A German person checking out yesterday's beautiful homage to the Big Ten West put together by the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots would have to conclude that the latter is a profoundly broken franchise without a capable quarterback or much hope. They'd also think this is an organization with some pretty serious interpersonal problems to address. If they really didn't know any better they'd think Bill Belichick isn't much of a coach — which is obviously profoundly wrong in many ways but perhaps true at this moment in time.
There's been a bunch of speculation regarding where and if Belichick fits into the organization's future plans. He's never been criticized to this level so it's been a season of firsts. But no one has gone further than Chris Canty did on this morning's Unsportsmanlike.
Sit down because you're about to hear things about this coach you've never dared to consider.
"Bill Belichick has no hope of resurrecting this program," Canty said. "There's no way that he can get this thing back on track. He has lost the ear of the players in the locker room and that's a terrible place to be. I thought the optics of what you saw at the end of the game with his head in hands is telling in terms of where the state of affairs is with the Patriots program overall."
Strange as it is to hear these words about that coach ... they don't seem inaccurate. It's getting harder and harder to imagine Bill sticking around for another season where the ceiling is, what, seven wins? It kind of feels like the only way for the Pats to get back to relevancy is to draft the exact right quarterback in the draft and have him produce at the CJ Stroud level immediately. A special player like that gets New England back into playoff contention because Belichick is so capable but it seems like a moonshot chance.
This would be a sad way to end one of the most magical sideline careers of all time but we should keep in mind that it could be sadder. And could get sadder.