Belichick the coach will fix Belichick the G.M.’s mistakes

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Bill Belichick the G.M. isn’t nearly as good as Bill Belichick the coach. Which makes Belichick’s work as a head coach even more impressive.

Belichick the coach faces a major test over the balance of the 2017 season, based on the misjudgments of Belichick the G.M. Starting with the decision to give market-value money to cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

Belichick the G.M. presumably knew what he was doing. He’d schemed against Gilmore twice a year for five years. The fact that Belichick the G.M. gave an early-days-of-free-agency deal to Gilmore, paying the price to do so, shows that Belichick the G.M. was sold on Gilmore the player. Four weeks in to the season, however, Belichick the coach has to clean up the mess that was created by Belichick the G.M., whose efforts have cobbled together the worse defense in the league.

Of course, if anyone can fix it, it’s Belichick the coach. And many assume he will. Three years ago, after the Patriots were blown out in Kansas City due in large part to a leaky offensive line, many wrote the Patriots off. It’s not happening now, in large part because the last time the Patriots were doubted, they simply turned things around and won the Super Bowl.

That’s not to say they’ll do it again this year, but the offense is working well. If Belichick the coach can make the defense just a little better, the Patriots can emerge from the morass of 2-2 teams and win the division. The real question is whether they’ll do well enough to get a bye or home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. To accomplish the latter, they’ll have to make up three games against the Chiefs over the final 12 games of the year.

60 responses to “Belichick the coach will fix Belichick the G.M.’s mistakes

  1. The fact that Belichick saw Gilmore get burned twice a year by his offense and still have him all that money makes me doubt his genius.

  2. He’s can afford to miss once and awhile. (Adalius Thomas, Donte Stallworth)

    He’s hit plenty of home runs (Vrabel, Phifer, Harrison, Dillon, Welker, Moss..)

  3. The challenge for Belichick the GM is the complexity of the Patriots system. He can see that a player is physically gifted and has good on field insticts and works hard. But he has no way of seeing if they can step up to a much more advanced system than they have been in so far simply because there isnt one. When that system is stocked with players that can handle it the Patriots are an unstoppable machine led by a QB who can not just handle such a system but push it up a couple levels. But if he has brought in some guys that turn out to be struggling with the system then its degree of advancement becomes a liability. As great as that system is it only takes one weak link to undo it and leave a gap.

    Gilmore is a great example. You can see he is struggling with when/how to commnicate and making some unfortunate coverage decisions that leave someone open. Some of the LB need to get better into that too.

  4. Gilmore hasn’t played well, but looking at his past tape, he could thrive in NE once he is fully knowledgeable of the system.
    The bigger problem, I think, is at DE/LB for this team. Losing Jabaal Sheard to Free Agency was a bigger loss than most realize.
    Of course, this position need pales in comparison to my Seahawks’ O Line problems.

  5. BB probably saw coachable talent that he felt confident could be elevated, and so far Gilmore hasn’t shown he lacks the ability to be worth the money. The problems are scheme and assignment breakdowns resulting in huge gains. The only time QB’s are throwing Gilmores way is when the coverage is blown and someone is free – so obviously even the league QB’s respect him.

    Too soon to say it’s a bad signing – revisit this one at week 8.

  6. I’m in no position to question Belichick’s coaching/GM acumen, but I will anyhow; hated the Gilmore signing from the beginning ..never saw a game where he wasn’t out of position & getting burned ..can’t understand what Bill saw in him

  7. .
    ” Bill Belichick the G.M. isn’t nearly as good as Bill Belichick the coach. ”

    Who’s better? Belichick, as GM, has averaged over 12 victories per season since 2001. They’ve only missed the playoffs once in that time (with an 11-5 record). He’s been the one responsible for all the reloading on the fly. Because, if you don’t have the talent on your roster, it really makes little difference who your coach is.

