I don’t know about you, but I am sick of Patriots fans and the media questioning whether or not Bill Belichick is the greatest coach of all time. The man has built such an impeccable resume that it’s hard to imagine how anyone could question it.
Remember when Tom Brady was forced to miss the first four games of the season, and Bill Belichick’s response was to draft a sixth-round quarterback who granted that player with the full-time job in Brady’s absence? After the Patriots won Super Bowl LI, many were quick to point out how the Patriots’ were better off with Jacoby Brissett than Jimmy Garoppolo. But Belichick’s decision to bench Garoppolo didn’t stop the Patriots from tying the 2008 Patriots for the most regular-season wins in the Brady/Belichick era.
The New England Patriots lost yet another game to the Pittsburgh Steelers this past Sunday. For the fourth time in the last four weeks, the Patriots fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Four games is not, however, a trend. This team has lost 11 of their last 12 games. The Patriots are now 3-7 on the season, and there are rumors and whispers that Bill Belichick may be on the hot seat. After all, this is the first time in Belichick’s career that he has lost four games in a row, and he has gone on to win the Super Bowl in each of the last seven seasons.
Bill Belichick hasn’t made many mistakes in his long career with the New England Patriots. After all, it’s hard to find trouble at the top with his nine Super Bowl appearances and six league titles in 21 years.
But Belichick’s out-of-character decision to draft N’Keel Gary in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft is one of the most embarrassing mistakes of a head coach’s career. And after Harry officially requested to be traded to the Patriots on Tuesday, Belichick was forced to relive one of his worst nightmares and think about how much damage that draft pick did.
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick looks on from the sidelines | Harry How/Getty Images
In the 2019 offseason, Belichick knew he had to provide Tom Brady with a solid pass-catching option. Brady’s favorite target last season was running back James White, who led the team in both targets (123) and receptions (87) in 2018.
So Belichick did something he’s never done in the 19 draft picks he’s led so far: He selected the catcher in the first round.
That receiver turned out to be N’Keel Harry from Arizona State, a great player Belichick trusted from day one in the starting lineup. Instead, in his first year, Harry showed no sign of being worthy of a pick, let alone a first round pick. He caught just 12 of his 24 targets and scored just 105 yards and two touchdowns.
As if Harry’s disappointing season wasn’t already a blow to Belichick, a new report earlier this year made the head coach’s situation even worse. In April, Albert Breer of SI.com reported that Belichick completely ignored his human resources department when choosing Harry.
The Patriots could have gotten A.J. Brown or Deebo Samuel if Belichick had listened to his scouts that day.
Instead, they stay with Harry, but not for long.
After an extremely disappointing debut campaign, Harry didn’t do much better in his second year. He had just 309 yards and two touchdowns in 2020. But apart from his lesser performance, Harry came across as a lethargic striker with no momentum and questionable hands.
It’s fair enough to call him a loser.
But Harry thinks he can revitalize his NFL career with a change of scenery. On Tuesday, Jamal Tucson, Harry’s agent, said he has officially requested a trade with the Patriots, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network.
By trying to trade Harry for something of value this season, Belichick will have another grim reminder of his biggest mistake with the Pats.
The Patriots’ first-round pick in 2013.
2020 : –
2019 : N’Keel Harry – looking to leave NE
team in 2018: Isaiah Wynn – on IR every year
2018: Sony Michel – delayed for 3. Round RB
2016 : –
2015 : Malcolm Brown – unsigned
2014: Dominic Easley – Cut off after 2 years
2013: – -.
– Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) July 6, 2021
The impact of Belichick’s decision to go out with Harry in 2019 could be felt far beyond the surface. Aside from missing out on a Pro Bowl player in favor of an immediate failure, Harry’s selection may have changed the future of the Patriots for years to come.
Remember when Brady left New England for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the offseason? Of course you are.
Brady was clearly tired of throwing to inept receivers he didn’t trust – especially Harry. During an appearance at WEEI last year, Brady’s former Patriots teammate Christian Fauria said Brady didn’t have the patience or time to wait for Harry to be a quality starter.
This offense will not be able to move forward with Brady as quarterback, not because he sucks. These throws were important. That’s because he didn’t want to conform, Fauria said. That’s the difference. He didn’t want N’Keel to wash Harry.
Now imagine if two years ago Belichick had chosen A.J. Brown, Deebo Samuel or D.K. Metcalfe over Harry. If this pick becomes an instant star, Brady might not feel the need to leave town and look elsewhere for a new Super Bowl ring.
When Belichick inevitably gets rid of Harry in the offseason, it will be a painful reminder of what could have been.
All statistics are from Pro Football Reference
COMPARED TO: Dan Marino openly admits to saving Bill Belichick and the Patriots from failure.Bill Belichick is the football equivalent of a God. When he makes a trade the layman says, “Oh God, why?” When he cuts a player the layman says, “Oh God, why?” When he drafted a player the layman says, “Oh God, why?” When he trades a pick the layman says, “Oh God, why?” When he drafts a player the layman says, “Oh God, why?” When he trades a pick the layman says, “Oh God, why?” And so on.. Read more about new england patriots coach and let us know what you think.
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