New England Patriots parting ways with coach Bill Belichick today, SportsCenter 5 conifrms
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New England Patriots parting ways with coach Bill Belichick today, SportsCenter 5 conifrms

The New England Patriots are parting ways with head coach Bill Belichick on Thursday after more than two decades and six Super Bowl titles, which is the most won by a single head coach in NFL history and tied for the most by a single franchise in the league, sources tell NewsCenter 5.The Patriots finished the year at 4-13, their worst record in a single season under Belichick, who became head coach of the team in 2000.Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Belichick will address the team at noon, however the Patriots have not confirmed the split. Sources told ESPN that New England Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo is expected to be the leading candidate to take over as head coach.Belichick, 71, had a 296-133 record in 24 seasons as New England’s head coach between the regular season and postseason. When including the five seasons he was head coach of the Cleveland Browns (1991-95), he has a total record of 333-178.His 31 postseason wins, all but one of which came with the Patriots, are the most by a head coach in NFL history, and he is only the third coach to win 300 or more regular-season games. Belichick trails only Don Shula (328) and George Halas (318) on the all-time regular-season wins list, and Shula is the only one ahead of Belichick on the combined wins list (347).Video below: Belichick introduced as head coach in 2000But since legendary quarterback Tom Brady departed via free agency in March 2020, the Patriots have a 29-38 record under Belichick with three losing seasons. Brady won his seventh Super Bowl title and fifth Super Bowl MVP award in his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and went 37-20 over three seasons with the Bucs before retiring — supposedly for good — in February.In recent years, Belichick came under fire from the Patriots fan base for how he handled the quarterback position since Brady’s departure. New England signed 2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton in June 2020, but the Pats finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008 — and for only the third time in Belichick’s tenure at that point — in a season that was heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.The Patriots then decided to use their first-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft on a quarterback, selecting Mac Jones from the University of Alabama 15th overall. The selection of Jones marked just the fourth time the Pats had drafted a quarterback in the first round since 1970. Brady was famously selected in the sixth round of the 2000 draft at No. 199 overall.Jones led the Patriots to a 10-7 record and a playoff berth as a rookie starter and earned a spot in the Pro Bowl as an alternate, but New England was blown out by the Buffalo Bills in the wild-card round.When longtime Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels left to become head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders in January 2022, Belichick decided to put the offense in the hands of Matt Patricia and Joe Judge. Patricia has been a defensive assistant for most of his NFL career, while Judge coached mainly special teams before the 2022 season — aside from the 2019 season when he coached wide receivers while serving as New England’s special teams coordinator.Under Patricia and Judge, Jones regressed while the Patriots ranked 17th in scoring offense and 26th in total offense — a significant dropoff compared to the season before under McDaniels, when New England ranked sixth in scoring offense and 15th in total offense. The Pats missed the playoffs in 2022 with an 8-9 record.In January, Belichick made the decision to re-hire Bill O’Brien as the team’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. O’Brien, previously head coach of the Houston Texans (2014-20) and offensive coordinator for the University of Alabama (2021-22), was New England’s quarterbacks coach from 2009 through 2011 and was also the team’s offensive coordinator during the 2011 season.Video below: Belichick in 2019 Super Bowl victory paradeBut even with an experienced playcaller running the offense, Jones continued to struggle as he started the first 11 games of his third NFL season. He threw for 2,120 yards, 10 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while completing 64.9% of his passes and averaging 6.1 yards per attempt — both career lows — and went 2-9 as the starter.Jones was benched late in blowout losses to the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints earlier in the season. But after throwing a red-zone interception late against the Indianapolis Colts in Germany, Jones was benched in favor of Bailey Zappe, with the Patriots trailing 10-6 with less than two minutes to play.After the bye week, Jones started against the New York Giants in the Meadowlands and finished the first half 12 of 21 passing for 89 yards and two interceptions. Zappe then came off the bench to start the second half and took every snap at quarterback for the rest of the season.Zappe, a 2022 fourth-round draft pick, finished with a 2-4 record as the Patriots’ starting quarterback in 2023. He went 2-0 as a starter in 2022 while filling in for an injured Jones.Belichick became head coach of the Patriots on Jan. 27, 2000, less than two weeks after he resigned as head coach of the New York Jets on the day of what was supposed to be his introductory press conference.Kraft had to trade a first-round draft pick to the Jets to land Belichick as his head coach, but it was a move that paid major dividends. Belichick posted 20 winning seasons with 18 playoff appearances on the back of an NFL-record 17 division titles. The Patriots also reached 13 conference championship games under Belichick, including a record eight straight from 2011 through 2018, and made nine Super Bowl appearances.The Patriots won a record 21 games in a row under Belichick from Week 5 of the 2003 season, through the 2003-04 playoffs and until Week 8 of the 2004 season. In 2007, New England had a perfect 16-0 record in the regular season and became just the second team since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to finish the regular season undefeated. The Pats improved to 18-0 that season before falling to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl.Before Belichick became head coach of the team, the Patriots made just 10 postseason appearances in the first 40 years of the franchise’s history. They reached the American Football League championship game in 1963 and two Super Bowls (1985, 1996) during that span but did not win any of those title games.

The New England Patriots are parting ways with head coach Bill Belichick on Thursday after more than two decades and six Super Bowl titles, which is the most won by a single head coach in NFL history and tied for the most by a single franchise in the league, sources tell NewsCenter 5.

