Curran: Does Belichick have any voices of dissent?

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As the nagging sense of something negative in New England continues to fester, Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston offers up a possible theory. Curran questions whether Belichick is back in the same place where he was in 2009, when there weren’t enough voices of dissent in his ear.

It’s important for anyone in a position of power and influence to have one or more lieutenants who are willing and able to raise real questions about whether a planned course of action could be a mistake. When Curran presented the issue directly to Belichick after the Ravens splattered the Patriots in the wild-card round in the 2009 season, Belichick agreed with the importance of having people like that around.

“There’s a point in time where you reach a point or you have a relationship and you feel more comfortable saying things that you just wouldn’t have said — even with that guy — a few years earlier,” Belichick said at the time. “I definitely get where you’re at on that and I mean, I understand that.”

Currently, who’s in position to provide frank, candid objection to the things Belichick wants to do? Who was there to tell him that perhaps he should try to get more than a second-round pick for Jimmy Garoppolo? Who was there to tell Belichick that maybe Malcolm Butler should get a chance to play during the second half of a Super Bowl in which the Patriots had a hard time stopping the Philadelphia offense with the other seven defensive backs who collectively weren’t getting it done?

Curran’s column shares a quote from Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, who said last year that Belichick has explained that, at this point in his career, he wants to coach players he likes, players he wants to be around. Has Belichick extended that same attitude to anyone who possibly would scrutinize and criticize Belichick’s ideas to the point that he doesn’t want to be around them?

As the Patriots try to regroup after a season that ended in a sense of failure, it’s important to wonder whether Belichick has those voices who are able to steer him away from circumstances that could lead to future failures.

60 responses to “Curran: Does Belichick have any voices of dissent?

  1. At what point does he just get your benefit of the doubt? What a bunch of a garbage and pure speculation.

  2. Old and busted: Belichick is at odds with Brady and Kraft
    New hotness: Belichick has nobody who disagrees with him

  3. An Unsuccessful season? Conference champ, #1 seed, and a Super Bowl appearance. So 30 teams had bad seasons? What would you call the Browns season?

  4. If being within a chance to tie in the Super Bowl til the final second against a team that clearly outplayed you is failure, I’d hate to see what Florio considers not making the playoffs.

  5. If Patricia truly is a pushover with no backbone to push back, as in what’s implied in bringing up Butler, Detroit is going to be in trouble.
    But I find this hard to believe.

  6. 5 times SB champion as a head coach
    2 times SB champion as a defensive coordinator
    3 times coach of the year

    You don’t question the football decisions of someone with that kind of resume. Belichick is the undisputed GOAT. From the Seth Wickersham article, we learned Belichick was ready to move on from a 40 year old Brady and start a new era with Garoppolo. There is little doubt now that the Patriots had about the same chance of winning SB 52 with Garoppolo as they did with Brady. Possibly even a better chance if you compare the performance of both QBs against common opponent, the Jaguars. So Belichick was proven right and if the Patriots go on to not win another SB with Brady he will be further vindicated.

    #InBelichickWeTrust

  7. We will now be told by the cacophony of fools and idiots that Belichick is the worst coach ever, Brady is a horrible QB, and the Pats are a terrible team.

    Lolz

  8. aarons444 says:
    March 6, 2018 at 12:31 pm
    This sack of Rome will be glorious.

    ——–

    Keep hoping little guy…..someday it will actually be true….

  9. I think the speculation on Jimmy G. Is silly. Belichick probably thought Brady was in his last year (Gisele was going on talk shows saying that Tom had multiple concussions) and that is why they held on to Jimmy. When it became clear that Tom was not retiring, they had to move Jimmy G.

  10. aarons444 says:
    March 6, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    This sack of Rome will be glorious.
    ———————

    What are you going to do with all of that free time?

  11. People always want to magnify the cracks in successful people or organizations. It’s seemingly human nature to try and level the field, so to speak, by ignoring the positives and either highlighting the few negatives or digging for them where none exist at all.

