Brady v. Belichick

BaseballJones

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Oct 1, 2015
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The eternal debate was always: which guy is more responsible for the Pats' success: Belichick or Brady? Brady recently said that both guys were necessary - that Belichick can't do what Brady does (be an NFL QB), and Brady can't do what BB does. But now that they're apart, might we get a glimpse into which person was more valuable or important to the Pats' success?

Four possible scenarios:

1. The Patriots are good and the Bucs/Brady are good. Right now, the Bucs are widely considered to have a ton of talent while NE doesn't. Plus, NE has a virtual rookie at QB. I think most people think that the Bucs will be good. Tons of offensive talent around Brady and a good offensive coach. If he does well, does that speak of Brady, or of the talent around him? Or both? I mean, even with the talent, Brady will be 43 years of age. If BB and the Pats do well, then I think this speaks more to Belichick, making lemonade out of lemons (though I'm not as down as some others on NE's talent). If the Pats are good and the Bucs are good, I think it speaks more highly of Belichick than it does Brady. Slight edge: Belichick.

2. The Patriots are good and the Bucs/Brady are bad. This would clearly be a decisive win for Belichick. If the Pats are good, it means he's built a good team. If the Bucs and Brady are bad, it means that even with all that talent, Brady probably can't get it done anymore. Now his age is a factor here. And just because it might mean that he wouldn't be more important to his team's success *now*, that might not have been true when he was in his prime. But still, you'd have to say a NE-good, TB-bad scenario favors Belichick. Big edge: Belichick.

3. The Patriots are bad and the Bucs/Brady are good. These are actually the expected outcomes right now. It may not speak poorly of BB if the Pats struggle. Their QB is a second year guy with very little experience. He's *supposed* to not be that great. And it's a rebuilding year. But still, if the Pats are bad while Brady is good, this is going to be a point in Brady's favor. Edge: Brady.

4. The Patriots are bad and the Bucs/Brady are bad. The Bucs are supposed to be good. So if they're bad and Brady plays poorly, this reflects poorly on Brady. But the Pats not being good reflects somewhat on Belichick - "He can't win without Brady". But it is a rebuilding year. I'd say if both are bad, it's less of a statement about BB. Slight edge: Belichick.
 

tims4wins

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The problem with just using 2020 is that it's not enough of a window to judge Belichick. The Pats are in cap jail this year, playing with a first year starting QB, and dealing with a weird offseason (granted this also applies to Brady). We will need to see how the Pats and Stidham do in 2021-2022 as well in order to really judge this. But Brady doesn't get that long a leash - if he doesn't play well in 2020, it is hard to see him getting better in 2021 and beyond. If the Pats aren't good and the Bucs are good in 2020 then everyone will want to jump on the "see, it was all Brady" bandwagon, but we really won't know for a couple more years.
 

SoxJox

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Agree with t4w. And it's really not that simple in ANY scenario. There is an ever-changing combination of the other 52 (soon to be 54) players surrounding Brady and with whom BB had to use varying approaches. I mean, without Adam Vinatieri and Malcom Butler, Brady is down to 3 rings.
 
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Euclis20

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Aug 3, 2004
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Yeah it's a fun thing to talk about (what else are we gonna do?) but it's too short of a window to judge the coach/GM, and it's not fair to ever really judge a QB's career based on what he can (or can't) do at age 43. Both are in a position where they can really only enhance their legacies, imo. If they fail, I mean, they will be 43 and 68. Most of the greats are retired at that point.
 

OurF'ingCity

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It's a false dichotomy because Belichick drafted, developed, and retained (until now) Brady, so a solid portion of Brady's success even going forward redounds to Belichick since he wouldn't be in a position to succeed at all without Belichick (I guess you could make the argument Brady would have turned into an all-time great regardless of what team drafted him or signed him, but that's a counterfactual that obviously can never be proven or disproven).
 

lexrageorge

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Jul 31, 2007
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The 2020 season will tell us nothing, which IMO is not a question worth answering anyway. Brady at 43 may not be the same player that contributed to 9 Super Bowl appearances. The team Belichick has definitely falls somewhere in the spectrum between retooling and rebuilding due to aging players and salary cap constraints. There's also a non-zero chance the season could be 8 games long. Or zero games.
 

BaseballJones

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Oct 1, 2015
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The problem with just using 2020 is that it's not enough of a window to judge Belichick. The Pats are in cap jail this year, playing with a first year starting QB, and dealing with a weird offseason (granted this also applies to Brady). We will need to see how the Pats and Stidham do in 2021-2022 as well in order to really judge this. But Brady doesn't get that long a leash - if he doesn't play well in 2020, it is hard to see him getting better in 2021 and beyond. If the Pats aren't good and the Bucs are good in 2020 then everyone will want to jump on the "see, it was all Brady" bandwagon, but we really won't know for a couple more years.
I totally agree. And I am one who thinks their success is intermingled. But you KNOW that this will be a conversation among local and national media if they have a 2020 season.
 

tims4wins

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I totally agree. And I am one who thinks their success is intermingled. But you KNOW that this will be a conversation among local and national media if they have a 2020 season.
Absolutely, as well there should. It is something that won't ever be truly settled.
 

nighthob

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Jul 15, 2005
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Can we at least all agree that in letting Brady walk to appease Belichick the Patriots sacrificed a GOAT for Satan?