Bill Belichick’s offseason job search ended in tatters last week. For reasons unknown, a group of general managers vying to keep their jobs in a hyper-competitive industry chose to hitch their wagons to young, unproven coaches with whom they had prior relationships rather than an eight-time Super Bowl champion.
Panthers president of football operations Dan Morgan chose to hire Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Dave Canales, whom he was familiar with from their intersecting time together in the Seahawks. Until 2017, Morgan worked his way through the ranks of the Seahawks while Canales followed Pete Carroll from USC to Seattle, where he worked in a variety of positions on the offensive side until accepting a promotion from the Buccaneers.
Jim Harbaugh didn’t do so much interviews as inform the Chargers of his interest and spoke glowingly about Dean and John Spanos and about his playing days as a Charger for two seasons.
Meanwhile, Atlanta opted to go with former Falcons defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, who CEO Rich McKay promoted to interim head coach in 2020 after firing Dan Quinn midseason.
Relationships are important. On the surface, the Falcons hiring Morris instead of Belichick is ridiculous. The Falcons have great bones, and they need a quarterback to connect the musculoskeletal system of their roster and the brains of their personnel in the process. At the very least, Belichick guarantees you a top-5 defense even if his judgment in evaluating offensive talent has been detrimental in recent years. He did so in Cleveland despite a disappointing overall record, but was suspended due to tensions between him and owner Art Modell. Then, for 25 years, he led ferocious defenses with New England. All they needed was a solution to the quarterback problem.
Unfortunately, building relationships is something Belichick has never excelled at. I went down Sunday night to watch the premiere of the final season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, and every time I looked at fictional Larry, I thought of The Hoodie. Belichick is to coaching a curmudgeon what Curb’s Larry is to comic book curmudgeons. Within the confines of The Hoodie’s career and the persona he portrays, Larry David, there is no ancient gas that encapsulates love and hate quite like these two. When Curb premiered 25 years ago, Belichick was in the middle of his debut season as head coach of the Pats.
They were both the minds behind the New York State trio of 80s and 90s legends, Bill Parcells and Seinfeld. For both septuagenarian couples, it’s hard to know where the socially stunted Hoodie/Larry character ends and Larry David begins. Those close to Belichick tell stories about how nice he is in private life, but he also has some of the worst people skills we’ve ever seen in a Pantheon coach.
That’s part of what made his work unintentional comedy. Belichick The memory of trampling on kids looking for the Big Five without so much as batting an eye in the digital sky has been commemorated. But more importantly, Belichick’s misanthropic, genius personality has always made it difficult for him to maintain relationships. Lest we all forget, Belichick resigned the Jets coaching job in his introductory press conference and then walked out of the room, leaving the Jets brass to pick up the pieces.
For example, his stint in Cleveland ended prematurely as a result of the deterioration of his relationship with Modell. Belichick and Modell’s disdain for each other was so strong that Belichick selected Peter Boulware to the 1998 Pro Bowl just so Modell would owe him a $1 million bonus. Another obstacle to success in Cleveland, and during the post-Brady era in New England, was the revolving door at quarterback after he waived the diminished but likable Bernie Kosar. Plenty of coaches have made enemies of veterans they cut or decide not to sign again for football-related reasons, but Belichick has turned it into a cottage industry for nearly three decades in New England.
He even has Leon and Jeff scare off potential suitors. If Belichick is Larry David, Pete Carroll is Ted Danson, and that’s reflected in his disparate coaching trees. This cycle revolved around Belichick’s prospects around his potential assistants, namely Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia. McDaniels lost his luster after two failed coaching stints, while Patricia’s coaching luck ran out once he parted ways with Belichick. McDaniels learned how to burn bridges from Belichick. Belichick’s heir apparent stepped back as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, and the Vegas Raiders were clearly relieved after midseason when Antonio Pierce was listed as interim. Patricia endured the most disastrous tenure as defensive coordinator since Juan Castillo He implemented his nine-wide plan In Philadelphia a decade ago.
While Belichick was allegedly given access to Falcons owner Arthur Blank during the interview process, his history with Atlanta’s McKay overshadowed the entire interview process as Encirclement story. Belichick reluctantly interviewed Blank for the Falcons’ coaching job while the executive was known in league circles as Blank Wormtongue spoke ill in private It was the most cerebral situational comedy of the holiday.
As chairman of the rules committee, McKay was often responsible for controlling Belichick’s manipulation of the league’s bylaws, such as the Ty Law rule, the response to DeflateGate, and changing the rules after Belichick cheated with ineligible receivers during their 2015 run. That’s all in the weeds and maybe Ancient history, but any existing acrimony will only be exacerbated by McKay vetoing Belichick’s personal views.
There were also reports claiming Belichick would only accept the job if McKay was frozen out of football decisions. on monday, Boomer Esiason claimed sources He informed him that Belichick had been offered the Falcons job and turned it down. Although unusual, this will be Belichick’s modus operandi. Given his history, Belichick choosing to walk away from a slapstick organization more committed to the personal relationship between McKay and Blank rather than winning would be right up his alley. However, Esiason has always been as fickle as Belichick and as fickle as Belichick, twice interviewing and turning down the job At 71 years old, in pursuit of Don Shula’s career winning record, and having no backup options this offseason, it doesn’t look good discreet.
Morris and general manager Terry Fontenot will reportedly report directly to Blanc, so it’s hard to believe they didn’t have the same arrangement in place with Belichick unless he wanted to buy out the entire package and continue his grocery shopping without Fontenot. Ultimately, we may never know the truth unless Planck decides to reveal the truth. Wherever Belichick ends up next season, it should be with an organization that has the structure needed to handle the non-football baggage he brings with him.
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