Report: Bill Belichick’s friends fear Patriots coach is ‘on the hot seat’ in 2023

"Robert Kraft already made it clear in March that he wants the Patriots to make the postseason."

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick meets with Patriots owner Robert Kraft, left, before an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Orchard Park, N.Y.
Could Bill Belichick really be on the hot seat this season? (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

Given the unequaled resume that he has crafted over two decades in New England, one might think that Bill Belichick wouldn’t need to be looking over his shoulder when it comes to job security.

But a recent column by The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin noted that the Patriots’ head coach might be on unsteady ground going into the 2023 season. 

Volin’s column sheds light on the relationship between Robert Kraft and Mac Jones, reporting that the quarterback “apparently is a lot tighter with” the team owner than anticipated, which, as Volin wrote, “could be trouble for” Belichick.


“Robert Kraft already made it clear in March that he wants the Patriots to make the postseason and win a playoff game for the first time in five years,” Volin wrote. “He also paid Jerod Mayo handsomely to keep him off the coaching market and likely views him as the team’s coach-in-waiting. And Belichick’s friends have privately said they are worried that he is on the hot seat in 2023.”

Jones had a season to forget in 2022, but the young quarterback wasn’t exactly aided by a dysfunctional coaching staff that saw Matt Patricia and Joe Judge struggle to craft a capable offensive unit.

Since Tom Brady left New England in March 2020, Belichick and the Patriots have fallen below the lofty expectations that they have set for themselves over the years.

In two of the last three seasons, New England finished below .500 and missed the playoffs. Their last postseason win came back on Feb. 3, 2019 during Super Bowl LIII against the Rams.

Speaking earlier this year, Robert Kraft acknowledged that the Patriots’ play over the last few years has left plenty to be desired.

“I was very disappointed with the way our season went,” Kraft said at the NFL Annual League Meeting back in March. “I had the privilege of being a fan for decades before buying the team. I think in the end, I’m still a fan.


“My objective for our team is that we make the playoffs. …. I thought last year, we had gone three years without [a playoffs win], and I thought we had been in a position to do it. The season, we finished under .500 … so I thought changes had to be made.”

But when asked about Belichick’s recent track record, Kraft did offer up a vote of confidence in his longtime head coach when it comes to the team’s recent personnel decisions.

“I think Bill is exceptional at what he does and I’ve given him the freedom to make the choices and do the things that need to be done,” Kraft said. “His football intellect and knowledge is unparalleled from what I’ve seen. Just when you talk to him, the small things analytically that he looks at.

“But in the end, this is a business. You either execute and win or you don’t. That’s where we’re at. I think we’re in a transition phase. I think we’ve made some moves this year that I personally am comfortable with and I still believe in Bill.”