For the entirety of this millennium, all New England has known at the head coaching spot is Bill Belichick. The now 70-year-old took the job in 2000 and it appears like he'll remain in that post for the immediate future. In the aftermath of Sunday's Week 18 loss to the Bills that eliminated the Patriots from playoff contention, Belichick told reporters on Monday that he intends to be back for the 2023 season, which would mark his 24th campaign as New England's head coach.
While his status wasn't really in grave doubt, he is set to turn 71 this offseason, so there is always that question of whether or not he'll hang it up. However, Belichick has 329 career wins as a head coach (including playoffs), which is second all-time only looking up to Don Shula (347). Given how close he is to that record, one would think Belichick would stick around a little while longer to see if he can catch Shula.
As Belichick gears up for another season, he'll have plenty of work to do this offseason to revamp his club. This most recent season was not the type of progress many in Foxborough were hoping the team would make. After making the playoffs in 2021 and finding a promising young quarterback in the first round of the draft in Mac Jones, New England took a step back in 2022.
"Nobody's satisfied with that," Belichick said of how this 8-9 season unfolded. "That's not our goal. We need to try to improve on that. Need to improve on it. So, that's all of us. Accountability everywhere, starting with me, coaching staff, players, each unit are all things that we will address. That process will start probably later today."
Not only were they on the outside looking in on the postseason, but Jones did seem to take a step back in his development, which may have been partially due to the unorthodox decision to place Matt Patricia -- a former defensive coordinator -- as the offensive play-caller. This year, the Patriots offense ranked last in the NFL in red zone touchdown percentage (42.2%) and 27th in third down conversion rate (34.8%).
"Mac has the ability to play quarterback in this league," Belichick said when asked if he envisions Jones being the starter next season. "We have to all work together to try to find the best way as a football team, which obviously the quarterback is an important position, to be more productive than we were this year. So that's incumbent upon all of us. We'll all work together on that. Again, look for better results."
This could be a transformative offseason for New England as mainstays like Devin McCourty and Matthew Slater may be calling it a career, while Jakobi Meyers, Jonathan Jones, and Damien Harris are among some of the notable pending free agents. That said, Belichick is armed with a collection of draft picks (including No. 14 overall) and the fourth-most cap space in the NFL this offseason, so he does have the assets to try and put his team back on track as he returns for another year.