Tedy Bruschi sees a change in Bill Belichick, and not the good kind

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick caught people by surprise with his latest comments at the NFL annual meeting on Monday, including ESPN analyst and former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi.

When fielding questions from media members, he pointed to the last 25 years as a reason Patriots fans should feel optimistic about the future. It was a rare flex from the six-time Super Bowl-winning head coach.

This wasn’t the “on to Cincinnati” version of Belichick fans had grown accustomed to seeing. That remark came from a coach that seemed annoyed at the way his legacy was being picked apart and questioned by outsiders.

And yet, the fact remains that Belichick and the Patriots haven’t won a playoff game since Tom Brady was under center at quarterback. They’ve also missed the playoffs in two of their last three seasons.

This is not the New England team of old, and some cracks are starting to show from arguably the greatest coach of all time.

“Right now, Coach Belichick is off-message,” said Bruschi, when appearing on “Get Up” on Tuesday. “That is something that his players shouldn’t hear — that he is basing some optimism to fans on ‘what I’ve done in the past 25 years.’ I don’t know if I’ve ever heard Bill mention something like that in terms of his whole body of work.

“It was surprising to me. I don’t know what’s going on in that locker room now, but players can hold coaches accountable. I’ve done it with Bill before when he said things postgame or during the week that I did not like, and we had discussions in captains meetings or after games or whatever. But I’m not in that locker room anymore. I’m hearing it, and I’m just surprised because that is not the Bill Belichick that I know.”

Despite all of the struggles in 2022, Belichick has operated like it’s a business as usual approach. If you didn’t know any better, by the way he conducts his media conferences, you’d think it was 2018 and the Patriots were still a perennial Super Bowl contender.

That might have worked when the Patriots were winning football games, but losing changes everything.

Even owner Robert Kraft sent out a letter to season ticketholders promising changes moving forward. As great as Belichick has been as a coach, he still has yet to prove he can make a run without Brady.

It’s hard to lean on the last 25 years of work if the general consensus is that the quarterback was in the driver’s seat and Belichick was riding shotgun all along.

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Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire