This Year's ESPN Hit Piece

cleanturtle

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It didn't look out of place to me in the context of the video. A lot of the greetings in the video are generally subdued -- look at the ones that start the video. It seems more workmanlike than anything else. Now, if that's the greeting they give each other after winning the Super Bowl, I might be concerned.
 

lexrageorge

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I dont know that I am making anything. Maybe there is nothing there. The tone just looked different from the rest of the video. It was a "matter of fact" moment in an otherwise highly celebratory video. The way Kraft greeted every other person he approached, and Belichick too, just seemed different from how they greeted each other.

I still I think he's back next year and Wickersham is an idiot.
That handshake is a display of brotherly love compared to the manner in which the two conversed during A Football Life.
 

BaseballJones

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It didn't look out of place to me in the context of the video. A lot of the greetings in the video are generally subdued -- look at the ones that start the video. It seems more workmanlike than anything else. Now, if that's the greeting they give each other after winning the Super Bowl, I might be concerned.
I won't. Because it will mean they've won another Super Bowl.
 

dcmissle

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Klemko is a dope.
If B.B. were leaving, it is highly unlikely that BOTH Matt and Josh would leave. And it appears that both will leave.

True, you don’t want to be the guy who follows THE GUY. Still, a NE opening still would be superior to anything out there. You’d have Brady, solid personnel guy in Caserio, and familiarity and solidity with Kraft.

Both leaving is more consistent with B.B. staying, perhaps longer than he might otherwise have stayed with the departure of JG.
 

edmunddantes

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Brady and Belichick after game was over, only hugged, two tapped his back, then tapped his head once.

Might be reading too much into this, but Brady’s hug with Patricia went on for a lot longer, and none on the field for McDaniels and Brady. Probably still mad about being shown up in front of his dad several games ago.














:p
 

JohnnyK

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At 7:10 someone, possibly Cooks, says "yes sir" to Brady's peptalk. But I think Cooks calls everyone sir, which the article then sensationalizes.
 

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Thanks for pointing that out. It's a fun read. My favorite quote: "There's not a single team in the league who wouldn't fire its coach to hire Belichick tomorrow."
 

joe dokes

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Barnwells piece was stupid. He was right at the beginning. It's unanswerable.
He chose 5 criteria out of a fucktillion variables. And 2 of them were Brady at Michigan and belichick at Cleveland.
 

Silverdude2167

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Barnwells piece was stupid. He was right at the beginning. It's unanswerable.
He chose 5 criteria out of a fucktillion variables. And 2 of them were Brady at Michigan and belichick at Cleveland.
And he somehow marks BB down for his time in Cleveland, when the team went 11-5, was playing well the next season before the move was announced.
That Cleveland team was moving in the right direction.
 

Royal Reader

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I always find this question weird at least from the side of assessing BB, because while it's obviously true Belichick doesn't win as much without Brady, the reason Brady is Brady is substantially down to learning from and being pushed by Bill Belichick. And when comparing Brady to other great Quarterbacks, saying "Brady wouldn't have been great without Belichick" is like saying "Favre wouldn't have been great without a strong throwing arm."
 

PedroKsBambino

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Barnwells piece was stupid. He was right at the beginning. It's unanswerable.
He chose 5 criteria out of a fucktillion variables. And 2 of them were Brady at Michigan and belichick at Cleveland.
Either Barnwell lost his ability to think critically and do analysis, or ESPN's editors made him write on this topic with very little time/ability to do so in a thoughtful way.

I strongly suspect the latter. This was complete tripe, basically just a set of random assumpions and conslusions sitting in front of the acknowledgement that there's no real way to answer the question.
 

Super Nomario

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I always find this question weird at least from the side of assessing BB, because while it's obviously true Belichick doesn't win as much without Brady, the reason Brady is Brady is substantially down to learning from and being pushed by Bill Belichick. And when comparing Brady to other great Quarterbacks, saying "Brady wouldn't have been great without Belichick" is like saying "Favre wouldn't have been great without a strong throwing arm."
I disagree. Brady seems highly intrinsically motivated - I think he would be this hardcore competitive / driven guy without Belichick "pushing" him. Undoubtedly Belichick has helped Brady with game philosophy, breaking down film, and putting him in the right system to succeed. But nobody was calling BB an offensive genius before he teamed up with TB12.

