New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has never been one to dwell in the past. That’s why when speaking to the media at the NFL Owners Meeting earlier this week, one of his brief comments gained plenty of attention.
When asked why Patriots’ fans should remain optimistic ahead of this season, his response was unlike what we usually hear from the tight-lipped head coach.
“The last 25 years,” he said.
The response received much attention across the NFL landscape, including from some of Belichick’s former Patriots players. That included criticism from Tedy Bruschi and tight end Benjamin Watson, who noted that Belichick told his players daily that the past didn’t matter.
Odd. Coach told us daily that the past didn’t matter.
— Benjamin Watson (@BenjaminSWatson) March 27, 2023
On Wednesday, Belichick clarified his earlier comments.
“We’re not resting on our past laurels; that’s not the message to the team or the fans,” Belichick told the Boston Globe at LSU’s Pro Day. “We have never operated that way and aren’t now.”
Belichick’s clarification also seemed to indicate that he was answering the question from a fan’s perspective.
While New England has enjoyed more success than any other franchise over the last 25 years, the past three have not been so successful. The Patriots have not won a playoff game since they won Super Bowl LIII in 2019 and have finished under .500 in two of the last three seasons.
As the Patriots now face their longest preseason Super Bowl odds since 1993, Belichick made it clear his past success is not part of his mindset when looking towards to the 2023 season.