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Losing His Legacy: Bill Belichick's Current Record, Coaching Tree Failing in Disastrous New England Patriots Season

The 10 men on New England Patriots Bill Belichick's coaching tree have combined to win only three playoff games in 36 combined seasons.

It appears that Bill Belichick is keeping his job. But is he also losing his legacy?

Despite the 2-8 record, 31st-ranked offense, absurdly aggressive special teams tactics and bizarre benching of quarterback Mac Jones before last week's game-deciding drive in Germany, the New England Patriots - for now, anyway - don't appear to be firing their legendary coach. There was much speculation. But as the team enters it's Bye week, Belichick was on the field Wednesday coaching his reeling squad through another practice.

As the Patriots six Super Bowl trophies begin to collect cobwebs, fans are constantly reminded of the ugly truth about Belichick

*With Tom Brady for 20 years, the coach was 249-75 with 17 division titles and six championships.

*Without Brady in nine seasons, the coach is 82-97 with only one playoff win. Since the quarterback left the Patriots after the 2019 season, they are 27-33 without a sniff of postseason success.

Coaches go through rough stretches. But coveted coaching trees should flourish. Bill Parcells remains one of Belichick's closest confidants, and he always said “Those who follow you and branch out ... that’s important.”

Oops. While Belichick's record is absorbing losses these days, so too his coaching tree is being uprooted.

In a scathing article penned last week, former Denver Broncos' receiver/tight end Nate Jackson took a shot at both Belichick and his fraternity of failure headlined by  recently fired Las Vegas Raiders' coach Josh McDaniels. Wrote Jackson:

"Bill Belichick knock-offs like putting slogans and mantras in big block letters around the building, then calling guys out in meetings, making them stand up to recite them, and cussing out those who couldn’t. I experienced the same thing during my one week in Cleveland under Eric Mangini, another Belichick disciple who tried to copy and paste The Patriot Way, and failed miserably.

Bill Belichick and one of his coaching-tree failures, Josh McDaniels.

Bill Belichick and one of his coaching-tree failures, Josh McDaniels.

"Clearly a good football team is more than merely its clever Xs and Os. McDaniels and Mangini are not the New England football robot factory's only outputs who laid waste to professional football teams. Matt Patricia. Romeo Crennel. Brian Flores. Joe Judge. Brian Daboll. All of them have losing records as NFL head coaches. Only Bill O’Brien has a winning record. All of these slapdicks put together have only two playoff victories as NFL head coaches."

No way around it, Belichick's coaching tree does not bear fruit. The man who will likely wind up as the NFL's all-time winningest coach has spawned, well, a bunch of losers.

Of the 10 men who worked as assistants under Belichick and later landed full-time head coaching jobs in the NFL, only two have a career record above .500: Al Groh (who went 9-7 in his one season with the New York Jets in 2000) and Bill O’Brien (who went 52-48 before the Houston Texans fired him in 2020).

The 10 have a cumulative record of 219-306-2. Over 36 combined NFL seasons, Belichick’s coaching tree has only six playoff appearances and three postseason wins.

Groh. Crennel. Judge. Patricia. McDaniels. O'Brien. Mangini. Nick Saban. Brian Flores. Brian Daboll. Three playoff wins in 36 seasons. This, from the teachings of a coach with 300 wins and six Lombardis on his mantle.

As Patriots owner Robert Kraft grapples with how to deal with a declining legend, it must be accounted for that Belichick's accomplishments simply don't translate to those who learned the game from him.