It’s long been presumed that Bill Belichick’s eventual successor as New England Patriots head coach is being groomed as part of the staff already. The latest speculation, however, centers on a name we haven’t heard before.
Boston Globe NFL writer Ben Volin suggested in an appearance on WEEI’s “The Ken and Curtis Show” that the Patriots might be grooming Patricia as Belichick’s heir apparent. Volin noted that Patricia’s signature has been on every contract the Patriots have agreed to this offseason, suggesting he has taken on many of the responsibilities of former director of player personnel Nick Caserio. Volin thinks this was notable because it suggests Belichick trusts Patricia to handle these contractual responsibilities despite Patricia not really operating in that area before.
— Ken Laird (@KenLairdWEEI) May 8, 2021
“They had to choose one person, and they chose him,” Volin said. “It does seem like they are broadening his skill set, and it makes me wonder if they are setting him up to be the heir apparent to Belichick.”
It wasn’t a huge shock that Patricia rejoined the Patriots’ staff following his ill-fated tenure as head coach of the Lions. However, it’s been clear that Belichick is giving him significant responsibilities quite quickly. The Patriots might also believe that Patricia would have better luck coaching a team that’s already more accustomed to New England’s unique organizational culture.
Of course, there have been other names tossed around as potential successors to Belichick. Patricia’s name seems to be one to watch, however.