    It’s been a barrel of laughs for the media elite to bury high ticket free agent, Stephen Gilmore, after only 4 games. However, it’s a long season with a lot of football to be played. Let’s wait awhile before burying Gilmore, Belichick and the entire Patriots organization.
    .

  8. Well Belichick the coach had Tom Brady the Offensive player on the offense so it was more easily fixable. He does not have Tom Brady the defensive player so I am waiting with interest to see this. Many times of defense, you either have the players or you don’t. Losing Chandler Jones at one end, and then having Ninkovich retire this year has had a huge impact that is being understated.

  9. Belichick is game plan specific coach. He thrives at gameplanning against a team’s signature plays and making you play “left-handed”.

    All you have to do is show him something completely different on gameday , and run your signature plays out of formations he’s never seen before and you’ll gouge his defense like the Panthers and Chiefs did. Just like Miami did with the Wild Cat, just like my 49ers did in 2012.

  10. At worst, Gilmore becomes a one year gamble. Albeit, an expensive one. Cut the losses if it doesn’t pan out, secure Butler and find someone else for the other corner.

  11. It is kinda fun to watch the Patriots faithful squirm and defend… know you know the rest of us feel when you sat on your high horse. What goes around; comes around! I thought the Pats had another year and then the decline of a True Dynasty. Brady is the GOAT, but it is still a Team Sport.

  12. You have no idea how thrilled we Bills fans were to see Gilmore go. He thought he was God’s gift to the team and was anything but.

    Just wait Patriots fans. He has so much more to show you. My two favorites are his awesome non-tackling techniques and when he gets burned for a TD and looks around for another DB to throw his hands up at and put the blame on.

    Enjoy!!

  13. Bill the GM has done as amazing job keeping them on top with a SIGNIFICANT change in personnel.

    Winningest NFL team of the decade… and reporting claims his approach is broken?

    Cmon man.

    Lions Fan

  14. The same knee jerk media and fans calling for doom and gloom are the same knee jerk fans and media declaring 19-0. Just wait it out, they will be on to knee jerking the next thing there is to knee jerk about.

  15. These stories are ridiculous everytime. Year after year we hear the same things. Belichick the GM has failed, oh wait, we need to give Belichick the GM credit for building a superior roster, oh wait, Belichick the GM is a failure, oh wait, Belichick the GM has built a superior roster. The cycle never ends. Dont tell me, the Patriots roster just isn’t good, and they are done (again)? We will see how it all plays out. The issues plaguing the Patriots defense is mental errors, which can be fixed. If their issues are lack of talent, they are screwed. But so far, I don’t think lack of talent is the problem. The problem is having two defensive backs cover 1 pass catcher and leaving another guy wide open down field. That can be fixed. I think McCourty is awesome, but maybe if he spent less time traveling to New York to meet with Goodell about the protests, and more time working on the communication with the rest of the DBs, they wouldn’t have such glaring communication problems

  16. Brady can only bail the team out so much. Bill better fix that defense because Brady cant do anything except watch if the games on the line with a lead or a tie and they need a stop. And that has been a problem so far.

  17. Film study shows that most of the communication breakdowns leading to comically wide open WRs have been between Gilmore and McCourty. This makes sense since Gilmore is new to the system and McCourty is new to the protest circuit.

  18. I thought the reason why he gave all that money to Gilmore is because it had the side-effect of squeezing Butler into having to stay with the Patriots another year (because he couldn’t get the right amount to go) … And thus in-effect getting the duo for less total money than he might otherwise have.

    But, now neither are playing to potential, so it’s not working out well so far.

  19. The entire Patriots secondary will look a lot better if the front seven can somehow manage pressure on the quarterback. You can’t cover guys for 10 seconds. Nobody can.

