We're certainly not used to seeing the New England Patriots look the part of bottom-feeders, but after getting beat by a combined score of 72-3 in the past two weeks, that might be the position that head coach Bill Belichick finds himself in. As a result, against all odds, Belichick's seat may actually be getting hot.
There's been a growing narrative both in Foxboro/Boston and nationally that Belichick could be fired at the end of the season if things continue on the current trajectory.
And now former Patriots stars are starting to weigh in, including the ineffable Tom Brady.
On the latest episode of the Let's Go! podcast, Brady addressed the brewing turmoil in New England, noting that Belichick "still has the same work ethic" and hasn't changed the way he's coaching, but adding that "football is hard" and that so many aspects of a team go into being successful. Clearly, he was admitting that the team itself wasn't coalescing the way that Belichick had likely envisioned.
Tom Brady, former Patriots give thoughts on Bill Belichick's hot seat
One of Brady's favorite targets and former Patriots teammates, Julian Edelman, seemed to echo that sentiment. However, his critique was a bit more damning of his former head coach.
"I think he needs a little help on the offensive side," Edelman said, via Richie Whitt of Patriots Country. "We have whiffed on a lot of offensive skill-position players. These are painful days for the Patriots."
Furthering that sentiment about the offense, Edelman noted that Mac Jones isn't the only problem and that the current wide receiver group needs to be better and offer the quarterback some help. Most notably, Edelman said that there was "no separation" for the wideouts in their routes and that he's still taken aback by losing Jakobi Meyers.
But the point about needing help on the offensive side of the ball was most pointedly intimated by former Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel, who was with the team from 2003-07. Though the grabby eye-candy of his interview with TMZ Sports was calling for Tom Brady to return with the claim he could win a Super Bowl with the Patriots, he also laid into Belichick as a coach and, more importantly, a general manager.
"My point in saying that is Belichick is a guy there that's not providing much for the team," Samuel said. "And it's showing over and over and it's getting worse and worse."
Thereafter, Samuel also said that Patriots owner Robert Kraft needs to consider taking away some of Belichick's power this offseason.
When Brady left New England, many fans were curious if it was the QB or Belichick that was the secret sauce to the Patriots dynasty. Samuel clearly believes it was Brady. But there is some merit to potentially seeing Belichick step back as GM for this franchise. The problem is likely not in his coaching but, rather, in his front office decision-making. We can see it with the roster, as can former players.
And when you look at these former Patriots address the situation, that's the throughline that's impossible to ignore.