I think I'm with Barnwell here. I find Belichick more interesting, and a much more fruitful area for study, but I give Brady top billing in the Patriots dynasty roll call.
 

Hoodie Sleeves

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Fun read, but most of it comes down to "because cleveland" which seems like a poor argument.


They're both important, and they both significantly improved each other's career trajectory. That being said, if Cleveland had drafted Brady instead of Spergon Wynn, he's an NFL footnote. I think BB wins atleast one superbowl with Bledsoe.

I disagree. Brady seems highly intrinsically motivated - I think he would be this hardcore competitive / driven guy without Belichick "pushing" him. Undoubtedly Belichick has helped Brady with game philosophy, breaking down film, and putting him in the right system to succeed. But nobody was calling BB an offensive genius before he teamed up with TB12.
Motivated, sure. Competitive, sure. Etc.

But a large part of why he's so good is that BB holds him to a ridiculous standard, and is willing to cut him down in front of everyone.

Listen to some interviews with receivers from other team (Ochocinco is a good one) - that's the exception in the NFL. Most teams treat their QBs with kid gloves.

TB treated with kid gloves isn't an NFL quarterback. Tom Brady continually being needled for his mistakes despite being the best quarterback in the NFL is the GOAT.
 

InstaFace

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Well, that still leaves a conflation: Brady's ability to take that feedback (humiliation, really) and turn it into motivation to get better, to humble himself... and Belichick's willingness to do that in the first place despite the risks most HCs would run by doing so. Was he known to poke at the egos of the likes of Lawrence Taylor or Bernie Kosar during his previous runs? Was Brady burning with the same Achilles-esque purifying fire under Lloyd Carr? I'm not sure who was the prime mover in that dynamic.
 

Hoodie Sleeves

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Yeah - it's pretty much unknowable.

I think Peyton Manning, or Brett Favre would have succeeded pretty much anywhere - I don't think Brady was like that. I think Brady needed special circumstances - I don't think most teams would have ever given him a shot - and I think most coaches would have given the job back to Bledsoe if they did.

I think there are only a handful of coaching situations where Tom Brady is ever an NFL starter. BB, on the other hand, I think would have succeeded without Brady - probably not to the degree he has at this point, but I think he'd still be talked about as the best coach in the league.

I think Brady without Belichick is a 3 year clipboard holder and then out of the league. He was just too far from the prototypical quarterback early in his career to have gotten a real shot. "Game manager" etc. I don't think many coaches look at a QB whose only real skills are being able to make decisions quickly, and avoid mistakes, and work hard, and say "This is the guy I want to bet my career on" when they've got Drew Bledsoe with his canon of an arm and his $100M contract sitting there.
 

Super Nomario

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Fun read, but most of it comes down to "because cleveland" which seems like a poor argument.


They're both important, and they both significantly improved each other's career trajectory. That being said, if Cleveland had drafted Brady instead of Spergon Wynn, he's an NFL footnote. I think BB wins atleast one superbowl with Bledsoe.
It's weird to me for you to write "Brady would have failed in Cleveland" as a point for Belichick when Belichick actually did fail in Cleveland, in part because of circumstances beyond his control, but in large part because he couldn't find a quarterback. The Patriots went 5-13 with Bledsoe and finished finishing 25th in points in 2000 (they haven't finished worse than 12th with Brady).

Ugh, I hate even typing the preceding paragraph because it sounds like crapping on Belichick, which is the last thing I want to do.

Motivated, sure. Competitive, sure. Etc.

But a large part of why he's so good is that BB holds him to a ridiculous standard, and is willing to cut him down in front of everyone.

Listen to some interviews with receivers from other team (Ochocinco is a good one) - that's the exception in the NFL. Most teams treat their QBs with kid gloves.

