As the New England Patriots re-work the coaching staff and overhaul the roster, owner Robert Kraft issued a statement to season ticket holders in particular.
The Patriots slid to 4-13 in 2023, the franchise’s worst record since 1993. New England began the offseason overhaul with the mutual departure of head coach Bill Belichick, winner of six Super Bowls with the team in 24 seasons.
“As we embark on this new era, we look forward to the most anticipated NFL Draft of our tenure,” Kraft wrote in the statement, shared by WEEI. “With the third overall pick, we have the highest draft position since the Patriots drafted Drew Bledsoe with the number one overall selection 31 years ago. The focus this offseason is to acquire the talent and leadership necessary to rebuild a culture committed to winning.”
Kraft, who has owned the Patriots since 1994, recounted his hopes for the franchise at the time of purchase as a longtime fan himself. He called it a “dream come true for our family” and recalled how the Patriots formed a dynasty “against many odds and with much good fortune” to “shape a new standard” of success.
“The results of the past few seasons have not met that standard, nor the expectations of our fans,” Kraft acknowledged.
Since the departure of former quarterback Tom Brady in 2020, the Patriots have one playoff win and one winning season. Stability at quarterback disappeared along with it, which the Patriots could regain in the draft or free agency.
Robert Kraft Lays Out Expectations for Jerod Mayo
Kraft doesn’t see Mayo as a temporary fix for a franchise stuck in neutral over the nearly half decade since Brady left Foxborough.
Mayo, who took over as head coach on January 12, has been with the Patriots since 2008 as a player and an assistant coach. Kraft highlighted Mayo’s seven-year run as team captain and how his coaching duties “expanded over each of the past five seasons” in New England.
“We trust that Coach Mayo’s intellect and leadership style will provide the foundation for the team’s long-term success here,” Kraft wrote.
Mayo took steps toward laying that foundation with two more coaching staff hires this week. The Patriots hired offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt and special teams coordinator Jeremy Springer.
Robert Kraft Regretted Letting Tom Brady Leave in 2020
Four years after Brady’s historic departure for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tom Brady Sr. revealed that Kraft regretted the decision to let Brady walk in free agency.
“He just said, ‘I made a mistake.’ He told us that back in September,” Brady Sr. told Christopher Gasper of The Boston Globe. “We don’t all make the right decisions, but he’s made a hell of a lot of good ones over the years. But I know that it galls him that Tommy went elsewhere and won. Not that he won, but that he won after Bill [Belichick] said he was done.”
Brady won one more Super Bowl with the Buccaneers in the 2020 season before he called it a career after the 2022 campaign. He will enter the broadcast booth for FOX next season.
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This article was originally published on Heavy.com