The partnership of head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady will enter its 20th year while the New England Patriots are eyeing to clinch their seventh Super Bowl trophy in the 2019 season. According to Mike Reiss of ESPN, these will be the central issues that surround the Patriots’ 2019 season where they will try to duplicate their feat of winning back-to-back Super Bowl trophies in the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Reiss said there will be challenges and different storylines for the Patriots in the upcoming season as they try to beat the odds of winning a second straight Vince Lombardi trophy.

Brady-Belichick tandem turns 20

While Brady will turn 42 in August, Belichick will be entering his 20th season as head coach at age 67. Reiss said the Patriots remain as a perennial contender. However, the Patriots underwent several personnel and coaching changes in the offseason. The Patriots will play the 2019 season without tight end Rob Gronkowski, who announced his retirement weeks after the Patriots won their sixth Super Bowl trophy via a 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII.

The Patriots lured Benjamin Watson out of retirement to fill the void left by Gronkowski, but he later revealed that he was suspended by the NFL for four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

Before signing Watson, the Patriots also inked another veteran tight end in Austin Seferian-Jenkins to a veteran’s minimum contract. With Watson out for the first month of the 2019 season, Seferian-Jenkins could emerge as the main tight end for the Patriots. The Patriots could also select a second tight end while waiting for Watson’s return.

Aside from Watson and Seferian-Jenkins, the Patriots have Matt LaCosse, Stephen Anderson, Ryan Izzo, and undrafted rookie Andrew Beck as tight ends.

Coaching changes could affect Patriots

Also, the Patriots lost some of their coaches, led by defensive coordinator Brian Flores, who took the head coaching job with the Miami Dolphins.

Flores brought along with him cornerbacks' coach Josh Boyer. Defensive line mentor Brendan Daly, for his part, joined the Kansas City Chiefs in the same capacity. Belichick will assume the defensive coordinator position in the 2019 season, a job familiar to him as he worked as defense guru for the New York Jets and the New York Giants.

Leading the defense will be a huge challenge for Belichick as the Patriots lost several key members of their defensive unit. In the offseason, defensive end Trey Flowers signed a five-year contract worth $90 million with the Detroit Lions while defensive tackle Malcom Brown inked a three-year, $15 million contract with the New Orleans Saints.