The Patriots’ coaching staff will see some changes between now and when the team takes the field again for OTAs in the spring. Not expected to be among those changes? Head coach Bill Belichick.
Speaking with the media Sunday morning, Belichick was asked if he wants to continue coaching in 2022. “I’d say that would be accurate,” Belichick replied.
2022 would be Belichick’s 28th season as a head coach in the NFL, and his 23rd with the Patriots. He’ll turn 70 in April. With 321 career wins, regular and postseason, Belichick currently ranks third all-time and is three wins behind legendary Chicago coach George Halas. He needs 26 wins to tie Don Shula as the winningest coach in NFL history.
Belichick may be staying, but there are other changes expected to come at the staffing level. Jerod Mayo remains a name to watch, with NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reporting Sunday morning that Mayo is set to interview with the Broncos this week, with “1 or 2 more” interview requests expected. Scouting consultant Eliot Wolf is also expected to interview with both the Bears and Vikings.
Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has also been speculated as a potential head coaching candidate, although reportedly has not received any interview requests as of Sunday morning. Running backs coach Ivan Fears, who has been with the organization since 1999, has hinted at retirement.
“We have a lot of good coaches. It’s not surprising that other teams would be interested in talking to them, or other staff members — the same thing with the scouting staff,” Belichick said when asked about other teams showing interest in his staff. “We basically have that every single year. How that goes and what will happen, again, I don’t know. That’s not my decision to make. Certainly, if there’s an opportunity for somebody that’s at a high level that we can’t provide here, I understand they would have to consider that. We’ll see what happens on that.”
For those staying with Belichick in New England, the process of preparing for 2022 begins with a big-picture look at the franchise. “I think we need to, and will, go back and take a longer view of just everything,” Belichick explained on Sunday. “Certainly last night’s game was important and I’m not in any way trying to minimize that. But at the same time, there are 17 other meaningful games, so 18 in all, that I think we really need to look at and see how we can do a better job of everything. Coaching, playing, schematically, whatever adjustments we need to make there, and so forth. And just in season planning for next year. That will be a thorough process, as it always is. ”
Once the coaching staff settles, the next official step for the Patriots will be internal free agency. The team has 22 players on expiring contracts, including 16 starters or other high-impact players.
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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. 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 abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.