How Bill Belichick has thrived when Patriots turn to ‘next man up’


If anyone can survive the unusual offseason the New England Patriots have had, it’s coach Bill Belichick. He has built a dynasty with the “Patriot Way,” a winning, team-first culture backboned by the “next man up” mentality.

The 2020 NFL season might be Belichick’s toughest test yet. The offseason, including the opt-outs of six Patriots players this week (most notable is linebacker Dont’a Hightower), has led to lower expectations — at least according to Las Vegas. New England’s pro football championship odds are at 20-1 according to Caesars Sportsbook (through July 30), its worst preseason odds since 2002.

The Patriots’ roller-coaster offseason has included some massive changes. For example:

They return 57% of last season’s snaps, the second lowest percentage in the NFL, behind the Panthers (47%).

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