TB treated with kid gloves isn't an NFL quarterback. Tom Brady continually being needled for his mistakes despite being the best quarterback in the NFL is the GOAT.
To me this sounds like as much Brady helping Belichick as Belichick helping Brady. The feedback helps Brady, sure, but by needling Brady in front of the other members of the team, it forces everyone to fall in line because the star is. Red Auerbach used to do this to Bill Russell, too, criticizing him in front of the team (sometimes for fabricated stuff) to send a message not to Russell but to the rest of the squad. Some QBs wouldn't put up with this. Ben Roethlisberger just got his OC fired, for instance.

This article is great and hammers home how Brady is special in this regard: https://www.si.com/mmqb/2017/01/18/nfl-tom-brady-bill-belichick-new-england-patriots

“He has the composition to take it,” says Charlie Weis, the Patriots’ offensive coordinator for Brady’s first five seasons in the NFL. “From the beginning, Brady was one of those rare quarterbacks where you could jump on him like everyone else, and you know what that does? It really helps with the camaraderie of the team.”

...

Nooo,” adds former Patriots defensive coordinator Eric Mangini, who has coached in five NFL organizations, including two as the head coach. “There is almost this stigma to being coached.” The head coach of another AFC club tried a similar tactic with his team this season, showing the entire team clips of mistakes by a handful of his best players. One recently paid veteran responded by standing up in front of the room and screaming at the coach.

...

(Weis again) "The players all love when the quarterback is yelled at. The offensive players love that. The defensive players love that. It’s like the favorite thing for everybody.”
Would Bledsoe take this kind of coaching? Would Manning? To me, this is just another way in which Brady is special.
 

Al Zarilla

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It's weird to me for you to write "Brady would have failed in Cleveland" as a point for Belichick when Belichick actually did fail in Cleveland, in part because of circumstances beyond his control, but in large part because he couldn't find a quarterback. The Patriots went 5-13 with Bledsoe and finished finishing 25th in points in 2000 (they haven't finished worse than 12th with Brady).

Ugh, I hate even typing the preceding paragraph because it sounds like crapping on Belichick, which is the last thing I want to do.


To me this sounds like as much Brady helping Belichick as Belichick helping Brady. The feedback helps Brady, sure, but by needling Brady in front of the other members of the team, it forces everyone to fall in line because the star is. Red Auerbach used to do this to Bill Russell, too, criticizing him in front of the team (sometimes for fabricated stuff) to send a message not to Russell but to the rest of the squad. Some QBs wouldn't put up with this. Ben Roethlisberger just got his OC fired, for instance.

This article is great and hammers home how Brady is special in this regard: https://www.si.com/mmqb/2017/01/18/nfl-tom-brady-bill-belichick-new-england-patriots



Would Bledsoe take this kind of coaching? Would Manning? To me, this is just another way in which Brady is special.
I don’t know about that with Auerbach/Russell. The one scenario I’ve seen both in books about the dynasty, and in video clips, Russell asks Auerbach if he can skip a practice. Red, in his sarcastic way says ‘why’? Bill says ‘I’m tired’. Red says OK, then explains about the guy playing up to 45/46 minutes in a lot of games, so, sure, I give him a practice off now and then. I don’t remember if this kind of thing happened in front of the team.

The Belichick/Brady thing has been caught on video, but at any time in the past few years? I know Tom has bitched about being called out in meetings in front of the team, and in recent years.
 

lexrageorge

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I don’t know about that with Auerbach/Russell. The one scenario I’ve seen both in books about the dynasty, and in video clips, Russell asks Auerbach if he can skip a practice. Red, in his sarcastic way says ‘why’? Bill says ‘I’m tired’. Red says OK, then explains about the guy playing up to 45/46 minutes in a lot of games, so, sure, I give him a practice off now and then. I don’t remember if this kind of thing happened in front of the team.

