Presumably, Bill Belichick didn’t work up a résumé after he parted ways with New England earlier this month.
That’s because, again presumably, his 302 regular-season victories, his 31 playoff victories, his 20 double-digit-win seasons, his 17 division titles, his nine Super Bowl appearances and his six Vince Lombardi Trophies don’t need to be bullet-pointed and uploaded on ZipRecruiter.
Or maybe they do.
Seven NFL teams (not including New England) had or still have an opening for a head coach: Atlanta, Carolina, Las Vegas, the Los Angeles Chargers, Seattle, Tennessee and Washington. At least five more had to have had some kind of serious discussion about making a move: Chicago, Dallas, both New York teams and Philadelphia.
Thus far, only one — Atlanta — bothered to formally interview arguably the greatest and most accomplished coach in NFL history.
The same bafflement extends to the currently unemployed Pete Carroll, who has nine double-digit-win seasons and a Super Bowl title himself … but apparently no team is asking if he’d like to chat? Snoop Dogg, of all people, said Carroll was trying to push for the Chargers job. That’s all we’ve heard, though.
With Belichick, perhaps there were informal, test-the-water inquiries. He isn’t running to social media (“facemask” or whatever his dad joke is) to post updates. However, NFL teams tend to announce whom they have interviewed, and other than the Falcons (who spoke to Belichick twice), it has been crickets.
And the Falcons are reportedly going a different direction and planning to hire Rams assistant Raheem Morris for the job.
How is this possible?
Is there no country for old men?
There is no way Belichick doesn’t get hired somewhere? Right?
Did NFL team owners fall for the ridiculous argument (more later) that it was all Tom Brady in New England? Or are team presidents and general managers terrified of bringing in a bigger star and more forceful personality? Does Belichick need to go work a season on Sean McVay’s staff to become cool again?
Look, maybe Belichick isn’t your guy. Maybe you have concerns about his age (72 next season, same for the 72-year-old Carroll). Maybe it's too recent to look past last season’s 4-13 Patriots. Maybe you just hated the guy when he was ruling the league and routinely beating everyone.
Who else on the market ever ruled the league and routinely beat everyone?
Give Atlanta credit. Belichick delivered the most crushing defeat in Falcons history, roaring back from a 28-3 deficit in Super Bowl LI. Falcons owner Arthur Blank isn’t holding it against him. If you couldn't beat him, at least consider hiring him.
In a sign of how strange this all is, Dan Quinn, the current Cowboys defensive coordinator and then-Atlanta head coach who blew that Super Bowl to Belichick’s Patriots, interviewed with the Chargers and Commanders and, per numerous media reports, is scheduled to talk with Seattle.
Make that make sense.
No team has to hire Bill Belichick. It’s not like he’s infallible or without criticism or above pointed questions. Maybe he’s not the proper fit. Maybe he’ll fail. There’s never a guarantee. But for almost no one to even want to speak with him? Even if Belichick was brought in for a fake interview — you know you are hiring someone else — it could prove invaluable.
Have you ever heard this guy talk about football, coaching, strategy, leadership, motivation, team-building and so on? Have you seen his NFL Network appearances? Fortune 500 companies pay six figures for 45 minutes in the hope that he inspires the sales force to move more medical devices or life insurance plans.
You have an actual professional football franchise and can get him for an entire day, with the freedom to ask anything. Heck, just have him sit around and tell old Bill Parcells and Lawrence Taylor stories from his days defensive-coordinating the New York Giants to two Super Bowls. You got a better afternoon planned?
Yes, New England was terrible last season. Yes, Belichick’s inability to find a viable quarterback after Brady left — let alone wide receivers and other skill players — doomed him. But to turn that into proof that the Patriots' two decades of excellence were solely the work of Brady is absurd. That’s cheap talk show stuff. They were a pair, just like all great coaches and quarterbacks.
Brady didn’t run those epic New England defenses. Brady didn’t rework the offense around different roster sets — a small-slot-receiver era, a two-tight-end era, a Randy Moss era, etc. Brady didn’t have Malcolm Butler prepared to jump the route. Brady didn’t change the way the game is played with aggressiveness on fourth down, the concept of the middle eight minutes or so on and so on.
Year after year, New England was the smartest, best-coached and most sound team in the league.
Yeah, the Patriots had Tom Brady. They also had Bill Belichick.
So why doesn’t anyone want to at least interview him?