Jonathan Kraft, president of The Kraft Group and the New England Patriots, called in to talk with Adam Jones during the debut of The Adam Jones Show on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
With news breaking earlier in the day that Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels turned down all interview requests for vacant head coaching jobs, speculation ran rampant about McDaniels perhaps being next in line to succeed 60-year-old Bill Belichick as Patriots head coach, whenever that may be.
Kraft said it’s still too early to discuss succession at the head coach position.
“I think you don’t really talk about succession planning at that level of specifics until you know somebody has a plan to leave,” Kraft told Jones. “Everything I’ve heard from Bill and everything that I know is that Bill plans on being the coach of the New England Patriots for a number of years to come.”
Jones also asked Kraft about the great mystery that is Bill Belichick’s contract.
“We don’t talk about Bill’s contract. That’s the way we like it, and it’s the way Bill likes it,” Kraft said. “We’re really focused on playing football. I think it’s safe to say that our family and Bill and this franchise have had a relationship now for 13 years. Hopefully … not hopefully — definitively, it will be one that will continue for many more.”
As for speculation about McDaniels’ role going forward, Kraft said the offensive coordinator is simply focused on his job as the Patriots prepare for a playoff run.
“I do know that everybody in this building understands that there’s a great opportunity for us over the coming weeks, and I think people are pretty focused on that,” Kraft said. “Josh came in during the playoff run last year and had a big impact but was not the offensive coordinator. This year, the offense has been his, completely and fully. My guess is he’s just focused on making sure we’re in the best position to beat these other teams in the AFC.
“We were excited when he came back last year and we’re excited he’s here now, and I think the offense has performed really, really well this year. It’s been a great second marriage together and hopefully it continues for a long time.”