The Belichick/Brady thing has been caught on video, but at any time in the past few years? I know Tom has bitched about being called out in meetings in front of the team, and in recent years.
Actually, we don't know this. One ESPN reporter thinks it's true, but that alone doesn't make it true.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I think the reality is that few (and likely zero) other teams would have given Brady the job, and so if we look at the story from the origin (not backwards from today, as Barnwell did) pretty much the only answer that one can have is Belichick is the more important guy because he's the one who gave Brady the chance. To me, that's a pretty bullet-proof reality here even if looking back you can make the case Brady was 'more uniquely impactful contributor' looking backwards.

To make the "Brady is more important" case you need to be able to explain why he would have started under any other coach, when the evidence is that no other team thought he was worth drafting even. It's a case that can't credibly be made, can it? And that is, I think, the logical end of the debate even though it's a lot less fun than the hypothetical retro-contribution thing Barnwell attempts
 

tims4wins

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I think the reality is that few (and likely zero) other teams would have given Brady the job, and so if we look at the story from the origin (not backwards from today, as Barnwell did) pretty much the only answer that one can have is Belichick is the more important guy because he's the one who gave Brady the chance. To me, that's a pretty bullet-proof reality here even if looking back you can make the case Brady was 'more uniquely impactful contributor' looking backwards.

To make the "Brady is more important" case you need to be able to explain why he would have started under any other coach, when the evidence is that no other team thought he was worth drafting even. It's a case that can't credibly be made, can it? And that is, I think, the logical end of the debate even though it's a lot less fun than the hypothetical retro-contribution thing Barnwell attempts
To me it depends on what the credit is being given for. Without Brady, BB still would have won a lot of games. But Brady and Brady alone is probably the only guy who could have won the last two titles.
 

PedroKsBambino

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To me it depends on what the credit is being given for. Without Brady, BB still would have won a lot of games. But Brady and Brady alone is probably the only guy who could have won the last two titles.
Perhaps---I don't really disagree with you I just think we don't know what a BB QB looks like on the Pats other than the 19 games he's played with Cassel and Jimmy G, which were very successful.

We do have very strong reason to believe that Brady would most likely have been on wall street or selling insurance within a year or two of graduating without Belichick, though, so he almost surely would have won zero rings.

I am not sure I disagree with Barnwell's conclusion looking backwards, though I also don't know if we can every know with any confidence. I just think that logically Brady's low draft status and 'rep' out of college has huge implications for who gets credit here that wouldn't be the same if, say, a number one overall pick was the QB and many/most coaches would have at least had the guy on the team.
 

Ralphwiggum

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If you assume that Brady's work ethic, drive, insane desire to improve himself and competitiveness has nothing to do with Belichick, then I think eventually he would have gotten a shot somewhere. Maybe it would have been as a UDFA and maybe it would have taken a couple more years than it did, but I don't think you can say with any reasonable degree of certainty that without Belichick Brady never gets a chance to start anywhere. Maybe his career path is more like Jake Delhomme or something, an UDFA who started in a Super Bowl against Brady.

That said, although it is really an unanswerable question, I think coaching and running a disciplined overall program is probably more important to winning than any single player, even the QB, so I would probably go with Belichick if forced to choose.
 

Super Nomario

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I don’t know about that with Auerbach/Russell. The one scenario I’ve seen both in books about the dynasty, and in video clips, Russell asks Auerbach if he can skip a practice. Red, in his sarcastic way says ‘why’? Bill says ‘I’m tired’. Red says OK, then explains about the guy playing up to 45/46 minutes in a lot of games, so, sure, I give him a practice off now and then. I don’t remember if this kind of thing happened in front of the team.
This source is consistent with what I've read:
Meanwhile, as the best player on the team, Auerbach would often ask for permission to yell at Russell in future practices when he felt the team needed it. Russell would usually comply, but not always.
The Belichick/Brady thing has been caught on video, but at any time in the past few years? I know Tom has bitched about being called out in meetings in front of the team, and in recent years.
Do you have a source that Brady has bitched about this? I haven't seen anything to that effect. In this article from last year, Brady called any criticism "very much deserved," though in this article from 2014 Brady says he can't remember the last time Belichick chewed him out. Martellus Bennett is referenced in the Jenny Vrentas article I linked above, and he didn't join the team until 2016.

