The New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick met with the media on Thursday, and he discussed several subjects, including owner Robert Kraft’s criticism of his drafting.
According to the Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian, Belichick had this response when asked about Kraft’s comments about the team’s drafting of late.
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“We’re always looking to get better,” Belichick said. “We’re always looking to do a better job.”
Bill Belichick on Robert Kraft’s criticism of recent drafts: “We’re always looking to get better … we’re always looking to do a better job.” pic.twitter.com/KpvXu4W0zu
— Karen Guregian (@kguregian) April 15, 2021
In case you missed it, Kraft met with the media via a conference call earlier this month, and he had some interesting things to say when asked about the current direction of the Patriots’ roster and recent draft selections.
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In the end, if you want to have a good, consistent, winning football team, you can’t do it in free agency. You have to do it through the draft. I don’t feel we’ve done the greatest job the last few years and I really hope, and I believe, I’ve seen a different approach this year.
Anytime an owner expresses displeasure with the quality of players his team has drafted, it’s a direct indictment on the general manager’s labor. Belichick isn’t just the head coach. He’s the de facto general manager, so it all falls on him.
The Draft Process Has Been Different This Year
In previous years, it seems Belichick has controlled almost every aspect of the draft process. Based on Kraft’s words and things Belichick said during his meeting with the media, the process has been more collaborative.
Belichick mentioned several staff members, including Matt Patricia, Al Groh, and Dave Zeigler, who have figured prominently in the scouting and prospect evaluation.
That appears to be a much different look than in the past.
What Happens at QB Will Tell the Story
The Patriots re-signed Cam Newton to a one-year deal, and all signs point to him as the team’s starter in Week 1.
Suppose Newton plays well, as some expect, considering the team has better weapons than they did in 2020. He hopefully won’t catch COVID, will be in the second season with the offense, and benefit from an entire offseason; the QB position won’t be an issue.
If Newton falters, the Patriots must have an alternative. They could turn to Jarrett Stidham, but based on what we’ve seen from him throughout his two seasons in the NFL, that won’t produce much hope for a team that has talent all over the roster after a busy free-agent season.
New England has to have a young quarterback they can trust if Newton is injured or ineffective. Whether that means trading up for the likes of Ohio State’s Justin Fields or North Dakota State’s Trey Lance or taking a swing at a second or third-rounder like Florida’s Kyle Trask or Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond, the Patriots need a Plan B.