  20. Panoramic Wifi says:
    October 4, 2017 at 11:09 am
    The challenge for Belichick the GM is the complexity of the Patriots system. He can see that a player is physically gifted and has good on field insticts and works hard. But he has no way of seeing if they can step up to a much more advanced system than they have been in so far simply because there isnt one. When that system is stocked with players that can handle it the Patriots are an unstoppable machine led by a QB who can not just handle such a system but push it up a couple levels. But if he has brought in some guys that turn out to be struggling with the system then its degree of advancement becomes a liability. As great as that system is it only takes one weak link to undo it and leave a gap.

    Gilmore is a great example. You can see he is struggling with when/how to commnicate and making some unfortunate coverage decisions that leave someone open. Some of the LB need to get better into that too.

    31 3 Rate This

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    I think it’s highly comical that people are declaring this a “miss” after 4 games. Obviously, there is an issue with his understanding of not only what the call is, but how to play it based on the formations. That should be easily correctable, even if just by playing more man coverage than usual.

    BB likes zone, because it leads to turnovers and confusion/indecisiveness by the QB at times. He uses it to set traps where the QB thinks he has something, and then wham, BB has the trap set, and it’s an INT or a hold in the red zone for 3 points, which we know won’t cut it vs NE’s offense.

    It’s VERY premature to claim this is a miss, though. BB throws a lot at his players, and with offenses always ahead of defenses this time of year in an offensive era, means it’s a shocl to the system to some free agents outside of the system.

    Obviously, it’s some more than others.

    It’s just funny how people’s mental condition is so affected by the success of the Pats, they can’t wait to deem the team finished or collapsed.

    This recently happened in 2014 after the KC loss and the team simply rolled up their sleeves and made every single dork hater out there eat it come early February, too. It was one of the funnier things I’ve seen in sports history. The media and haters had egg all over their faces and still do with another SB last year, with a 28-3 comeback starting at the end of the 3rd qtr.

    I’ll roll the dice with the greatest GM and coach who ever walked the face of the earth, thanks very much.

    Lastly, I think Hightower being back in the middle, taking more regular reps than any time in the first 4 games combined, is a bigger deal than the media or fans want to admit. He’s the heart and sould of the D, the alignments, adjustments, etc.

    Take away Melvin Ingram, Lavonte David, Kuechly, etc, and another Pro Bowl level MLB from the D, and you’ll see hiccups, too. Enough with the disingenuous analysis.

    I also hope someone like a Langi can emerge here a bit at LB, although I see him more as a MLB than an OB, along with the idea McCelllin returning after Week 6, would be a huge boost to a very good front 7.

  21. I’m no Pats fan but they’re 2-2 and have lost to the team with the best record in the league and to a team that played in a super bowl 3 years ago. The Panthers core was still intact and they got better through the draft. Until it happens a few years in a row I wouldn’t bet against the Patriots

  22. Brady is a system QB and Belichick played a big part in constructing that system. He knows what he is doing, so I’m not worried about the Patriots one bit. They’ll be alright.

  23. edelmanfanclub says:
    October 4, 2017 at 11:43 am
    Brady can only bail the team out so much. Bill better fix that defense because Brady cant do anything except watch if the games on the line with a lead or a tie and they need a stop. And that has been a problem so far.

    8 0 Rate This

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    And the D tried like hell to bail out Brady’s god awful AFC title games in 2007 and 2011, to get to those Super Bowls.

    In a very EASY offensive era and Brady so spoiled with loaded weaponry, I am pretty sure shredding bad Ds so far this year, is not an issue for him.

  24. I’ll roll the dice with the greatest GM and coach who ever walked the face of the earth, thanks very much.
    =====

    Who wouldn’t bet on Lombardi?

    Too bad he’s no longer with us.