I think the reality is that few (and likely zero) other teams would have given Brady the job, and so if we look at the story from the origin (not backwards from today, as Barnwell did) pretty much the only answer that one can have is Belichick is the more important guy because he's the one who gave Brady the chance. To me, that's a pretty bullet-proof reality here even if looking back you can make the case Brady was 'more uniquely impactful contributor' looking backwards.

To make the "Brady is more important" case you need to be able to explain why he would have started under any other coach, when the evidence is that no other team thought he was worth drafting even. It's a case that can't credibly be made, can it? And that is, I think, the logical end of the debate even though it's a lot less fun than the hypothetical retro-contribution thing Barnwell attempts
In a league that struggles to field 32 competent QBs, unheralded guys get opportunities all the time. Brian Hoyer (undrafted), Case Keenum (undrafted), Ryan Fitzpatrick (7th round), Matt Cassell (7th), etc. all started games this year or in recent seasons. Brady went to Michigan; it's not like people didn't know who he was. If NE didn't draft him, he would have latched on somewhere. Likely it would have taken longer for him to get an opportunity, but given what we know about his mentality and skill set, he probably would have been good when he did get a chance, if not the most accomplished QB ever like he is now.
 

PedroKsBambino

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We know, from Brady 6 and his tweets, he was applying to other jobs. So the question is whether we can reasonably expect he would have even made it to a camp or just moved on. And even if he makes it to someone's camp, the number of guys drafted after he was who end up starting a NFL game are tiny---and there's a huge amount of luck involved for them. It's much less likely than just counting on his drive. Someone can likely find the numbers, but the number of (say) Big 10 part-time starting QBs who never start a NFL game has to be a huge majority, and the number of (say) power conference part-time starting QBs who are drafted where Brady was or after, or not drafted, who start a game has to be really small. And of course, you need to turn that game into a second game because of performance or (as in brady's case) an injury to the incumbent still. People are vastly understating the low probability Brady ever got a shot, imo....we think about what we know now, not what the situation was then.

Also, it's cheating to take two guys who got their NFL shot from Belichick (Hoyer and Cassel) and include them in your list! The assumption you have to make is that other coaches give him a shot, because we're talking about the non-Belichick contribution.

Mind you, I don't really have a problem with someone saying that over the course of his career Brady has been 'more differentiated' or something than Belichick. I don't agree, but I get the case. I just think that's not really a logical way to think about the problem here.
 
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Al Zarilla

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This source is consistent with what I've read:



Do you have a source that Brady has bitched about this? I haven't seen anything to that effect. In this article from last year, Brady called any criticism "very much deserved," though in this article from 2014 Brady says he can't remember the last time Belichick chewed him out. Martellus Bennett is referenced in the Jenny Vrentas article I linked above, and he didn't join the team until 2016.

Edit, I'm just fanning the flames of He said She said type stuff here. I deleted what I said.
 
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Super Nomario

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We know, from Brady 6 and his tweets, he was applying to other jobs. So the question is whether we can reasonably expect he would have even made it to a camp or just moved on.
I have a really hard time believing that a fanatically driven athlete like Brady would have hung it up if he only got a UDFA camp invite instead of getting drafted (and of course, there was every chance he would have gotten drafted in the seventh). We know some people liked him; he was getting a camp invite at least.

And even if he makes it to someone's camp, the number of guys drafted after he was who end up starting a NFL game are tiny---and there's a huge amount of luck involved for them. It's much less likely than just counting on his drive. Someone can likely find the numbers, but the number of (say) Big 10 part-time starting QBs who never start a NFL game has to be a huge majority, and the number of (say) power conference part-time starting QBs who are drafted where Brady was or after, or not drafted, who start a game has to be really small. And of course, you need to turn that game into a second game because of performance or (as in brady's case) an injury to the incumbent still. People are vastly understating the low probability Brady ever got a shot, imo....we think about what we know now, not what the situation was then.
One of the things we know now is that Brady is not just driven, he is a maniac. I don't know why we would just lump him in with any old sixth and seventh round pick and UDFA given what we know about what a competitive sicko he is. Is he really not going to impress people if he winds up in Bengals camp or whatever?

