Former New England Patriots tight end and current Fox Sports NFL analyst Rob Gronkowski is quite familiar with Bill Belichick. He has a theory on why Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank hired Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris to be the club’s head coach instead of Belichick.
“I feel like what happened is that I don’t think that the Atlanta Falcons organization wanted to give up that much power and give all the decisions to coach Belichick,” Gronkowski told Ryan Gaydos of Fox News Digital. “Other than that, I think coach Belichick would have been the perfect fit.”
Gronkowski isn’t the first person to suggest that people within the Falcons organization “nudged” Blank away from handing Belichick the keys to the kingdom. During Monday’s edition of the WFAN “Boomer and Gio” show, retired quarterback and current CBS Sports NFL analyst Boomer Esiason said that “an NFL executive” Esiason spoke with is convinced that Blank “offered Bill the job” but perhaps with “caveats” regarding how much power Belichick would have as it pertains to personnel and draft decisions.
As for what’s next for Belichick, Gronkowski explained why he thinks the six-time Super Bowl champion head coach should spend a season away from the sidelines.
“I think coach Belichick should take a year off from coaching,” Gronkowski said. “I mean, he’s put his time in. He’s been coaching for 50 years-plus straight, too, in the NFL. I mean, he can take a year off, reinvent himself, [go] find himself, go enjoy something other than just football.”
It’s thought Belichick could spend next season working as an in-studio NFL analyst for one of the league’s media partners. As Moses Massena of the Barrett Sports Media website mentioned, CBS could have multiple openings for its “The NFL Today” program following Super Bowl LVIII.
“I think it would be great for him and then have him come back next year, resurrected and ready to go and put a display on wherever he lands a head coaching job next year,” Gronkowski added about Belichick possibly taking a year off from coaching.
Belichick turns 73 years old in April 2025 and, thus, may only spend two or three more seasons coaching before he retires for good. If it’s true that at least some owners were turned off by Belichick’s age this winter, they certainly won’t feel any better about the situation 11 months from now.