  25. Patriots refusing to acknowledge the obvious. Gilmore is a bum. “Its only 4 games!!”, no, it’s been 4 seasons and 4 games. This is who he is. He shows flashes of brilliance, coupled with games on end worth of mental lapses and breakdowns. Sure, I’m just a Bills fan knocking the Patriots, but you are truly delusional if you think Gilmore is going to be anything better than what he is now. He won’t stick his nose in a pile, he has zero ball skills, and his mental breakdowns in coverage are mind boggling. This is what plagued him in Buffalo. This is why Bills fans were laughing when he signed for big money in NE. Sometimes it doesn’t take the smartest guy in the room to realize what a guy is. Gilmore is a bad CB. We’ll be having his conversation again in December when you are still trying to rationalize the deal. “It’s his first season, blah blah blah.” Just admit it, you whiffed. Tre White all day.

  26. Pat fans kept telling me that trading Chandler Jones was a stroke of genius that didn’t hurt them at all …. miss that pass rush yet? pressure on a QB makes corners look 10X better.

    Patriots have registered 8 sacks through 4 games and 3 Forced Fumbles.
    In the same time frame Chandler Jones has 4 sacks and 1 FF.
    no one will ever convince me that was good trade for New England.
    just still have yet to hear a Pat fan actually admit it…. still waiting.

  27. “Who wouldn’t bet on Lombardi?”

    I think Lombadi and other coaches from that era would be lost in the modern NFL. He wouldn’t be able to tolerate the way players are coddled by most teams these days, or the limits the CBA puts on practices and other aspects of preparation. And holy moly the concussion protocol would drive him nuts. Lombardi was a wave the smelling salts under their nose and get back out there next play kind of guy. Who knows how he would have dealt with the cap as well.

    Too many changes and restrictions that did not exist in his day

  28. harrisonhits2 says:
    October 4, 2017 at 12:35 pm
    “Who wouldn’t bet on Lombardi?”

    I think Lombadi and other coaches from that era would be lost in the modern NFL. He wouldn’t be able to tolerate the way players are coddled by most teams these days, or the limits the CBA puts on practices and other aspects of preparation. And holy moly the concussion protocol would drive him nuts. Lombardi was a wave the smelling salts under their nose and get back out there next play kind of guy. Who knows how he would have dealt with the cap as well.

    Too many changes and restrictions that did not exist in his day

    0 0 Rate This

    ——————

    Exactly. The primadonna millionaires who send Lombardi into a suicidal state never before seen by a head coach.

    The entitlement, the lower IQs, lack of coachability, etc.

    BB balances the old and new styles very well. I never would have though Moss would have bought in, for example.

  29. phinatic29 says:
    October 4, 2017 at 12:34 pm
    Pat fans kept telling me that trading Chandler Jones was a stroke of genius that didn’t hurt them at all …. miss that pass rush yet? pressure on a QB makes corners look 10X better.

    Patriots have registered 8 sacks through 4 games and 3 Forced Fumbles.
    In the same time frame Chandler Jones has 4 sacks and 1 FF.
    no one will ever convince me that was good trade for New England.
    just still have yet to hear a Pat fan actually admit it…. still waiting.

    1 0 Rate This

    —————–

    LOL

    Pass rush has been good. You have no absolutely no idea what you’re talking about here.

    The biggest loss so far for the D has been Hightower, and to some degree waiting on Shea McClellin to return, two key cogs at LB last year.

    Try to pay attention to facts. It might help you in life.

  30. Billy B. is a great coach but a brutal g.m. If you look at his recent draft picks, trades and free agent signings then you will concur.
    =====

    Cooks-trade
    Revis-trade

    Chris Hogan-RFA
    Mike Gillislee-RFA
    LaGarrett Blount-FA
    Martellus Bennett-FA

    .. the drafts haven’t been great. But so what?! Core players had spots locked up for years; Brady, Gronk, Edleman, Solder, Vollmer.. Hightower, Ninkovich, Butler, Chung, McCourty. Hardly ideal to whiff on entire classes, but they can afford to miss.

    … and they’ve won 2 of the last 3 Super Bowls. Whats the point questioning the personell?