Also, it's cheating to take two guys who got their NFL shot from Belichick (Hoyer and Cassel) and include them in your list! The assumption you have to make is that other coaches give him a shot, because we're talking about the non-Belichick contribution.
Those were convenient examples; I could have said Derek Anderson and Matt McGloin.

Mind you, I don't really have a problem with someone saying that over the course of his career Brady has been 'more differentiated' or something than Belichick. I don't agree, but I get the case. I just think that's not really a logical way to think about the problem here.
I think your way of looking at the issue is the illogical one, the more I think about it. Belichick and Brady have both given Dick Rehbein a lot of credit for choosing Brady over the other options. Is Rehbein therefore more important to the dynasty than Brady, because without Rehbein maybe there is no Brady? By your logic, the answer seems to be yes, but I find this absurd on its face.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Are we basing ‘we know some people liked him’ on Polian claiming they had a first round grade on him? Just curious. I don’t remember anything at the time and I’m certainly not buying some kind of 20/20 hindsight shit former GMs spew. Honest question.
 

dcmissle

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“Other people liked him” is meaningless. Look where he was picked.

These “other people” either were not in positions of influence — which renders them irrelevant, even crediting their supposed opinions — or they were influential, which makes them liars because they passed on Brady at least 5 times. Polian is the poster child of the liar class because allowing a QB with “a first round grade” to pass because “we did not have a need” is one of the biggest lies ever told in the NFL.
 

tims4wins

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Likely that Malcolm Butler and Julian Edelman would have never turned into NFL stars either under another coach / organization
 

PedroKsBambino

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I have a really hard time believing that a fanatically driven athlete like Brady would have hung it up if he only got a UDFA camp invite instead of getting drafted (and of course, there was every chance he would have gotten drafted in the seventh). We know some people liked him; he was getting a camp invite at least.
No one doubts that he is 'fanatically driven' but the athlete himself has suggested he wasn't sure about the path forward. We certainly don't know for sure what would have happened, that much is true. However, again, consider all the other elements that would need to be in place for him to actually succeed and the numbers involved for someone entering the league in the way he did---which are not just about 'fanatical drive' but about opportunity and things that are out of his control or even influence. It is very unlikely he finds the situation that he actually did, and I'm not sure how one ignores that reality. In many ways, it just makes what he did more remarkable---but what it doesn't do is change who was the most essential person in enabling him to do it.

I think your way of looking at the issue is the illogical one, the more I think about it. Belichick and Brady have both given Dick Rehbein a lot of credit for choosing Brady over the other options. Is Rehbein therefore more important to the dynasty than Brady, because without Rehbein maybe there is no Brady? By your logic, the answer seems to be yes, but I find this absurd on its face.
So, that's not at all how I suggested looking at it, actually. First, we have no idea how the decision was made...but we do know that Belichick is the guy who ultimately made it, and that's why we credit him for it. You can't possibly disagree with this---you made a huge point out of the head coach deserving all the credit when you were arguing Parcells' record and rep isn't impacted by having Belichick as an assistant. Second, the causal chain of "Belichick selected him in the draft" (which is indisputable) and "Belichick made him the starter" (just about indisputable) is very clear---the one you lay about is neither clear nor exclusive. Those things are just very, very, very different
 

dcmissle

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Likely that Malcolm Butler and Julian Edelman would have never turned into NFL stars either under another coach / organization
And extremely likely Adam Thielen never surfaces under an organization other than the Vikings. He went undrafted, was not invited to the Combine and had to borrow a few hundred bucks from his pop to attend a regional combine.

This is fairly rare, far from unheard of.
 

snowmanny

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The idea that Brady wouldn't have been successful in this league under whatever circumstances came his way is just goofy. He's so fucking good. If he was undrafted he could have just signed with his hometown team and well, we've all seen the Brady 6...it took Steve Mariucci about two possessions to realize Brady was better than Gino whatshisname. It took him one year to outperform a number one pick in camp.

