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

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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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