The Patriots finished the year at 4-13, their worst record in a single season under Belichick, who became head coach of the team in 2000.

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Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Belichick will address the team at noon, however the Patriots have not confirmed the split.

Sources told ESPN that New England Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo is expected to be the leading candidate to take over as head coach.

Belichick, 71, had a 296-133 record in 24 seasons as New England’s head coach between the regular season and postseason. When including the five seasons he was head coach of the Cleveland Browns (1991-95), he has a total record of 333-178.

His 31 postseason wins, all but one of which came with the Patriots, are the most by a head coach in NFL history, and he is only the third coach to win 300 or more regular-season games. Belichick trails only Don Shula (328) and George Halas (318) on the all-time regular-season wins list, and Shula is the only one ahead of Belichick on the combined wins list (347).

Video below: Belichick introduced as head coach in 2000

But since legendary quarterback Tom Brady departed via free agency in March 2020, the Patriots have a 29-38 record under Belichick with three losing seasons. Brady won his seventh Super Bowl title and fifth Super Bowl MVP award in his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and went 37-20 over three seasons with the Bucs before retiring — supposedly for good — in February.

In recent years, Belichick came under fire from the Patriots fan base for how he handled the quarterback position since Brady’s departure. New England signed 2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton in June 2020, but the Pats finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008 — and for only the third time in Belichick’s tenure at that point — in a season that was heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 18: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots  looks on during the game against the Denver Broncos  at Gillette Stadium on October 18, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Maddie Meyer

Belichick in 2020

The Patriots then decided to use their first-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft on a quarterback, selecting Mac Jones from the University of Alabama 15th overall. The selection of Jones marked just the fourth time the Pats had drafted a quarterback in the first round since 1970. Brady was famously selected in the sixth round of the 2000 draft at No. 199 overall.

Jones led the Patriots to a 10-7 record and a playoff berth as a rookie starter and earned a spot in the Pro Bowl as an alternate, but New England was blown out by the Buffalo Bills in the wild-card round.

When longtime Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels left to become head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders in January 2022, Belichick decided to put the offense in the hands of Matt Patricia and Joe Judge. Patricia has been a defensive assistant for most of his NFL career, while Judge coached mainly special teams before the 2022 season — aside from the 2019 season when he coached wide receivers while serving as New England’s special teams coordinator.

Under Patricia and Judge, Jones regressed while the Patriots ranked 17th in scoring offense and 26th in total offense — a significant dropoff compared to the season before under McDaniels, when New England ranked sixth in scoring offense and 15th in total offense. The Pats missed the playoffs in 2022 with an 8-9 record.

In January, Belichick made the decision to re-hire Bill O’Brien as the team’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. O’Brien, previously head coach of the Houston Texans (2014-20) and offensive coordinator for the University of Alabama (2021-22), was New England’s quarterbacks coach from 2009 through 2011 and was also the team’s offensive coordinator during the 2011 season.

Video below: Belichick in 2019 Super Bowl victory parade

But even with an experienced playcaller running the offense, Jones continued to struggle as he started the first 11 games of his third NFL season. He threw for 2,120 yards, 10 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while completing 64.9% of his passes and averaging 6.1 yards per attempt — both career lows — and went 2-9 as the starter.

Jones was benched late in blowout losses to the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints earlier in the season. But after throwing a red-zone interception late against the Indianapolis Colts in Germany, Jones was benched in favor of Bailey Zappe, with the Patriots trailing 10-6 with less than two minutes to play.

After the bye week, Jones started against the New York Giants in the Meadowlands and finished the first half 12 of 21 passing for 89 yards and two interceptions. Zappe then came off the bench to start the second half and took every snap at quarterback for the rest of the season.

Zappe, a 2022 fourth-round draft pick, finished with a 2-4 record as the Patriots’ starting quarterback in 2023. He went 2-0 as a starter in 2022 while filling in for an injured Jones.

Belichick became head coach of the Patriots on Jan. 27, 2000, less than two weeks after he resigned as head coach of the New York Jets on the day of what was supposed to be his introductory press conference.

Newly-hired New England Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick, left, shakes hands with Patriots' owner Robert Kraft, seconds before the start of a news conference at Foxboro Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., held to announce Belichick's hiring Thursday, Jan. 27, 2000.

AP Photo/Steven Senne

Newly-hired New England Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick, left, shakes hands with Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft, seconds before the start of a news conference at Foxboro Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., held to announce Belichick’s hiring Thursday, Jan. 27, 2000.

Kraft had to trade a first-round draft pick to the Jets to land Belichick as his head coach, but it was a move that paid major dividends. Belichick posted 20 winning seasons with 18 playoff appearances on the back of an NFL-record 17 division titles. The Patriots also reached 13 conference championship games under Belichick, including a record eight straight from 2011 through 2018, and made nine Super Bowl appearances.

The Patriots won a record 21 games in a row under Belichick from Week 5 of the 2003 season, through the 2003-04 playoffs and until Week 8 of the 2004 season. In 2007, New England had a perfect 16-0 record in the regular season and became just the second team since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to finish the regular season undefeated. The Pats improved to 18-0 that season before falling to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl.

Before Belichick became head coach of the team, the Patriots made just 10 postseason appearances in the first 40 years of the franchise’s history. They reached the American Football League championship game in 1963 and two Super Bowls (1985, 1996) during that span but did not win any of those title games.

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