    We’ve had these types of articles and this level of speculation about the Patriots for over a decade now, and for all that time they’ve been more successful than any team in the league. If those two facts don’t seem at odds to you, it’s because you’re willing and able to ignore the success in favor of the drama, real or imagined, that is created in the wake of said success. In short, you don’t want to admit that what you’re seeing is simply amazing, and want to normalize it to adjust reality to your own biases. Again, this almost seems like human nature, and in the realm of sports it has been seen with every major success story. It’s nothing new, but it’s always upsetting to see.

    When this dynasty ends, everyone who ever speculated or instigated or pursued alternative narratives on its status as a dynasty will feel some measure of vindication, and they’ll all be 100% categorically wrong in feeling it. They’ll revel in the ignorance of mistaking rumor-mongering for truth-telling, and wild speculation for accurate observation.

    Here’s the truth: The New England Patriots are the best team of the last 20 years overall, with one of the best head coaches, quarterbacks, and some of the most well-built and cohesive teams ever seen on a professional football field. To look beyond that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but to constantly be pushing a narrative that what you see with your own eyes is not happening or urgently waiting for it to end is just…depressing. Depressing and disgusting. It’s the opposite of what being a fan of the sport is, and it’s the opposite of sports journalism. It’s wrong, plain and simple.

  12. For those outside of NE, this is the self immolation that the media types in Boston engage in all the time. They can’t stand the fact that Boston franchises (the Patriots of the past 20 years especially) are now successful. We in the Northeast went through this stretch of failures with the Bs and Celtics, the perpetual losing of the pre-2004 Sox and the pre-2001 Pats that they just don’t know what to do with themselves.
    They churn the drama non-stop. It is on 2 radio stations, all 4 network affiliates, NBC Boston Sports, NESN… 2 competing newspapers. It is a mill of who can get the freshest bits out the quickest.
    As was seen in years past with Tomase and now Ron Borges, media personalities around here barely vet anything before putting it out. Just trying to get the scoop and get their own spin on it before anyone else gets it.
    Tom E. Curran is just another headline hound looking for clicks.

  13. There was speculation about Patriots owner Bob Kraft after his much younger girlfriend Ricki Noel Lander secretly had a baby — but he’s confirmed that the child is not his.

  14. I am not a Patriots fan, but I know a filler article about a filler article when I see one.

    The Patriots have been to the AFC Championship game for seven straight seasons. Only one team in either the AFC or NFC has appeared in even three conference championships during those seven seasons (49ers from 2011-2013, and they have been an average to lousy team since then).

  15. Nobody from the outside knows the inner workings of the Patriots better than Tom Curran. If he senses an issue, he’s not making it up. However, Robert Kraft, Jonathan Kraft, Belichick, and Brady will eventually have their sit down and will deal with Guerrero, Gronk, and Butler issues.

  16. Curran needs to find another sport to write about between the Super Bowl and the start of free agency. He has developed a real flair for click bait Belichick hit pieces this off-season. He used to be a really good beat writer. Disappointing to see him devolve to ridiculous pieces like this to get people to pay attention to him.

  17. So no news out of NE. No info whatsoever. So in absence of knowing anything lets just do some wild guessing. And while we are at it lets make those guesses juicy. So many people want to hear of something unraveling in NE so lets make that our guess because then it gets gobbled up.

  18. Belichick already has his trusted Ernie Adams.

    The only “nagging sense of something negative” is media driven junk. Either report on substantiated FACTS or stop fabricating clickbait stories.

