
March 23, 2020 - 10:22 am

There used to be a time where it was taboo to question Bill Belichick. Members of the media still did it, but that was the quick and easy way to upset fans — because they had absolute faith in the hood.

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Understandably so. The guy won enough times to prove not only is he always looking to put his team in a position to succeed, he usually accomplished this goal. Did that mean he should have been completely beyond reproach? That’s a different story.

But with the way things went down with Tom Brady, it almost seems too natural for some Patriots fans to question Belichick. And with that, more members of the media have been empowered to do that same.

Now, has the Patriots head coach made some questionable decisions in recent years? Yeah, sure. As annoying as it may sound, I think sitting Malcolm Butler in Super Bowl LII is what led to this distrust. Because there are few, if any, who view that move as a football decision. And the ripple effect has led us to where we are now, a Brady-less Patriots team.

But between Super Bowl LII and now, Belichick helped deliver New England another ring, right? Didn’t he prove boy wonder Sean McVay was just another mere mortal?

And as much as the Patriots met a brutal end at the hands of the Titans and Ryan Tannehill in the postseason, wasn’t the team one of the best in the NFL throughout much of the season? Even with the baffling loss to the Dolphins in Week 17, didn’t everyone think Belichick was doing what he thought was best in order to win?

Or is everyone now convinced that’s no longer the case?

Look, seeing Brady in a Buccaneers uniform is wrong. Put him in a Cowboys jersey or something like that and, as much as it might sting more for Patriots fans, it makes sense on some level. But Tampa Bay? They may have a plethora of weapons, but it simply doesn’t look right.

When you put those two details side-by-side — The Tannessance bouncing the Patriots from the postseason and Brady signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — it’s hard to imagine there are many worse ways for the Brady-Belichick run to end.

What seems so strange in all of this, though: Belichick is catching serious heat every step of the way. As much as Brady was more than the face of Boston sports, hasn’t the priority for Patriots fans always been winning? Again, hasn’t Belichick shown he always intends to put the team in the best spot to do just that? Or has he lost that trust, permanently?