  31. I think Lombadi and other coaches from that era would be lost in the modern NFL.
    =====

    To each their own.

    All I can say for sure is, we’ll never know.

  32. rabidbillsfan says:
    October 4, 2017 at 12:29 pm
    Patriots refusing to acknowledge the obvious. Gilmore is a bum. “Its only 4 games!!”, no, it’s been 4 seasons and 4 games. This is who he is. He shows flashes of brilliance, coupled with games on end worth of mental lapses and breakdowns. Sure, I’m just a Bills fan knocking the Patriots, but you are truly delusional if you think Gilmore is going to be anything better than what he is now. He won’t stick his nose in a pile, he has zero ball skills, and his mental breakdowns in coverage are mind boggling. This is what plagued him in Buffalo. This is why Bills fans were laughing when he signed for big money in NE. Sometimes it doesn’t take the smartest guy in the room to realize what a guy is. Gilmore is a bad CB. We’ll be having his conversation again in December when you are still trying to rationalize the deal. “It’s his first season, blah blah blah.” Just admit it, you whiffed. Tre White all day.

    1 0 Rate This

    —————-

    Did you just compare the environment in Buffalo to that of NE?

    LOL!!!!

    Antowain Smith, Larry Centers, Chris Hogan, Sammy Morris and others say “Hi”.

    We shall see how Gillislee and Gilmore end up playing for a far superior organization and out from under the Dough Marrone’s or Rex Ryan’s of the world.

    Enjoy that stadium and we look to see your team in Beijing in about 5 years, where we’ll be happy to unearth more mis-used Bills saps.

  33. aarons444 says:
    October 4, 2017 at 12:27 pm
    I’ll roll the dice with the greatest GM and coach who ever walked the face of the earth, thanks very much.
    =====

    Who wouldn’t bet on Lombardi?

    Too bad he’s no longer with us.

    3 3 Rate This

    ————-

    Yes, too bad, even though Halas and Brown were better. And, BB has been better than ALL of them.

    They named the trophy after him because GB was good at the time of the merger and on tv the most at that time, and he died.

    Get over it.

    He’s top 5, but not the best.

  34. amishninjas says:
    October 4, 2017 at 12:20 pm
    I’m no Pats fan but they’re 2-2 and have lost to the team with the best record in the league and to a team that played in a super bowl 3 years ago. The Panthers core was still intact and they got better through the draft. Until it happens a few years in a row I wouldn’t bet against the Patriots

    3 1 Rate This

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    ^A rational non-Pats fan adult found on a Pats based thread. Very unique.

  35. He’s can afford to miss once and awhile. (Adalius Thomas, Donte Stallworth)

    He’s hit plenty of home runs (Vrabel, Phifer, Harrison, Dillon, Welker, Moss..)

    agree 200% but if he can be praised for every trash heap pile he finds to win a super bowl with then he can be criticized for screwing up as well.
    That takes away nothing from his legacy either

  36. aarons444 says:
    October 4, 2017 at 12:44 pm
    Billy B. is a great coach but a brutal g.m. If you look at his recent draft picks, trades and free agent signings then you will concur.
    =====

    Cooks-trade
    Revis-trade

    Chris Hogan-RFA
    Mike Gillislee-RFA
    LaGarrett Blount-FA
    Martellus Bennett-FA

    .. the drafts haven’t been great. But so what?! Core players had spots locked up for years; Brady, Gronk, Edleman, Solder, Vollmer.. Hightower, Ninkovich, Butler, Chung, McCourty. Hardly ideal to whiff on entire classes, but they can afford to miss.

    … and they’ve won 2 of the last 3 Super Bowls. Whats the point questioning the personell?

    0 0 Rate This

    ——————

    The drafts have been fantastic since 2010. Heck, I’d argue the yields from 2008 and 2009 are a lot better than even our fans would have given credit for.

