The 2020 NFL season couldn't have gone much worse for Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Not only did his team finish the season with a losing record for the first time in 20 years, but he also had to watch his former quarterback (Tom Brady) win a Super Bowl with another team.
Although Belichick has experienced a tremendous amount of success over the course of his coaching career, including six Super Bowl wins, most of that success came with Brady on his roster, and because of that, at least one person out there thinks Belichick's seat could be warming up in New England and that person is former NFL linebacker LaVar Arrington.
During a recent appearance on FS1, the three-time Pro Bowler said the Patriots coach needs "to have a good season this year" and prove that he can win without Brady.
"Having the type of season that [the Patriots] had last year can make you rethink a whole lot of things that you did in the past," Arrington said, via NESN.com. "That seat is warm for Bill Belichick and that might sound crazy for some people, but Bill Belichick has to have a good season this year. And you know why? Because there are whispers -- 'It was Tom. It was always Tom. It couldn't have been anything else but Tom.' And Bill Belichick has to show before he gets too far away from Tom Brady leaving that it was not Tom Brady, that it was, in fact and indeed, the system of what Bill Belichick built in New England."
Six Super Bowl wins will earn you a lot goodwill, so Belichick probably doesn't have to worry about losing his job in New England anytime soon, but Arrington does make an interesting point. For the past 12 months, people have been debating whether Brady or Belichick meant more to the Patriots' 20-year run of success and right now, Brady seems to have the edge in that argument thanks to his win in Super Bowl LV.
Basically, Brady has proven that he can win without Belichick, but Belichick hasn't proven that he can win without Brady. Over the course of his entire coaching career (including his stint in Cleveland), Belichick is 61-72 without Brady, including 25-28 with the Patriots.
The past year was especially unkind to Belichick: Not only did he run his starting quarterback out of New England, but he didn't really have a plan in place to replace him. The Patriots coach has also struggled at building through the draft over the past few years, which is a big reason why the Patriots are where they are.
Belichick's seat might not be getting warm just yet, but if the Patriots continue to struggle in 2021, Arrington will be able to say that he saw it all coming.