FOXBORO — Forget all of the lavish, over-the-top reward Bill Belichick heaped on the Chicago Bears on Wednesday.
When it involves being the Hoodie’s subsequent sufferer, the Bears couldn’t match the profile any higher.
They have a younger, inexperienced quarterback beneath middle in Justin Fields. They even have a first-time head coach calling the photographs in Matt Eberflus.
It’s the right setup for the Patriots, whether or not Mac Jones, who appears prone to begin given how good he regarded throughout Thursday’s apply, or Bailey Zappe strains up beneath middle Monday night time.
Belichick versus the Fields/Eberflus combo seems to be to be the standard mismatch within the Patriots’ favor. That’s as a result of Belichick usually feasts on the newbies, even with out Tom Brady to assist him get the higher hand.
Last yr alone, the Patriots had been 5-0 towards first-year head coaches. Belichick additionally has a fairly good monitor report with first or second-year quarterbacks.
Case in level: the Patriots registered two wins over first-year Jets head coach Robert Salah, and his rookie quarterback Zach Wilson final season. They beat the Texans with rookie head coach David Culley and rookie Davis Mills.
They slaughtered the Jaguars with rookie Trevor Lawrence, and interim head coach Darrell Bevell late within the season.
They additionally bought the higher of Chargers rookie Justin Herbert and then-first yr head coach Brandon Staley in 2020, and once more in 2021.
Then, for good measure, Belichick as soon as once more had Sam Darnold’s quantity, two years after making him see “ghosts” in New York. Ditto Detroit’s Jared Goff, who’s lowered to a puddle each time Belichick is on the opposing sideline.
“They did a bunch of stuff that made it hard,” Goff stated after going scoreless and making two pricey turnovers throughout the Lions’ Week 5 loss to the Patriots this season. “They have a extremely good thought of the way you’re making an attempt to assault them offensively. And their gamers are actually sensible. And they’re good gamers, too.
“In order to beat teams like that, defenses like that, you can’t make dumb mistakes like I did.”
Miami’s Mike McDaniel was one of many few exceptions to the first-time head coach rule, with the Dolphins beating the Pats Week 1 this season. But for probably the most half, Belichick prevails towards most of the less-than-seasoned head coaches and quarterbacks.
The Bears are up subsequent.
They not solely have a first-year head coach, however are additionally one of many youngest groups within the NFL because the Patriots head coach identified Wednesday. So it’s just about a slam-dunk. Count on Belichick exploiting their youth.
“One thing helps us more than anything, when you talk about coaching, is Bill is one of the best coaches of all time,” defensive captain Devin McCourty stated Wednesday, “so I think that has a huge impact. If you have a coach coming in for his first year, and we’re coming in with a coach that’s been in the NFL 47 years, there’s an advantage there just game-plan wise.”
And that have is simply one of many causes Belichick is tied with George Halas with 324 profession wins, second-most as a head coach in NFL historical past.
He’s been there, executed that so many instances towards the outdated and new. He’s defended each model of quarterback, outwitted a number of the finest coaches, and but, there he was Wednesday morning, dressing up one of many worst groups within the league. One of Belichick’s methods is to kill the worst groups with kindness previous to the sport.
So he did it with the media, laying it on actual thick in a seven-minute opening sermon, and he additionally offered the identical prolonged dialogue pumping up the Bears to the gamers.
“Yeah, we got that whole (speech),” McCourty instructed the Herald. “You can be like, ‘This is B.S.,’ then you’ll go look at some of the stats and things he talks about, and you’ll be like, ‘OK, I kind of see what coach is saying.’ ”
Belichick’s group is on a little bit of a roll having received two straight in convincing trend. Part of his rationale to make the Bears sound like world-beaters is so the Patriots received’t get complacent, or take anybody too evenly.
Even if he guidelines over this sort of competitors.
While Fields could be 4-12 in his profession with a 73.1 passer ranking, Belichick made certain his group knew all the locations the place the Bears quarterback may damage them.
“You see Fields, and this guy is really athletic. And you think, ‘Damn, what are we going to do to stop that?’ ’’ said McCourty. “Then Bill steps up there, he’s played against Michael Vick, he’s coached against probably 40 guys that are similar in some way. So there’s that calming sense as a defense when you take the field.”
Of course, with the Bears having performed on the earlier Thursday night time, Eberflus could have just a little additional time to prep for the Patriots.
In that regard, Belichick additionally talked about getting ready for maybe “something we haven’t seen from them.”
But in the long run, the Patriots will likely be ready. Belichick at all times has one thing up his sleeve. It’s not usually his group succumbs to an inferior opponent with a first-year head coach, and an inexperienced quarterback.
Said security Adrian Phillips: “I’d say we really feel good towards anyone we play due to the way in which we put together … we don’t actually fear about whether or not somebody’s a first-time head coach. We would possibly perceive some issues higher due to expertise.
“Bill’s been coaching for like 40 years, but we don’t really get into the hype of that because anybody can be good. We just go out there and make sure we’re prepared and dominate.”