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Bill vs Tom: Legacy at Stake

April 20, 2020

 

It's easy to argue that Bill Belichick is to blame for Tom Brady trading in Patriots blue for Tampa Bay Buccaneers red. 

 

While that debate continues to rage through Patriots Nation - and with no live sports on TV, what else do we have to talk about - another one comes to mind.

 

Who is the true kingpin of the dynasty? 

 

The Greatest Of All Time or The Hoodie? 

 

Any coach will tell you that it's a player's game. And in some cases, great players can make coaches look great. Jeremy Swayman comes to mind in regards to last year's UMaine hockey team. 

 

In the case of the Patriots, I'd have to say it's Brady by a wide margin.

 

This is of no disrespect to Belichick, who is a Hall of Fame coach. 

 

But, His Hoodiness has a career mark of 43-58 with quarterbacks not named Tom Brady under center. That record is ballooned by the combined 14-6 posted by Jimmy G, Jacoby Brissett and Matt Cassell when Brady was suspended the first four games in 2016 and blew out his knee in the 2008 opener. 

 

The pro-Belichick crowd will argue that Cassel, who guided the Pats to a respectable 11-5 in '08, was great thanks to His Hoodiness. Cassel also had a stacked arsenal of weapons - Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Donte Stallworth, Kevin Faulk - to throw to. Give the 2019 Patriots those guys in their primes, with the defense that team had, and you're probably looking at 19-0.

 

Likewise, all Jimmy G and Brissett had to do was get the ball to Julian Edelman, Gronk, Danny Amendola, James White and Legarrette Blount and not screw up. 

 

Anyone else remember Brady's rookie year when Belichick went 5-11 with Drew Bledsoe at the helm? 

 

Reports have surfaced that Brady was Belichick'd out. That appeared to have started prior to Super Bowl 52 when superstar cornerback Malcom Butler was benched, and we all know what journeyman Nick Foles did to the Pats' secondary, ruining a marquee Brady performance. 

 

Brady had a way of making guys like Deion Branch, David Givens and Reche Caldwell look great. His chemistry with BFF Edelman is top-notch, and The Squirrel will probably be enshrined in Canton when it's all said and done. 

 

But there's only so much coaching a great coach like Belichick can do when the face of the franchise is frustrated with the offense, which Brady clearly was last season. Belichick didn't surround his quarterback with competent weapons outside of Edelman, and that's a big reason why Brady decided to leave.

 

While coaching is a big part of any sport, Brady is clearly the dynasty architect. If Bledsoe doesn't get hurt in 2001, I have my doubts Belichick lasts beyond that season. Belichick's best coaching moment of this run was benching the turnover-prone Bledsoe midway through the 2001 season knowing Brady was on fire. 

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