Patriots coach Bill Belichick probably doesn’t hear from former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski very often. If Belichick is ever going to hear from Gronkowski, it’s now.
Belichick was born 69 years ago today.
Over the weekend, we touched on the question of how long Belichick will keep going. At one point, he said he won’t coach into his 70s. Now on the brink of 70, he feels differently. He surely will continue beyond his next birthday, April 16, 2022.
The job has some physical demands. As noted on Sunday, George Halas stopped at 73 because he couldn’t get around on an arthritic hip. For all coaches who keep working beyond 70, that could become an issue.
Or maybe there will simply be other things Belichick wants to do with his life; at this point, he’s surely not motivated by money.
One reason to keep going could be a simple one. Belichick likely is relishing the time spent working with his sons, Steve and Brian. Belichick also may want to keep going long enough to ensure that his sons have learned everything they can from him, and that they’re ready to stand on their own as coaches.
In the same way Archie Manning gave the NFL two sons who became great quarterbacks, Belichick could end up giving the NFL two sons who become great coaches. The more they can work with him now, the more scenarios they experience and problems they solve with his wisdom and experience available to them, the better off they’ll be.
Then there’s the very real possibility that coaching has become such a huge part of his life that he can’t imagine not doing it. It’s part of his routine. It’s part of who he is. He has cracked the code on how to thrive as an NFL coach. Why stop doing it?
As noted on Thursday’s PFT PM, the Patriots have become once again a compelling story in pro football because the two-decade run of dominance has ended, and Belichick is now trying to lay the foundation for the next generation of greatness. How much longer will he have to get the team back to the top of the mountain and keep them there?
Ultimately, only Belichick knows.