Bill Belichick: ‘We’re five weeks behind in the 2017 season’

Dan Powers-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Belichick and Nick Saban must have been separated at birth. Championships, while sweet, don’t keep them from looking ahead for one second. This was seen clearly when Belichick talked to the press on Monday following his team’s epic overtime victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

As we know, the NFL never sleeps. There is always work do be done, and those who brave the deep waters that come with coaching and scouting in this league hardly ever get any time to rest. For teams like the Falcons and Patriots, the offseason is now condensed a bit compared to most other teams that have been doing offseason work the past month or so.

This is something Belichick touched on, hardheartedly lamenting the fact that the Patriots have less time to prepare for the draft and free agency.

“As of today, as great as today feels and as great as today is, in all honesty we’re five weeks behind in the 2017 season to most teams in the league,” Belichick said Monday when he was presented with his fifth Lombardi Trophy (h/t Tom Rock of Newsday). “In a couple of weeks we’re going to be looking at the Combine. Obviously the draft. All-star games have already occurred. And in a month we’re into free agency not to mention all of the internal Patriots players whose contracts are up that we’re going to have to work with in some form or fashion like every team in the league does.”

The head coach revealed he won’t take a break until late June and into early July, when he’ll spend time on his boat. But right now, there is no rest to be had for Belichick and his staff.

“Right now it’s tough because we go from this right into draft, free agency and before you know it we’ll be in the offseason program in April,” Belichick said. “I know it seems like a long way off, but when you’re as far behind as Atlanta and New England are right now relative to the ’17 season, we have some catching up to do.”

He’s not wrong, and clearly he knows what he’s doing. But it’s always funny to see this over-the-top stoicism in the face of something beautiful like what the Patriots accomplished Sunday, coming back from 25 points down to win their fifth championship since Belichick took over.

This is just classic Belichick, who admitted he’s happy to be in such a position.

“But that’s where we want to be,” Belichick said. “So no complaints.”

Given the fact that Brady intends to keep playing well into his 40s, the Patriots will almost certainly have another chance to add to their legacy under Belichick, who’ll go down as the best head coach in the Super Bowl era when he’s finished with this game.