New England Patriots

Oct 25, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick watches from the sideline as they take on the San Francisco 49ers in the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

By Alex Barth,

It’s no secret Bill Belichick’s last four drafts haven’t been his best. Just a handful of players have become regular, reliable contributors. Given the team’s struggles in 2020, this has been put under the microscope in recent weeks.

Asked point blank about the reason for his recent struggles with rookies, Belichick didn’t mince words.

I’d say the most important thing to me is winning games, and I’m not going to apologize for our record over the last 20 years,” Belichick stated. I mean, I’ve seen a lot worse. So ultimately, we try to put the best team on a field that we can to be competitive. And I don’t really see that changing.”

That answer came the second time Belichick was asked the question. First time around, he spoke about roster competition.

“Any time you bring a player onto your team, you put him into a role or a situation that you think fits him,” Belichick explained. “He competes with other players at whatever position it is or whatever role it is. Ultimately you choose – or we choose – I choose the best player in the competition.”

There is some truth to what Belichick is talking about here. In the past, rookies had trouble getting playing time with the Patriots because there was so much talent ahead of them on the roster. But with that veteran talent now thinning out, recent draft classes haven’t capitalized on the opportunity as much as planned.

For more on how the Patriots have handled rookies in recent years, check out the Patriots Preview Podcast below:

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at