  19. It’s wonderful how non-coaches think they know football so well. “Who was there to tell Belichick that maybe Malcolm Butler should get a chance to play during the second half of a Super Bowl in which the Patriots had a hard time stopping the Philadelphia offense with the other seven defensive backs who collectively weren’t getting it done”. News flash: THE PATRIOTS HAD NO PASS RUSH IN THAT GAME, so it wasn’t the DBs who were “failing” to “get the job done”. Yes, Butler would have been better than who was playing in his place, but he wouldn’t have fixed what ailed the Patriots that day, AND there was DEFINITELY a good reason he was benched. One game, even the Super Bowl, DOES NOT TRUMP A WINNING PROCESS. A GOOD PROCESS WINS MORE IN THE LONG RUN, and it’s clear that Belichick has a good (but not “flawless”, because such a thing doesn’t exist) process.

  20. As the Patriots try to regroup after a season that ended in a sense of failure,
    ———-
    Wow really? Is that were we are these days? AFC Champions season ended in failure.

    So only one NFL team season ends with success? The other 31 teams seasons ended in equal failure. Wow. That’s troll level logic if I have ever read troll level logic.

  21. There is always dissent within the organization. I think Belichick’s voice has gone stale. His fellow coaches can’t say anything out of fear. Not having the backing from players like Brady and Gronk won’t help the cause. It’s clear Belichick doesn’t have the power to plan for the future due to Mr Krafts love for Brady. If I’m Bill I move on or retire.

  22. .
    Patriots fans will go to their graves wondering how Butler ended up sitting out while his replacements were being torched like baked Alaska.
    .

  23. Sheesh the guys team lost in the SB by 1 possession and people are questioning his acumen and knowledge. He lost twice to worse teams in the 07 Giants and 11 Giants, the 16 Eagles were just better built and coached. I think hell be fine. If this is a failure I dont want to see what they think if Belichick misses the playoffs! He needs to retool that front 7 for sure.

  24. Bad seasons are dependent on the expectations for your team. Comparing the Browns and the Patriots is just – idiocy. No one expected the Browns to win a game, while the Patriots in many minds were expected to win a Super Bowl. They were also expected to be dominant (they did dominate the AFC East, as usual, but the lost to winning teams all season, had an easy path in the playoffs, and were one bad whistle away from not even making the Super Bowl), and stats aside, were clearly outplayed in the Super Bowl. And that wasn’t because Malcolm Butler didn’t play. So yes, in the eyes of many, that was a bad season for the Patriots.

    And yes, I do believe that there are cracks in the seams there.

  25. While all dynasties must come to an end, this is an interesting tipping point.

    Do Brady and Bellichick really want to be separated at this point in their careers where it can be determined who was the biggest importance in this dynasty? Do the Pats fans really want to have the discussion of who was more important?

    I tend to think it’s a greater sum of the parts in this case. But can we be honest and realize that while it was great they won the superbowl last year, they were outplayed in 6 of the last 8 superbowl quarters they were in. If Atlanta didn’t find a way to be Atlanta, and they held on to that game, is everyone still screaming goats? Even the Seattle superbowl can be scrutinized if they did enough to win the game, or did the Hawks give it away on a bad decision (run the damn ball)? The door looks to be closing and trust me I am not a hater, I just don’t think they were on a completely other level like some claim. Bill does not lose games but waits for the other coach to do just that.

    You gotta win some when you get that many tries. The Team is actually only .500 in 10 appearances. Is that conference and division that weak? At least they don’t have a winning record against my team, lol.

  26. The challenge with this opinion is that whatever the way Belichick is doing it, they won the Super Bowl last year and made it to the Super Bowl again this year. It’s not exactly like the wheels are falling off on his approach, whatever it is.

    The team that loses the Super Bowl gets the most scrutiny in the offseason generally, so this is just normal second guessing stuff.

  27. False narratives continue no matter what. He talks with Mayock and Eisen and the local haters get angry. Saw the same kind of stuff during the Walsh years in SF.

