Patriots Super Bowl champion thinks Bill Belichick could end up coaching another NFL team


“I don’t see him building wooden ships in his free time and playing with his dogs.”

Patriots defensive lineman Chris Long is pictured on the field during the game vs. the Dolphins.
Chris Long wouldn’t be surprised if Bill Belichick opts to coach another NFL team in the near future. Jim Davis / The Boston Globe

All eyes have been fixated on Bill Belichick amid the Patriots’ woeful 1-5 start to the 2023 season.

One of the primary architects of New England’s unprecedented two-decade run of dominance, the conventional thinking surrounding Belichick and his future with the Patriots has usually revolved around the Hall-of-Fame coach ultimately going out on his own terms when the time comes to retire.

Such a storybook ending may not be a tenable option now — not with the post-Brady Patriots floundering and Belichick’s roster construction efforts leading to disaster.

But with Belichick still 18 wins away from surpassing Don Shula for the most head-coaching victories in NFL history, it doesn’t seem like the longtime Patriots coach is keen on waking away any time soon.

As such, former Patriots defensive end and Super Bowl LI champion Chris Long wouldn’t be surprised if Belichick opts to chase Shula’s record elsewhere — especially if New England’s disastrous season ultimately ends with him and Robert Kraft parting ways. 

“I think it could end with Bill coaching somewhere else at some point. Like why not? The guy loves ball,” Long said on The Rich Eisen Show on Monday. “I don’t see him building wooden ships in his free time and playing with his dogs. I don’t think he’s gonna be doing model tall ships his whole life. I know he likes lacrosse, but you go to a couple of these games? You’re like, ugh — I want to coach football.”

Long was not the only former NFLer who speculated that Belichick might want to coach elsewhere if his time in New England does come to a close.

Speaking on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” on Monday morning, former NFL QB and current CBS analyst Boomer Esiason speculated that a coaching vacancy with the New York Giants could be appealing to Belichick — especially if New York holds a higher draft pick than New England this offseason. 

“It’s speculation. It’s a lot of fun. … I just speculated that if the Giants were going to be as bad as they are, and let’s say they end up with the first overall draft pick, and I don’t know, maybe Bob Kraft and Bill Belichick decide, ‘Okay, it’s time to move on.’ There’s only one other team that I think Bill Belichick would ever coach, and that would be the New York Giants,” Esiason said. “He loves the New York Giants.

“And I know he wants to get that record. I would want to get that record if I were him. That’s the win record for head coaches in his league. And he’s going to need about two to three, maybe four, years to do that. And if Bob Kraft doesn’t want to offer him the opportunity to do that and that scenario plays itself out. I could see that happening. So that’s what we do in sports talk radio.”

Despite Belichick’s lofty resume with the Patriots, everything that could have gone wrong seemingly has for New England so far in 2023.

Belichick’s team has been dealt plenty of bad luck as far as injuries this season, especially on the defensive side of the ball with stalwarts like Christian Gonzalez and Matthew Judon on the mend.

But whether it be poor O-line play, Mac Jones’ regression from his Pro-Bowl rookie season and various personnel moves that have blown up in Belichick’s face, the Patriots are staring at an uncertain future, even if this miserable season results in a high draft pick.

“It’s kind of poetic, though,” Long noted. “I mean think about it. Bill, you think of this guy who wants to do anything to win. Like that’s been well documented — would he lose to win [a high draft pick]? I think he might already be losing to win. And sometimes you don’t have to coach to lose. Like, it’s just a bad setup. And some of the personnel decisions? You go to Vegas last year, not that the Chandler Jones thing is recent. And it’s kind of just a coincidence, but he is the guy that beat you.

 And then this year, you go and Josh McDaniels beats you again, and Jakobi Meyers is catching touchdowns in the end zone. The reminders are everywhere for New England. And I think for fans, they’re like, ‘What the hell happened?’ It’s crazy.”