C'mon.

Edit: remember he dropped in the draft because everyone was trusting that Lloyd Carr had a football reason to keep playing Drew Henson over Brady. It took actual football people about five minutes of watching Brady to realize um no.
 

PedroKsBambino

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The idea that Brady wouldn't have been successful in this league under whatever circumstances came his way is just goofy. He's so fucking good. If he was undrafted he could have just signed with his hometown team and well, we've all seen the Brady 6...it took Steve Mariucci about two possessions to realize Brady was better than Gino whatshisname. It took him one year to outperform a number one pick in camp.

C'mon.

Edit: remember he dropped in the draft because everyone was trusting that Lloyd Carr had a football reason to keep playing Drew Henson over Brady. It took actual football people about five minutes of watching Brady to realize um no.
Go back and watch his first few years—he’s not the guy we see now or even close. That he grew is in just a credit to him, but it’s a mistake to look at the guy today and think that was the inevitable outcome—-it simply wasn’t.
 

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Go back and watch his first few years—he’s not the guy we see now or even close. That he grew is in just a credit to him, but it’s a mistake to look at the guy today and think that was the inevitable outcome—-it simply wasn’t.
Based on what? What have you seen change and what isn't the result of an inevitable maturation and growth?
 

snowmanny

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Dec 8, 2005
10,132
Go back and watch his first few years—he’s not the guy we see now or even close. That he grew is in just a credit to him, but it’s a mistake to look at the guy today and think that was the inevitable outcome—-it simply wasn’t.
Yeah he wasn't the same but the game was different and the team was different. He led the NFL in touchdown passes in his first full season (2002), he was sixth in yards, top 10 in rating. He wasn't the GOAT, immediately, even though he had had GOAT moments. He was damn good.
 

The Needler

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Dec 7, 2016
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Someone can likely find the numbers, but the number of (say) Big 10 part-time starting QBs who never start a NFL game has to be a huge majority, and the number of (say) power conference part-time starting QBs who are drafted where Brady was or after, or not drafted, who start a game has to be really small. And of course, you need to turn that game into a second game because of performance or (as in brady's case) an injury to the incumbent still. People are vastly understating the low probability Brady ever got a shot, imo....we think about what we know now, not what the situation was then.
He started every game as a junior and senior at Michigan. Over those two years he led the Big Ten in passer rating, and was second in passing yards only to Drew Brees. In his final game, he beat Alabama going 34-46 for 369 yards and 4 TDs. His team ended the year ranked #5 in the country.

He was hardly just a "power conference part-time starting QB."
 

8slim

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Nov 6, 2001
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Situation matters though. What if Brady ended up in a David Carr-like situation where he was on a team with a horrendous OL and he got sacked 60 times a season? He admitted in Tom vs. Time that his body was beat to hell just a few years into his career, and that’s playing behind a solid OL and not throwing nearly as much as he does now.

Honestly I think the answer to the question is that Brady and Belichick are in a perfectly balanced symbiotic relationship.
 

Ed Hillel

Wants to be startin somethin
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Dec 12, 2007
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I think precisely zero other coach/owner combinations would have stuck with Brady when Bledsoe came back healthy in 2001, and that was only after Belichick kept 4 QB on the roster in 2000 and Bledsoe had a significant injury. So the bigger question is would he have ever gotten the opportunity.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Dec 4, 2005
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Portsmouth, NH
He started every game as a junior and senior at Michigan. Over those two years he led the Big Ten in passer rating, and was second in passing yards only to Drew Brees. In his final game, he beat Alabama going 34-46 for 369 yards and 4 TDs. His team ended the year ranked #5 in the country.

He was hardly just a "power conference part-time starting QB."
While everything you cite is true, it’s important to remember how beyond fucked college QB rating calculations are, above and beyond NFL ones. I mean, actually look at his stats, they weren’t impressive but got him a 133.1/138.0 rating for those seasons, with a combined 30/16 TD to INT ratio. That doesn’t exactly scream ‘stud prospect’.