  28. reddzen says:
    March 6, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    Bad seasons are dependent on the expectations for your team. Comparing the Browns and the Patriots is just – idiocy. No one expected the Browns to win a game, while the Patriots in many minds were expected to win a Super Bowl. They were also expected to be dominant (they did dominate the AFC East, as usual, but the lost to winning teams all season, had an easy path in the playoffs, and were one bad whistle away from not even making the Super Bowl), and stats aside, were clearly outplayed in the Super Bowl. And that wasn’t because Malcolm Butler didn’t play. So yes, in the eyes of many, that was a bad season for the Patriots.

    And yes, I do believe that there are cracks in the seams there.
    —————–

    That’s insane. Games aren’t won on paper. It’s very difficult to win games in the NFL. So because people lack common sense it’s the Pats problem? They actually have to play the games. So much for self proclaimed experts.

  29. “For those outside of NE, this is the self immolation that the media types in Boston engage in all the time. They can’t stand the fact that Boston franchises (the Patriots of the past 20 years especially) are now successful.”

    For a lot of the Boston sports media you are correct. Curran is hands down the best one of the Pats beat writers, and he often has insights that no one else has / gets. He has also written many many complimentary pieces about the Pats, and is not one of the Tanguay type bottom feeders.

  30. TheWizard says:
    March 6, 2018 at 1:16 pm
    Remember when he coached the Browns to a playoff win?
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Remember when Belichick was fired he had the worst winning percentage of any coach in Browns history at the time other than the interim coach that didn’t even coach a full season? Thanks for playing.

  31. andrwken says:
    March 6, 2018 at 1:48 pm
    While all dynasties must come to an end, this is an interesting tipping point.
    Do Brady and Bellichick really want to be separated at this point in their careers where it can be determined who was the biggest importance in this dynasty? Do the Pats fans really want to have the discussion of who was more important?
    I tend to think it’s a greater sum of the parts in this case. But can we be honest and realize that while it was great they won the superbowl last year, they were outplayed in 6 of the last 8 superbowl quarters they were in. If Atlanta didn’t find a way to be Atlanta, and they held on to that game, is everyone still screaming goats? Even the Seattle superbowl can be scrutinized if they did enough to win the game, or did the Hawks give it away on a bad decision (run the damn ball)? The door looks to be closing and trust me I am not a hater, I just don’t think they were on a completely other level like some claim. Bill does not lose games but waits for the other coach to do just that.
    You gotta win some when you get that many tries. The Team is actually only .500 in 10 appearances. Is that conference and division that weak? At least they don’t have a winning record against my team, lol.

    ————-

    Assuming a teams hardest game of the season (particularly in the cap era) is in the Super Bowl they should be facing equal talent. Therefore all teams should trend toward 50% in the Super Bowl over time.

    For the Patriots specifically they lost the first two in a period of NFC dominance where the NFC won 14 of 15 Super Bowls.

    Then for the Brady Era they were massive underdogs in the first, kind of just faced “ok” teams in 2003 and 2004 in a short period of AFC dominance. The NFC really had no good teams in those years through 2006. 2007 the Patriots should have won as the big favorites. 2011 was an even match of not great teams. 2014 the Patriots really beat a great team. Not as good as the 2013 Seahawks, but that was still a great game and a battle of the titans of the league. 2016 the Patriots and Atlanta were really the best two teams in the league by game time and in 2017 the Patriots and Eagles were the best two teams in the league, but the Patriots defense wasn’t good enough to beat Foles which was really sad (and Foles played really great unfortunately).

    Overall the Patriots had no chance in the first two, stole one, blew one, were the better team in two and then went .500 in 4 very evenly matched Super Bowls.

    Not sure they could have done much better. You could easily say they could be 2-8 or 8-2 given Brady gave them a chance in every game and they were all close.

    It’s been fun to be a Patriots fan in any case and I think they have a chance to compete again this year.

  32. BB has fallen prey to believing all the genius talk about him. You’re in trouble when you always think you’re the smartest guy in the room and no one else has anything constructive to tell you.

