Former NFL quarterback and respected ESPN NFL analyst Dan Orlovsky has reacted strongly to any suggestion that New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick will not be successful without Tom Brady as his quarterback.
“I think coaching-wise, he's a coach you can still win a Super Bowl with,” Orlovsky insisted when talking about Belichick during an appearance on WEEI's “Jones and Mego with Arcand,” according to Lauren Campbell from MassLive. “Just watch the defense play… They're still playing at a damn high level.”
ESPN stats show the 3-10 Patriots enter Week 15 of the NFL ranked eighth in the NFL in total yards allowed per game (306.9) and rank 14th in average giving up 20.9 points per contest. But so is New England last in the league with an average of 13.0 points scored per game.
Belichick's inability to land a long-term replacement for Brady after the 2019 season is a major reason why the Patriots will miss the playoffs for the third time in four years. Bill O'Brien's offseason hiring as offensive coordinator wasn't enough to fix a broken unit during the current campaign, and it's now widely believed that Patriots owner Robert Kraft is ready to move on from Belichick as soon as six… time when the main the Super Bowl champion's coach ends the Week 18 matchup with the New York Jets.
“The offensive play obviously didn't go well,” Orlowski continued, defending Belichick. “How much of it is lack of talent and how much of it is poor planning? I still sit here and say he's one of the few coaches you can undoubtedly win a Super Bowl with as your leader.”
Belichick will turn 72 in April and has been linked in rumors to the Washington Commanders, Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers and Los Angeles Chargers. At least one owner will likely agree with Orlowski's opinion, but it remains to be seen how Kraft will handle Belichick, who is reportedly under contract through the end of the 2024 season.
New England hosts the 8-5 Kansas City Chiefs next Sunday. From early Thursday afternoon chance checker ranked the Patriots as 7.5-point underdogs compared to the Chiefs.