Ex-Patriot offers up theory on Bill Belichick’s approach to ‘joke’ 2020 season
The New England Patriots are in the midst of the dynastic organization’s worst season in almost two decades, and the team declined to make any moves outside of acquiring wide receiver Isaiah Ford from the Miami Dolphins ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline to improve the team.
The Patriots have trudged through nearly the first half of the 2020 NFL season, and the relative inaction at the deadline leaves the Patriots saddled with a roster that has played to a dismal 2-5 record.
The likelihood of a turnaround at this point appears slim, but is it possible there may be a method behind Bill Belichick’s madness? A former Patriots great seems to think so.
Matt Light, who helped anchor the Patriots offensive line from 2001-11 and won three Super Bowls with the team, opined this week that Belichick is essentially throwing away the coronavirus-compromised 2020 season. In doing so, Light believes Belichick will quickly reload and the Patriots will again reestablish themselves as Super Bowl contenders.
“Five years from now, when we look back on this season, are we going to be talking about it?,” Light said on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” on Tuesday. “Are we going to be comparing it? We win a Super Bowl back in the day and they compare it to a previous Super Bowl we won. ‘Oh, this one was so much bigger.’ And, ‘Remember that year?’ No one is going to look back on the 2020 season and compare it to anything other than, it was a joke. It was ridiculous.
The Patriots were expected to go though a transition this season with the departure of Tom Brady. Further complicating matters is how eight Patriots players — including standouts Patrick Chung and Dont’a Hightower — opted out of the season, citing COVID-19 concerns.
Making things even more dire is how Cam Newton, after impressing early on this season, has struggled mightily amid the Patriots’ current four-game slide.
Despite the dire optics of the Patriots’ lost season, Light believes Belichick will get the last laugh.
“I mean, Bill Belichick’s the greatest there is, man. Do you want to compete? Do you want to go after it at the highest level? Or do you want to do what they’re doing right now with all the uncertainty? This is not the game of football we all know. It’s something other than that. Bill recognized it early on. I firmly believe that. And I think he’s building for the time that we can play for a real championship, with real players getting after it, fully prepared, getting ready to go.”
Given Belichick’s unparalleled résumé and reputation as a mad genius who is capable of playing four-dimensional chess, it’s arguably foolish to question the scenario Light has laid out.