While multiple reports came out suggesting the Commanders were not interested in Bill Belichick, the longtime Patriots HC may have spoken to two teams about HC positions this year.
The Commanders are believed to have spoken with Belichick about the job, according to The Athletic’s Dianna Russini. Some internal support existed for a hire, though not too much appears to have developed on that front. Five teams went with defense-oriented candidates this year, making it even more interesting the greatest defensive coach in NFL history does not have a job.
Belichick met with the Falcons twice about their job and was viewed as the early favorite. But that prospective partnership fizzled, leading to Raheem Morris landing the Atlanta job. Both the positions to which Belichick was connected went to candidates who served as Falcons HCs in 2020; Morris succeeded Dan Quinn in the interim that year. Quinn became the team’s Ron Rivera successor Thursday morning.
Although a brief Belichick-Commanders connection formed as the regular season ended, Russini’s report runs counter to what came out when the Patriots and Belichick parted ways. The Commanders were not believed to be interested in the Maryland native for their job, and a Wednesday follow-up indicated the team expressed issues with Belichick’s age and how he would fit on a rebuilding team. Belichick’s willingness to work alongside new football ops president Adam Peters is also believed to have come up during the Washington search.
It is possible the above-referenced concerns developed after the Commanders discussed the job with Belichick, though no official interview was ever reported. The Falcons reported both their meetings with the six-time Super Bowl-winning HC. Ben Johnson appeared positioned as the favorite for the Washington job, but the Detroit OC — just before his second interview with the Commanders — informed both the Commanders and Seahawks he was staying with the Lions. It is unclear if Quinn served as a consolation prize, but given the smoke surrounding Johnson, assuming that is the case would not be a stretch.
Belichick joins Mike Vrabel and Pete Carroll as longtime HCs out of the mix for the 2024 season. The 24-year New England leader has not been connected to retirement, sitting 14 wins shy of Don Shula‘s all-time record. Belichick and Vrabel’s statuses stand to make the 2025 coaching carousel fascinating, as that could conceivably represent the former’s last chance to land another NFL HC job. At 48, Vrabel obviously has more time. Belichick, 72 in April, has been an NFL staffer in every season since 1975. He has not worked as an assistant since being the Jets’ defensive coordinator in 1999.