It’s time for Patriots owner Robert Kraft to treat Bill Belichick the way Belichick treats his players.

It’s time for Patriots owner Robert Kraft to treat Bill Belichick the way Belichick treats his players.

For years, arguably decades, he was driven by Bill Belichick’s ethos New England Patriots has been impenetrable: We do what’s best for the team.

together do your job, has adopted this principle in almost all the decisions that have come to define the franchise. He supports it in the coaches’ meetings. He repeats it in corporate speeches. He repeats it so often in press conferences that clips of him uttering some version of the ideology can be found in nearly every year of his Patriots reign.

If anyone questions his dedication to that, they need only look inside Belichick’s roll calls throughout history: a march of attrition that shows a preference for cold calculation over sentimentality or blind loyalty.

start Tom Brady On Drew Bledsoe? Do what’s best for the team.

Release Pro Bowl attorney Milloy just days before the start of the 2003 season? Do what’s best for the team.

Spending decades trading, cutting or moving away from aging core players? Do what’s best for the team.

The future of the team mattered. When the tough business decision was made, so many dynasty-building names didn’t make it: Milloy, Ty Law, Deion Branch, Asante Samuel, Richard Seymour, Randy Moss, Logan Mankins, Jamie Collins, Stephon Gilmore … and much, much more. In the end, long-term success or failure would never be staked on one man. And for decades, Belichick was right.

Then he came Matt Patricia and the 2022 season. The moment Belichick’s incorruptible doctrine of “what’s best for the team” was blinded by his arrogance.

Somewhere between not having an exit plan for Josh McDaniels as offensive coordinator and overestimating his ability to consistently put a square hole in a round hole, Belichick violated his credo. He didn’t do what was best for the team, bravery over logic and a fellow coach in need of a young quarterback. Prioritizing trust and familiarity over the need to build lists.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft should take note. His team is in an offseason where it’s time for Belichick to start treating his players the way Belichick has treated his players for decades. That’s where the coach’s playbook should be in the owner’s mouth.

Do your work. Do what’s best for the team.

At this point, it has to be Kraft Belichick. sentimental Calculate Guided No past earned credit lines. Instead of reapplying grace to Belichick’s mistakes, choose strength. Get a vital mandate rather than some form of diplomacy.

It’s time for Patriots owner Robert Kraft to spread Bill Belichick’s own mantra for the good of the franchise. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

In short: Tell Belichick Patricia needs to be stripped of his offensive play-calling duties and the coach needs to find a proven offensive coordinator to control and guide the scheme. Mac Jones. Because what is happening this season is going from unacceptable to malpractice.

It’s similar to New England’s offensive line New York Giants did daniel jones — taking a promising start and systematically destroying his ability to properly develop as a quarterback. It’s a slip-up that irreparably damaged Daniel Jones’ chance to be the team’s answer at quarterback and helped put the franchise on a multi-year spiral that is now slowing. Coach Brian Daboll. Now Patriots fans are watching Mac Jones The same way Giants fans did during Daniel Jones’ second and third seasons, wondering if his early success was just a mirage.

They might not be alone, either. Patriots offensive tackle Trent Brown made news this week when his Instagram account “liked” a post suggesting the franchise should get Brady back or back. Jimmy Garoppolo. While there’s no way to know if it was Brown or someone who runs his account who pushed that button, the fact is that this is an unpatriotic drama brewing between an offensive tackle and the quarterback he’s being paid to protect. . That’s not a big deal, no matter how you process it.

That is the drama that this experiment of Patricia invites, from the hobby Bailey Zappe Jones has emotional outbursts over a game plan that shows minimal confidence in him. None of that was a problem in 2021, when McDaniels ran the offense. The McDaniels himself walked off the field in Las Vegas on Sunday with an improbable win that would have gone to overtime if Patricia had taken a knee at the end of regulation. Instead, Patricia flagged a running play that opened up the possibility of a heavy set of decisions from two players who should never have been in that position in the first place.

No, that’s not entirely blaming Patricia for the Raiders losing. But when you review the game, it definitely made a lot of questionable decisions that were forgotten by the end. And the point is, if you didn’t trust Jones to throw a Hail Mary to end regulation and think a run game would end in a simple offense, why not take a knee and eliminate the possibility of a mental mistake. ? That’s the job of a seasoned play-caller, to increase the probability of success while eliminating as much opportunity for error as possible.

Patricia didn’t do that. And in doing so, the Patriots lost a game that threatens to bounce back from the postseason for the second time in three years.

That kind of bottom line, where the Patriots are sitting at home again in the postseason, has to be on Kraft’s mind. No one should forget that last March at the NFL’s biggest annual owners’ meeting, Kraft went unnoticed to put pressure on Belichick. He was upset that New England fell off the league map so quickly as a contender after Brady’s departure. And he was upset that the Patriots hadn’t won a playoff game since Super Bowl LIII following the 2018 season.

“I think about it a lot,” Kraft said.

And that’s why he needs to do something he’s refrained from doing for decades: get into Belichick’s kitchen when it comes to making coaching decisions, and make it clear that Patricia has no future as a play-caller on the team. It seems like the owner is crossing the line, but the fact is it happens all the time in the NFL to other franchises. Especially when the coach is making ego decisions that hurt the team.

In this case with Patricia, it clearly happened. Now Kraft must take it upon himself to take a page from Belichick and think first team. There is no room for nostalgia for past glories or what was going on when Tom Brady was still in the vest. For this franchise to thrive, it needs to thrive.

Belichick treating his players the way he has always treated them would be a good start for ownership.

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