Bill Belichick, who has a great sense of humor, once half-jokingly talked of never coaching into his 70s.
Well, Belichick turns 70 years old in April and that will be about the time he’s preparing for his 23rd season with the New England Patriots. Because it’s apparently Belichick’s plan to keep coaching into his 70s.
He confirmed as much to reporters during a press conference Sunday morning.
"I’d say that was accurate," Belichick said when asked if it’s safe to believe he’s returning for next season.
Belichick next season will have an opportunity to pass George Halas as the second-winningest coach in NFL history. Belichick has a career record of 321-156 (including playoffs), which puts him only three games from tying Halas, the Chicago Bears founder and coach, with 324 wins.
The winningest coach of all time is Don Shula with 347 career victories so Belichick is at least two seasons away from nearing that mark.
The Patriots Sunday morning were packing and starting the process of heading into the offseason after a convincing and, as some players said, an "embarrassing" 47-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills Saturday night.
The loss ended New England’s season at 10-8, which was an improvement from the 2020 squad. Despite the improvement, the ending was still a disappointment, with four losses in the final five games.
The New England defense yielded more than 30 points in three of the four losses and generally looked slow and unable to threaten the quarterback in the pocket.
The Bills, for example, did not punt, settle for a field goal or turn the ball over in their playoff win — the first team to do so since the NFL merger. Buffalo’s 47 points were the most ever scored against Belichick as a head coach.
"You could argue there were elements of last night’s game in some other games, but last night’s game was the least competitive game we played," Belichick said during a 30 minute Zoom presser with reporters. "Is that what we are? Or is that a bad night? We’ll see when we start playing again next year, I guess."
One thing the Patriots this offseason will not be doing is searching for a quarterback. Rookie quarterback Mac Jones apparently has his coach’s confidence.
"Mac helped us a lot," Belichick said at one point. "I look forward to working with him next year."
Another confirmation Bill Belichick will continue coaching into his 70s.