There are plenty of questions that will need to be answered by the New England Patriots over the course of the offseason. But Bill Belichick isn't ready to discuss the future with Saturday night's Wild Card loss to the Tennessee Titans still fresh.
Belichick held his end-of-season press conference on Sunday morning and predictably was pelted with questions about the uncertainties surrounding the Patriots going forward. Anticipating those questions, the Pats head coach addressed them at the very beginning of his presser.
"I'm sure there are a lot of questions about the future. Nobody's thought about the future," Belichick said. "Everybody's been focused on working on Miami and then Tennessee. And that's where all the focus should've been and where it was. So whatever's in the future, we'll deal with at some later point in time. We're certainly not going to deal with it now."
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Although Belichick made himself clear -- he isn't ready to talk about the future -- the obvious question about Tom Brady's lingering free agency had to be asked. After Saturday's loss, Brady danced around questions about his future as a New England Patriot while adding that it's "pretty unlikely" he'll retire.
Belichick was pressed by Ben Volin of The Boston Globe about Brady's future with the team, and he wasn't having it.
"Look, I mean, I know it's out there just like a lot of other things are out there. I mean, we could bring up 50 questions just like that one," Belichick said. "And I told you what my state is on that, so you can ask all 50 of them and it's going to be the same answer all 50 times, Ben. Been working on Tennessee, it's 12 hours after the game. Not going to talk a lot of things about the future because I'm not prepared to talk about it ...
"They're all questions that need to be answered at some point in time by the organization. By myself, by the coaching staff, by some of the players. But those are collective decisions that are not made by one person, that are made collectively. And there's a lot of time and thought and effort and communication that goes into that, and now is not the time ...
"All the future questons are the future. We're 12 hours -- less than 12 hours -- after the game. I think anybody that's competitive and has been in this type of situation, your focus is on the game. It's not on something else. So hopefully, you can respect that. But if you can't, then I've done the best I can to explain it. I'm sorry."
It may be too soon for Belichick and the Patriots to ponder what's next for the organization, but certain decisions likely will have to be made swiftly.
With Brady scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on March 18, they'll have to plan for how to approach their longtime QB's unique contract situation and whether they'll put a deal on the table before he hits the open market.
There's also offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who again is exploring head coaching opportunities and is scheduled to interview for three open positions starting on Monday.
So while Belichick was unprepared to answer those questions on Sunday, he'll have no choice but to face them sooner rather than later.