Robert Kraft blames Bill Belichick’s ‘personal emotion’ cost Patriots Super Bowl LII

In 2023, Bill Belichick kicked off the season with his eyes on the prize—to overtake Don Shula and crown himself the NFL’s winningest head coach. But sometimes, even the best-laid plans go in the wrong direction. Belichick’s leadership hit a snag, and in a twist no one saw coming, he parted ways with the New England Patriots. For the first time since ’74, Belichick found himself on the sidelines without a team to call home.

Since leaving the Patriots, Belichick has faced scrutiny from NFL fans, who have placed him on the proverbial hot seat. Meanwhile, Patriots owner Robert Kraft added fuel to the fire by publicly questioning Belichick’s decisions, particularly in the context of a Super Bowl.

Robert Kraft throws Bill Belichick under the bus for Super Bowl LII loss

The last episodes of the intriguing docuseries “The Dynasty” provided viewers with a personal look into the behind-the-scenes of the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl journeys. Specifically, the focus was on the intense Super Bowl LII game against the Philadelphia Eagles, which highlighted the strained relationship between Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick.

Kraft stated boldly that Brady’s unparalleled greatness in NFL history suggests that Belichick may have viewed the quarterback as a challenge to his control over the team.

“Tommy is the greatest in the 100-year history of the game. And I think he represented a threat to Bill’s full power,” Kraft said.

A highly debated moment shown in the documentary was Belichick’s decision to bench cornerback Malcolm Butler for the entire duration of Super Bowl LII. The fact that Butler was not present in the game against the Eagles caused some surprise and led to rumors about possible personal issues within the Patriots organization, even though Butler had played a crucial role in previous Super Bowl wins.

Kraft openly credited the former head coach with the loss, citing his decision-making as a contributing factor to the Patriots’ loss.

“I always felt that every decision Bill had made had been to put what was in the best interests of the team first, and put emotion aside. But, with Malcolm, he did just the opposite.”

The decision not to utilize Butler, especially in a high-scoring 41-33 game, becomes even more conspicuous.

The fallout from Super Bowl LII reverberated throughout the Patriots organization, with wide receiver Danny Amendola recalling the sense of bewilderment among players as they grappled with Butler’s absence from the field during the pivotal game. 

Is this the end for Bill Belichick as head coach?

Following his departure from the Patriots, Bill Belichick found himself without a head coaching position this offseason as teams chose not to offer him a role on the sidelines. Even with his impressive track record, which boasts six Super Bowl wins, the 71-year-old coach was unable to land a new position.

Belichick engaged in discussions with multiple teams, including the Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles Chargers, and Dallas Cowboys, but none of the negotiations materialized into a job offer. Instead, the Falcons appointed Raheem Morris, the Chargers hired Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, and the Cowboys retained Mike McCarthy.

With no new coaching opportunity on the horizon, speculations abound regarding the potential conclusion of Belichick’s tenure as a head coach. The former New York Giants executive and NFL Network analyst Mack Ross weighed in on the situation, suggesting that Belichick may be facing the end of his coaching career.

Ross raised the possibility that Belichick could consider stepping back into a coordinator role in the future, but it remains uncertain whether Belichick would entertain such an option.

“As far as a head coach, yeah, I think this might be the end of the road for him. If he wants to take a step back and be a coordinator, that may be something down the line.… Will he want to do that? That’s the situation for him,” he said, per Fox News.

The lack of interest in Belichick could be attributed to the struggles the New England Patriots experienced under his leadership in recent seasons. 

As Belichick’s coaching future hangs in the balance, only time will tell what lies ahead for the legendary coach.

Shabiha Akter

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Shabiha, once a casual observer, has morphed into a die-hard NFL fan. She carefully dissects every play, trade, and strategy. Whether it's breaking down game highlights or predicting playoff outcomes, Shabiha is your go-to source for all things NFL.


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