Bill Belichick has given a lot of praise to a 2-13 football team.
In his weekly “Belestrator” segment with Patriots.com, Belichick once again gushed over Jets head coach Adam Gase and quarterback Sam Darnold, among others, as he previewed Sunday’s regular-season finale.
“You can see Darnold here against a blitz by Miami, and he really makes a great throw here,” Belichick said over video of Darnold from the Jets’ Week 12 loss to the Dolphins. “He can make all the throws, the deep throws, the intermediate throws and use his backs.
“…Darnold’s got a big arm and he’s a big guy that can stand in the pocket there and do a good job delivering the ball.”
While it isn’t out of the ordinary for coaches, especially Belichick, to praise upcoming opponents, the longtime Patriots head coach has seemingly gone out of his way to do so.
Belichick began showering Darnold with compliments on Wednesday, even as many believe he has regressed this season. That has led to speculation the Jets could select a replacement for the 23-year-old in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Gase recently took responsibility for Darnold’s struggles, but Belichick has said he doesn’t think there’s anybody better for the job in Florham Park. There has been speculation Gase may join Belichick’s staff next season, as Gase is expected to be fired by the Jets following Sunday’s game.
“Coach Gase is an excellent game planner, he designs plays that are difficult for the defense and does a good job in the play-calling area as well in terms of calling them at the right time, has a very good feel for the rhythm of the game offensively and so forth,” Belichick said in the video shared Saturday to Twitter.
Belichick also complimented wide receiver Jamison Crowder in the preview video, as well as defensive ends Nathan Shepherd and John Franklin-Myers, and linebacker Tarell Basham.
As for Belichick’s team, the Patriots (6-9) will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008.