  33. 6ball says:
    March 6, 2018 at 1:38 pm
    .
    Patriots fans will go to their graves wondering how Butler ended up sitting out while his replacements were being torched like baked Alaska.

    ————–

    This one stings, but nothing like 2007. It’s child’s play compared to that. I still feel like the Patriots can win that game.

    Also… now that Brady has 5 rings it’s not as upsetting.

  34. reddzen says:
    March 6, 2018 at 1:47 pm
    Bad seasons are dependent on the expectations for your team. Comparing the Browns and the Patriots is just – idiocy. No one expected the Browns to win a game, while the Patriots in many minds were expected to win a Super Bowl. They were also expected to be dominant (they did dominate the AFC East, as usual, but the lost to winning teams all season, had an easy path in the playoffs, and were one bad whistle away from not even making the Super Bowl)
    ————————————–
    They were also a couple bad whistles away from WINNING the Super Bowl. As for losing to winning teams, They went 13-3 in the regular season, one of the losses was to Miami in Miami, traditionally not a win for NE.

  35. alfredogarciashead says:
    March 6, 2018 at 12:50 pm
    Pats fans holding up meaningless stats. Scoreboard.

    ———-

    I think the stats people are raising are wins and losses, so that is the scoreboard.

  36. patriotmaleorgy says:
    March 6, 2018 at 2:22 pm
    TheWizard says:
    March 6, 2018 at 1:16 pm
    Remember when he coached the Browns to a playoff win?
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Remember when Belichick was fired he had the worst winning percentage of any coach in Browns history at the time other than the interim coach that didn’t even coach a full season? Thanks for playing.

    —————
    I remember BB coached the Browns to their a playoff win….against Bill Parcells and the Patriots. And it was the last time the Browns won a postseason game. Coincidence? You tell me….

  37. Karma will catch up with them. and they have a lot to be accountable for over all the years of twisting and cheating.

  38. Things are going to get really painful for Patriot fans. They are going to regret how obnoxious they were all these past years.

  39. Garoppolo hasn’t weathered a full season in the NFL and the book is still out on what he can actually accomplish.
    He has looked good when in there but time will tell once he is the #1 and plays an entire season.
    That #2 pick may be the deal of the century for either team.

  40. factschecker says:
    March 6, 2018 at 1:26 pm
    As the Patriots try to regroup after a season that ended in a sense of failure,
    ———-
    Wow really? Is that were we are these days? AFC Champions season ended in failure.

    So only one NFL team season ends with success? The other 31 teams seasons ended in equal failure. Wow. That’s troll level logic if I have ever read troll level logic.

    ———————-
    Actually he is right. For the Patriots anything short of winning the Superbiwl is a failure. Thats how the team sees it, thats the culture they keep there. Its how their fans see it because the teams culture becomes their culture. Its also how their haters see it because they have to set the bar as high as posdible to have any chance at their denials getting off the ground. This is unique to the Patriots to have the success/failure bar set that high by virtually everyone on all sides. And its a statement to how far ahead of other teams they really are to be able to have this be the bar not just once, but literally every year. No other team even comes close to setting an expectation anywhere near that.

  41. patriotmaleorgy says:
    March 6, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    Remember when he was fired from the Browns?
    ================================
    Technically no the Browns did not fire him. It was the Ravens. Belichick’s Browns career ended at the same time the Browns franchise did.

    The Browns were already dead one week before Modell as owner of the new Baltimore Ravens told Belichick he did not figure into their future plans.

  42. factschecker says:
    March 6, 2018 at 1:26 pm
    As the Patriots try to regroup after a season that ended in a sense of failure,
    ———-
    Wow really? Is that were we are these days? AFC Champions season ended in failure.

    So only one NFL team season ends with success? The other 31 teams seasons ended in equal failure. Wow. That’s troll level logic if I have ever read troll level logic.

