Ever since Michael Jordan announced his return to the NBA after a two-year retirement with just two words — “I’m back” — a professional sports press release hasn’t changed all that much by seemingly saying it. very little
On Thursday night, January 12, 2023 at 6:54 p.m., aka last night, but we’re giving it the technically descriptive importance it deserves, the New England Patriots issued a press release with only two sentences to a total of 39 words. .
But if a picture is worth a thousand words, this press release was worth a million, as more than two decades of a way of doing business were wiped out with a single mass email message.
“The New England Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick have begun contract extension discussions with Jerod Mayo that would keep him with the team long-term. Additionally, the team will begin interviewing candidates for offensive coordinators starting next week.”
Whelp, there you have it, the Patriot way of doing business under Belichick’s watch is effectively dead and buried, caught behind Old Yeller style thanks to a second non-playoff season, losing in the last three years and a four-year drought years. without winning the playoffs. Mediocrity where greatness is expected has its consequences, apparently.
Belichick’s dictatorial run overseeing the dynasty in New England is, in practical terms, over. Sure, the 71-year-old future coach, GM and hat-wearing boss remains at the top of the organizational power structure, but he obviously doesn’t reside there with nearly the same power or autonomy as he once did.
Let’s be clear, Thursday night’s press release is a clear indication that business is no longer business at Gillette Stadium. In some ways, the collaborative approach that entered the draft discussion two years ago has now spread to the communications department and the franchise’s general management.
As the old almighty might say, it is what it is.
Don’t worry, the nine Super Bowl trips and six Lombardi Trophies remain lasting memories of what life was like in New England. Just like Belichick’s press conferences in the old days, when the coach who delivered so many wins offered so little information about his team, his plans, his approach and almost anything other than the passionate Patriots fans might want to hear. .
Winning cured everything and answered everything back then.
But as we learned with Thursday’s press release, these aren’t your dad’s Patriots. They’re no longer Belichick’s Patriots to run unilaterally, either.
We knew this time would come sooner or later. We wondered how it could come about. Could and would Belichick be a match for a new way of doing things, a much less Frank Sinatra-like approach?
Now, apparently, we have our answer. Just a couple of days after Belichick reaffirmed in his season-ending Zoom that he indeed planned to return for a 24th year in New England, it has become blatantly obvious that it is not the same rust it once was.
The on-field results of Belichick’s spring and summer decision to replace respected and productive offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who left for former Lions head coach and career defensive mentor Matt Patricia, as a player New England offense, were evident. Mac Jones struggled, fell back, and was left with little more than a frustrated mess. The overall offense took a big step back, arguably and statistically the worst unit New England has fielded in more than two decades.
The losses piled up, as did social media posts from ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky and countless others mocking the Patriots’ approach.
But the results of Patricia’s decision and, to a lesser degree, the addition of an ill-prepared Joe Judge as quarterbacks coach did more than undermine an offense and derail a season. It was apparently the impetus for organizational change in New England, where Belichick has had free rein on all things football since the day he took the job in 2000. It was a 23-year run, though has faded somewhat in the three years since Tom Brady.
But it’s over. That we now know. As we now know a team that never talks about contracts sent out a press release to announce that it was negotiating a contract with Mayo as the impressive young coach entered the offseason with opportunities to advance his career in the horizon Now we also know that a team that wouldn’t even acknowledge who was calling or communicating offensive plays during meaningless preseason games is suddenly telling us it’s going to do the necessary and obvious thing by interviewing offensive coordinator candidates.
Oh, so titles like “offensive coordinator” could become a thing again with Belichick, who has so often dismissed the need for assistant coach titles over the years?
Belichick and the Patriots didn’t exactly make an MJ announcement Thursday evening. This wasn’t the future Hall of Famer, GOAT, all-time wins record chasing coach who said “I’m gone.” But it’s clear that the way he’s done business for more than two decades, mostly quite successfully, we should add, that way of doing business is over in New England.
If you’re one of those Patriots fans who wanted a significant change this offseason. You got it.
Thanks to MacFarlane Energy, where they offer the most reliable home heating oil delivery and HVAC service, including Lennox heating and cooling systems. visit MacFarlaneEnergy.com allowed.