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Patriots head coach Bill Belichick says focus for season finale is on Jets, not future in New England

As the 4-12 Patriots prepare for their season finale against the New York Jets on Sunday, Bill Belichick is taking it one week at a time with his team, and not focused on the status of his coaching future in New England.

"Each week, get ready to go for that week, do the best you can to help your team win, and after that game move on to the next one," Belichick said in his weekly appearance on WEEI's The Greg Hill Show, via ESPN. "And at the end of the season, that's the end of the season. But on a week-to-week basis, I don't want to spend time, or get caught up in what happened five years ago, or what's going to happen two years from now, and a bunch of other random stuff. Just working on the Jets."

Belichick has maintained that stance throughout the season when the much-discussed topic of his future has come up. In December, the Patriots coach deflected questions regarding his future before New England's game against the Chiefs.

NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported on Saturday that Belichick and Patriots owner Robert Kraft have yet to meet to discuss the future and that Belichick intends to coach in the NFL in 2024.

Heading into Week 18, the Patriots are projected to get the No. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. When asked about potentially angling for a draft pick on Tuesday, Belichick responded: "I'm committed to the team that I'm coaching right now, the players that are here. They deserve my best every day, and that's what I'm going to give them."

The 2023 season hasn't fared the way Belichick and how New England would have wanted. The franchise has seen its worst season since at least 2000. The Patriots were eliminated from the playoffs on Dec. 10, the earliest they've ever been during Belichick's tenure. It's been an up-and-down season from QB play this season. Mac Jones started the first 11 games of the season, throwing for 2,120 yards, 10 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Inconsistent play moved Jones to the bench for Bailey Zappe, who has gone 2-3 has the starter.

Despite being out of the playoff picture, New England kept it close in its 27-21 loss to the Bills on Sunday.

"We put ourselves in a hole and battled back, but couldn't battle all the way back," Belichick said on Tuesday. "I think the players have come in every week, on a very consistent basis, and worked hard and tried to correct their mistakes and prepare for the next team ... that's what these guys have done all year -- from the beginning of the year until all the way through last week to Buffalo. I think that's what they are and what they do.

"We've gotten some really good leadership from our captains and some of the other veterans on the team. People have followed their example. We're all just trying to get better and do the best we can."

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