After dominating the National Football League (NFL) for nearly two decades, the New England Patriots have not performed well in the playoffs over the last three seasons. Robert Kraft, who has owned the Patriots for 28 years, acknowledges that the team’s failure to advance in post-season play during the 2019, 2020, and 2021 seasons bothers him. However, he remains optimistic about how the team will perform during the 2022 season.
Factors Behind Kraft’s Enthusiasm
Robert Kraft kicked off an early morning breakfast session with the media on March 29 by stating that he has complete confidence in long-time coach Bill Belichick. He also said that he feels the New England team will do well in this year’s draft. Kraft was quick to point out that the Patriots had a successful draft in 2021 and have committed to spending top dollar on signing the best players.
Why Kraft is a Big Fan of Mac Jones
Mac Jones is the 23-year-old quarterback of the New England Patriots whom Kraft feels has just the right personality to lead his teammates. According to Kraft, Jones works hard during every game and practice and wants all plays to turn out just right. While that does not always happen, Jones devotes significant time and energy to continually improving his performance. Kraft also commented at the recent media session that Jones’ teammates cannot help but pick up on his positive attitude and physical endurance.
The combination of an experienced coach like Bill Belichick and a young, energetic quarterback like Mac Jones make Robert Kraft feel especially good about the Patriots’ chances of advancing in the playoffs in 2022. He commented that Jones was a good person and a humble player. Kraft often saw Jones watching films or working out when he came to the stadium last year, even though the team did not have a scheduled practice.
Kraft can also see that Jones’ team members like him as a person and respect him as the team’s quarterback. Being that Jones is just 23 years old, Kraft expects both his leadership skills and personality to grow stronger over the years. As a rookie last season, Jones was respectful of tenured players. Kraft feels grateful that the Patriots drafted Mac Jones in 2021 and looks forward to his second season this year.
Kraft Addresses the Unfilled Positions of Offensive and Defensive Coordinators
Reporters at the March 29 meeting with Kraft were quick to ask him about the Patriots’ offensive and defensive coordinator positions that remain unfilled. He stated that although Belichick approaches such appointments in a unique way, he trusts him to make good hiring decisions before the team reports to training camp in late summer. Kraft urged fans to remain patient and trust Belichick as much as he does.
When Will the Patriots Return to the Super Bowl?
After appearing in 10 Super Bowls since Kraft became team owner and winning six of them, fans are anxious to see the team return to its glory days. Their last Super Bowl win was in 2018, and Robert Kraft thinks they could return to football’s highest championship game this year. He points to various team commitments, returning talent, and new talent as the reasons he feels so hopeful.
Mac Jones returning for his second year is another reason that Kraft feels the Patriots will advance further in the playoffs than they have for the past three seasons. However the season ends, one thing that will never change is Robert Kraft’s passion for the game of football and the New England Patriots. He states that nothing is more important to him besides his family.
About Robert Kraft
Kraft loved the New England Patriots long before he became the team owner in January 1994. He rarely missed a game as a season ticket holder. When the opportunity arose to buy the team, Kraft added professional sports to his long list of successful business endeavors that operate under the Kraft Group parent company.
The difference that Kraft’s ownership made to the Patriots is nothing short of dramatic. When he inherited the team, it had a winning percentage of less than .250 over the past five seasons and no post-season appearances. The Patriots appeared in the Super Bowl three years later, falling to the Green Bay Packers by a two-touchdown margin. They would appear again just five years later, this time winning by a score of 20 to 17.
As a local business owner for more than 50 years who also holds an MBA from Harvard, Kraft was instrumental in the financial success of the Patriots. Not only did he arrange contracts with the most promising talent, but the Patriots managed to sell out nearly every home game for 20 years. With his 81st birthday just a few months away, Kraft has no plans to stop being the Patriots’ team owner and biggest supporter anytime soon.