New England Patriots: Time to Start Holding Bill Belichick Accountable?

William PenfieldCorrespondent IINovember 8, 2011

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 6:  Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots watches the clock from the sidelines against the New York Giants in the fourth quarter on November 6, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Giants won 24-20. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

In sports, players, coaches and executives are all judged on the criteria of "what have you done for me lately?"

But in New England, Bill Belichick seems to have avoided this judgement.

For years now Belichick has failed to put together a defense good enough to win a single playoff game, as the Patriots have not won in the playoffs since 2007.

Year after year, Belichick seems to be incapable of making the right personnel moves to fix his defenses.

His most recent failure, Albert Haynesworth. As reported by multiple sources, Haynesworth has been released by the Patriots today.

Haynesworth was never able to consistently stay on the field for that Patriots defense and left much of the burden on fellow teammate Vince Wilfork. 

Not the only casualty of the 2011 season, Brandon Merriweather, James Sanders, Leigh Bodden and Ty Warren have also been cut this season. 

It is hard to believe that Bodden, Merriweather and Sanders could not be more effective options on a defense that is the worst in the league against the pass.

Instead, Belichick is starting guys like Phillip Adams and James Ideghibo, as well as playing undrafted players like Sergio Brown, who had a bonehead pass interference play that put the New York Giants on the one yard line for the go ahead score in the fourth quarter. 

Despite all the failure, Belichick still gets the vote of confidence from media and fans alike.

But how many more times does he have to put a terrible defense on the field before he starts taking some flack for his failures?

The excuse that he is Bill Belichick and he will fix the defense is getting old, real fast.

There was once a guy in Boston by  the name of Manny Ramirez who did many things wrong and it was just excused as Manny being Manny. Although an abstract comparison, when will the idea that Belichick will always fix things no longer resonate in Boston?

It is time to get away from the, "In Belichick we trust," mentailty and start holding him accountable. All the great ones eventually leave, just ask Joe Torre or even the former manager of the Boston Red Sox, Terry Francona. 

Perhaps most important, Belichick's failures to put a serviceable defense on the field have resulted in wasted years of his franchise quarterback Tom Brady. Brady will not be around forever and it is time to start making better personnel decisions on the defensive side of the ball to get as many chances at the Super Bowl while he is still in top form.