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Belichick open to change in role but ‘too early’ to tell on Patriots future

Bill Belichick says it is ‘too early’ for any decision to be made concerning his future with the New England Patriots, though he is open to discussing changes to his role after the worst season of his storied NFL career.

Belichick led the Patriots to a career-worst 4-13 record this term, prompting speculation that owner Robert Kraft could call time on one of the most remarkable coaching stints in league history.

The 71-year-old has led New England to six Super Bowl triumphs and 18 playoff visits since taking charge ahead of the 2000 season, though they have now missed the postseason in three of their last four campaigns.

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With a 302-165 regular-season record, Belichick is just 26 wins away from Don Shula’s all-time high of 328 wins as a coach in the NFL, and the Los Angeles Chargers have been touted as a potential landing spot if he parts ways with the Patriots.

Speaking to reporters during his season-ending video conference on Monday, Belichick said: “I’m under contract. I’m going to do what I always do, which is every day I come in, work as hard as I can to help the team in whatever way I can.

“As far as any decisions or direction for next year, it’s way too early for that.”

The Patriots finished a dismal campaign – just their fourth with a losing record under Belichick – with a 17-3 defeat to the New York Jets on Sunday.

It has also been suggested that Belichick could relinquish general manager duties if he stays on as head coach, a prospect he did not immediately shoot down on Monday.

“Look, I’m for whatever we collectively decide as an organization is the best thing to help our football team,” Belichick said.

“I have multiple roles in that, and I rely on a lot of people to help me in those responsibilities; somebody has to have the final say. Whatever that process is, I’m only part of it.

“I learned a lesson from my dad growing up – you work for the team that you’re working for and do the best you can for it, until somebody tells you different. So that’s not going to change.

“It was obviously a very disappointing season all around. Players, coaches, staff, organization, everybody… it is not anywhere close to what our standard and expectations are.

“So, obviously, things need to be fixed. We’ll start putting the pieces back together in terms of setting things up to go through a good, detailed analysis and to start a reconstruction, if you will.”

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