BOSTON — Two teams are still alive in their quest to win it all this season. For the other 30 NFL teams, it’s already next year, as they prepare to make a push for a Super Bowl in the 2024 season.
For eight teams, that effort began with hiring a head coach. The Chargers, Commanders, Falcons, Panthers, Patriots, Seahawks and Titans all hired new head coaches this offseason, while the Raiders opted to retain interim head coach Antonio Pierce. A quarter of the league made decisions at head coach, and as we know, none of them wanted Bill Belichick to take that job.
While there was always going to be some hesitancy from teams to go all-in on Belichick — who will turn 72 years old in April and who has not led the Patriots to much success over the past four seasons — it was nevertheless surprising to many football folks to see an almost nonexistent market for arguably the greatest coach of all time. (Consideringduring the season that Belichick had his next destination already picked out, it certainly caught some people by surprise more than others.)
To help provide some details on why and how Belichick ended up without a job for the 2024 season, The Washington Post’s Mark Maske and Nicki Jhabvala poked around league circles to find answers. According to their report:
–Bill Belichick’s camp was “proactive” in reaching out to teams in need of a head coach. Despite that, he only landed an interview with one team.
–Belichick never formally interviewed with the Washington Commanders. Belichick’s meeting with Washington GM Adam Peters was a “kick the tires” conversation that “really didn’t go anywhere.” The Commanders “never came close to hiring him.” (A separate report from Albert Breer noted that Peters called Belichick to “touch base” shortly before offering the job to Dan Quinn.)
–Falcons owner Arthur Blank was the driving force in Atlanta to interview Belichick — the only known interview Belichick had over the past month. Internal organizational support for Raheem Morris from the front office “eventually won out” in Atlanta.
–Having struck out this offseason, Belichick could reenter the head coach hiring cycle next offseason, “when he could be an attractive candidate for a team with an established quarterback and championship aspirations that has been unable to win a title.” Of course, that was thought to be the case this offseason — particularly after a wild-card round flameout by Mike McCarthy’s Cowboys — yet it did not result in any job for Belichick.
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