    11 3 Rate This

    The goal of every team, every year is win the Super Bowl. And the Pats lost. So yes, they didn’t complete their goal, which in turn is a failure. Sorry not sorry.

  43. nhpats says:
    March 6, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    patriotmaleorgy says:
    March 6, 2018 at 2:22 pm
    TheWizard says:
    March 6, 2018 at 1:16 pm
    Remember when he coached the Browns to a playoff win?
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Remember when Belichick was fired he had the worst winning percentage of any coach in Browns history at the time other than the interim coach that didn’t even coach a full season? Thanks for playing.

    —————
    I remember BB coached the Browns to their a playoff win….against Bill Parcells and the Patriots. And it was the last time the Browns won a postseason game. Coincidence? You tell me….

    ==========================
    I have no use for Belichick’s arrogance, and Pat fan saw the outcome of that with what we all know as Spygate. But with that said, he really does have a case for greatest coach of all time.

    And you are correct – plus it wasn’t just that they won a playoff game. The Browns in a few years went from a team with a nothing roster other than Kosar to a team on the verge of becoming a Super Bowl contender in my opinion. Before Art Modell pulled the plug on the franchise.

  44. maurysline says:
    March 6, 2018 at 2:49 pm
    Garoppolo hasn’t weathered a full season in the NFL and the book is still out on what he can actually accomplish.
    He has looked good when in there but time will tell once he is the #1 and plays an entire season.
    That #2 pick may be the deal of the century for either team.

    ————–

    He could also be great and still win zero Super Bowls like Marino if the coach and GM don’t deliver. Long way to go.

  45. takeyourpunishmentandquitwhininglikeababy says:
    March 6, 2018 at 2:48 pm
    Things are going to get really painful for Patriot fans. They are going to regret how obnoxious they were all these past years.

    —————————-
    Lol. No we wont. Of course this will end someday, all things do. And matter when that end comes all these good times will still have already happened, they cant unhappen. Maybe sooner, maybe later. But its been so long that all we can feel is an overwhelming sense of gratitude that will last long after it ends, be it sooner or later. Sorry dude. Cheers.

  46. bullcharger says:
    March 6, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    6ball says:
    March 6, 2018 at 1:38 pm
    .
    Patriots fans will go to their graves wondering how Butler ended up sitting out while his replacements were being torched like baked Alaska.

    ————–

    This one stings, but nothing like 2007. It’s child’s play compared to that. I still feel like the Patriots can win that game.

    Also… now that Brady has 5 rings it’s not as upsetting.

    ====================================
    Always amazes me to see Pat fan say “Brady” when they refer to the team. It’s like it’s all about Brady and nothing else matters.

    There is no doubt the pinkhats will jump off the bandwagon faster than you can blink once Brady hangs them up. Sounds like the days of 17 home blackouts in a row, which is still an NFL record to this day, won’t be far off when that happens.

  47. takeyourpunishmentandquitwhininglikeababy says:
    March 6, 2018 at 2:48 pm
    Things are going to get really painful for Patriot fans. They are going to regret how obnoxious they were all these past years.
    =========================================
    Impossible. No Pats fan can match or even come close to the above poster.

  48. If you can honestly say that a season that ended with a super bowl appearance for a team is a failure, then that’s all I need to know about that particular organization.

  49. Tom Brady is the NFL equivalent of Babe Ruth, but he’s healthier and has a hotter more successful wife. Enjoy this while you can.

    As far as this “garoppolo” ongoing complaint. On paper, they got a $137M quality QB as a back up for four years, at a rookie wage, then they got their pick back and never had to pay him. This is pretty successful backup QB drafting – you hope this is your team’s problem.

  50. somefans says:
    March 6, 2018 at 2:46 pm
    Aren’t the pats tied with SB losses??

    __

    Well, they’ve gotten to the championship game more than anyone else in modern history.

    They are pretty good you know. You must be one of those lifelong “glass half empty” types.

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