    No team has drafted better since the Lockout started taking advantage of the rookie cap, more so than the Pats and 6 straight conf title games, 3 SB appearances and 2 rings, reflect that.

    Have a nice day!

  37. @aarons444:

    wow big deal, you listed a few of his signings but I bet you the list of his mistakes outshines his few good signings.

    just admit that he is not a good g.m.

  38. stucats says:
    October 4, 2017 at 12:57 pm
    @aarons444:

    wow big deal, you listed a few of his signings but I bet you the list of his mistakes outshines his few good signings.

    just admit that he is not a good g.m.

    0 0 Rate This

    ————–

    How can the greatest GM in sports history “not be a good GM”?

  39. “wow big deal, you listed a few of his signings but I bet you the list of his mistakes outshines his few good signings.

    You couldn’t be more wrong and farther from the truth. Bill the GM has kept the Pats in the top 4 teams of the league 11 of the last 16 years, and top 8 most of the other 5. No other GM is even close to that. But as always, the Pats haters ignore the actual facts involved because they don’t fit with the narrative.

  40. “Bill Belichick the G.M. isn’t nearly as good as Bill Belichick the coach.”

    Here’s a list of every GM that’s put together a team that’s been to seven Super Bowls:
    Bill Belichick

  41. Yes, too bad, even though Halas and Brown were better.
    =====

    Paul Brown? And his 3 NFL Titles?….. Lombardi 3-PEATED! IN the Super Bowl era.

    Lombardi was 13-5 V Halas, and won 5 Titles in the 60s. Halas managed to win.. 1.

    I’ll go ahead and disagree entirely with you.

  42. Let’s talk after Tampa lights that defense up again on Thursday and the Bills get to 4-1. The good news is, once Brady, BB, or both are gone, you homers will follow. Patriot fanbase est. 2001.

  43. The drafts have been fantastic since 2010. Heck, I’d argue the yields from 2008 and 2009 are a lot better than even our fans would have given credit for.

    No team has drafted better since the Lockout started taking advantage of the rookie cap, more so than the Pats and 6 straight conf title games, 3 SB appearances and 2 rings, reflect that.
    ======

    Belichick has 2 starters out of the last 4 drafts. Thats terrible, and you know it.

    2008.. 10 years ago?? Yawn….

    Since the Lockout, Seattle has drafted better than anyone. Not even close.

    Belichick keeps on winning. Thats all that really matters here.

  44. tylawspick6 says:

    Billy B is not the greatest g.m. in sports history, far from it. God forbid anyone that criticizes anything that the Pats do….jeez!

    Billy B is the greatest recorder of other teams practicing and deflating footballs too.

  45. Same old crock of crap we’ve heard from the media and fans for 18 years every time Pats lose a couple games – Belichick is such a terrible GM. Somehow that idiot has managed to put together the longest running dynasty in sports under a salary cap that was supposed to make it impossible. Better find another “storyline” This one is worn out.

  46. I love how Pats fans tout the Cooks trade as a great move. He’s averaging a small number of catches per game and looks pedestrian, except for an occasional play here or there. He’s definitely not what you thought he’d be. Brady’s probably still yelling at him. Lol.

  47. ncphinsfan says:
    October 4, 2017 at 11:30 am
    It is kinda fun to watch the Patriots faithful squirm and defend…

    ————-

    It’s kinda hard to know who the real Patriots fans are when so many trolls take on bogus Pats fan screen names. I don’t see any real Pats fans defending anything. Just a lot of saying: Too soon, wait and see.

  48. The fact that Belichick saw Gilmore get burned twice a year by his offense and still have him all that money makes me doubt his genius.

    —–

    Personnel wise, there are better GMs. He is much better as a coach and master tactician. People overrate his genius in the personnel area since he’s such a good coach.

  49. Gilmore struggled in Rex Ryan’s system which is also heavily based in checks & communication. So surprise, he’s struggling in another system that requires that.

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