FOXBORO, Mass. — Ray Lewis may be rolling through the final weeks of his NFL career before retirement this offseason, but don’t expect the same from Bill Belichick.
Belichick, who will turn 61 in April, just finished his 38th season in the NFL and is the longest-tenured coach in the league, with 13 seasons in New England. But that doesn’t mean he’s planning on going anywhere.
“Yeah, I’ll be here,” Belichick said when asked about his future during Monday’s end-of-season news conference.
Belichick, who was criticized for his surly demeanor after the Patriots’ loss in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game, even gave a rare nod to others’ perception of him.
“You’ll have to deal with me again next year. I know it’s disappointing for a lot of you,” Belichick said. “Until I’m told otherwise, I plan on being here.”
There was some speculation that the return of former offensive assistant Brian Daboll could signal the end of either Belichick or offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. But that didn’t appear to be a possibility with the lifelong football coach on Monday.
The Patriots are 151-57 during Belichick’s tenure, making seven AFC Championship Game appearances, going to five Super Bowls and winning three Lombardi Trophies. So, while disappointment will be heavy after another season that ended short of a championship, New England fans can still count on Belichick to be roaming the sidelines next season and likely for many more.
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