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Patriots' Kraft: 'I still believe in' Belichick

Billie Weiss / Getty Images Sport / Getty

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft expressed confidence in head coach Bill Belichick on Monday.

"I think we've made some moves this year that I personally am comfortable with, and I still believe in Bill," Kraft said, according to MassLive's Chris Mason.

The Patriots made changes to the coaching staff and roster this offseason, including bringing back Bill O'Brien, who was with the team from 2007-11, as their new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

New England also added JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mike Gesicki during free agency to bolster the weapons around quarterback Mac Jones, who's entering his third year.

With 329 wins as a coach, Belichick is just 19 shy of breaking Don Shula's all-time record (347).

"I'd like him to break Don Shula's record, but I'm not looking for any of our players to get great stats," Kraft said. "We're about winning and doing whatever we can to win. That's what our focus is now. It's very important to me that we make the playoffs. That's what I hope happens next year."

The Patriots posted an 8-9 mark in 2022, averaging 314.6 yards per game (26th in the league) and scoring 21.4 points per game. It was their second losing campaign in the past three years. They haven't won a postseason contest since claiming the Super Bowl LIII title to cap their 2018 campaign.

Kraft also said that rapper Meek Mill informed him via text that disgruntled Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson "wants to come to the Patriots," per MassLive's Mark Daniels. Jackson announced his desire to be traded earlier Monday.

"That's Bill Belichick's decision," Kraft said.

Kraft added that he's a "big fan" of Jones and is "very positive and hopeful" his quarterback can achieve success this coming season.

Bailey Zappe, who started two games last year, is the only other passer on the team's roster.

Belichick said earlier Monday he wouldn't "talk about players on any other team."

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