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Bill Belichick discusses the Patriots coaching staff, Robert Kraft, and facing the Ravens in Week 3

Patriots coach Bill Belichick shook hands with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin after Sunday's game.Joe Sargent/Getty

A day after the Patriots held on to defeat the Steelers 17-14, Bill Belichick called into WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” for his weekly interview.

Here are a few takeaways:

His response to questions about the coaching staff and continuity

While the Patriots won in Week 2, questions about the team’s coaching staff — specifically the coaching of Mac Jones and the offense — will continue to linger for the foreseeable future.

Not only was the departure of former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to the Raiders seen as a major potential issue, but it was combined with a trio of other coaches leaving New England to join McDaniels in Las Vegas.


Former Patriots assistants Mick Lombardi, Carmen Bricillo, and Bo Hardegree all made their offseason exits.

In response, Belichick hired — in part — former head coaches Matt Patricia and Joe Judge to help with the team’s offense.

Belichick supports both Patricia and Judge.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Did he prioritize “stability” over hiring younger coaches this offseason?

“I think we have a good mix of experienced coaches and younger coaches,” Belichick responded.

“Our defensive staff remains pretty much intact from what it was last year,” he pointed out.

As far as the offense, Belichick praised the experience that both Judge and Patricia bring, and downplayed the departures.

“I think that the experience that we lost with Josh, Bo, Nick Lombardi, and Carmen, we replaced that to a degree and the rest of the staff, there was a lot of continuity,” he said.

“There really wasn’t a lot of turnover, obviously it was mostly on the offensive side of the ball with those four coaches who went to the Raiders.”

The ongoing partnership with Robert Kraft

Following Sunday’s win, Belichick presented the game ball to Robert Kraft in the locker room in honor of his 500th game as team owner.

Kraft, who bought the Patriots in 1994 for a then-record sum of $194 million, has presided over an unprecedented level of success for the New England franchise since becoming owner.


Belichick said that part of the reason he’s stayed so long with the Patriots is due to a similar mindset that he has with Kraft.

“Philosophically, we’re on the same page as far as team-building, contracts, and all those kind of things that go into an organization, staffing, structure, and so forth,” Belichick said of Kraft. “We got off to a good start and were able to build a good foundation here. We had to modify it along the way for a variety of reasons and changes, but I think that foundation in those early years was really important.”

And it never would have happened had Kraft not engaged with former Patriots coach Bill Parcells (then the Jets’ director of football operations) in 2000 to begin negotiating to acquire Belichick. The deal eventually resulted in a hefty draft pick exchange, including a Patriots first-round pick.

Looking back, Belichick expressed his gratitude.

“I certainly appreciate the opportunity that Robert gave me to be here,” he said. “He gave up a lot in terms of draft choices and all that for this to happen. It was a great opportunity. It’s certainly worked out well for me, so I appreciate it.”

Looking ahead to the Ravens

After two away games to begin the 2022 season, the Patriots will make the home opener on Sunday at 1 p.m. against the Baltimore Ravens.

Asked for his thoughts on facing Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, Belichick started with the obvious.


“Well he’s fast. That’s one thing,” said Belichick. “Nobody is going to catch him from behind.”

The Patriots did well to contain Jackson when they beat the Ravens in Foxborough in 2020.Matthew J Lee

“As he continues to gain experience, I think his execution of the passing game is good. He has a good group of receivers. They have a nice, kind of unique, complementary style of football of runs and play-actions and quarterback plays where Lamar has an opportunity to make big plays — whether it’s running or getting him out of the pocket, or using play-action, which they do very well to complement the running game.

“He’s a major weapon and very unique,” added Belichick. “They do a good job of structuring their offense to highlight and feature him so he’ll be a key guy for us to deal with.”