Bill Belichick, not Tom Brady is the true goat. It’s simply the truth. The famous saying is, “I hate to tell you,” but I don’t. I’m thrilled to tell you that Tom Brady is not the goat. In fact, Bill Belichick is.
Tom Brady is a great quarterback. I realize that. But in the pantheon of great quarterbacks, Tom Brady is the most over rated of them all. He’s been gifted opportunities no other quarterback has ever had.
Consistency is key
Tom Brady is the only quarterback in the history of football who has had the same Head Coach for 18 years. Do you realize what kind of advantage that gives him? The consistency in the playbook, schemes, audibles, etc.
Take Blaine Gabbert for example. Gabbert was drafted with the 10th pick in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. In his three seasons with Jacksonville, Gabbert had four different Head Coaches, FOUR.
I’m not saying Blaine Gabbert could’ve been an all-time great quarterback. Nor am I comparing Brady to Gabbert. I’m simply saying that it’s a massive advantage having the benefit of not having to learn a new system or playbook year-to-year.
Selling the Narrative
We also know Tom Brady’s story. It’s amazing. He was drafted in the sixth round with the 199th pick. He had overcome such obstacles to even be in the position that he’s in. But did he really, or is being drafted late actually an advantage?
People like to rewrite history. They’ll tell you that he beat out veteran Drew Bledsoe for the starting job and took the New England Patriots to the Super Bowl in just his first season with the franchise. But in actuality, that’s bullshit.
Tom Brady had the advantage of sitting on the bench his entire first season. This allowed him an entire season to learn the playbook inside-and-out without any pressure to perform, while learning from a veteran like Bledsoe.
The following season, which most will tell you was his first season in the NFL, he didn’t beat out veteran quarterback Drew Bledsoe for the starting job, Drew Bledsoe got injured and Brady took over.
What they’ll also tell you was that Brady took a group of no talent bums to the Super Bowl and won; however, that group of no talent bums was actually pretty good. They had one of the best offensive lines in football, a 1,000-yard rusher, a 1,000 yard receiver, and a defence ranked sixth in the NFL.
But he’s played with nobodies
This is another garbage argument because it’s simply untrue. Below is a list of just some of the offensive positional players that Tom Brady has had to “carry” throughout his career:
- Randy Moss: 15, 292 career receiving yards
- Wes Welker: 9,994 career receiving yards
- Rob Gronkowski: 7,861 career receiving yards
- Julian Edelman: 5,390 career receiving yards
- Troy Brown: 6,366 career receiving yards
- Deion Branch: 6,644 career receiving yards
- Ben Watson: 5,885 career receiving yards
- Joey Galloway: 10,950 career receiving yards
- Brandin Cooks: 5,147 career receiving yards
- Antowain Smith: 6,881 career rushing yards
- Corey Dillon: 11,241 career rushing yards
- LeGarrette Blount: 6,306 career rushing yards
I could easily make a list double this size for the defensive positional players that he’s played with, but I doubt you’d read that, nor do I have any interest. I think my point has been proven though that he’s had some help.
offence wins games, defence wins championships
Only one quarterback has ever won a Super Bowl without a Top 10 defence. And that player wasn’t Tom Brady. It was, in fact, Peyton Manning. With that being said, Tom Brady has had the privilege of playing alongside some great defences.
As I said above, I’m not going to list individual players, but throughout his 19 years, Brady has roughly only had two seasons in which he hasn’t had a Top 10-or-5 ranked defence. It’s beyond me how understated that’s been throughout his career.
Bill Belichick is also arguably the greatest defensive minded coach in the history of the game. People forget that he won two-Super Bowls as a Defensive Coordinator with the New York Giants. It’s also why that defence is in the Top 10-or-5 year in and year out for the past 19-seasons.
Success without him
To me, this is the biggest reason that I don’t consider Tom Brady the goat. Because the New England Patriots have proven that they can win without him. Not once, but twice they’ve shown this in 2008 and 2016.
In 2008, Tom Brady went down for an entire season after suffering an ACL & MCL tear. The team went on to finish the season 11-5 with backup quarterback Matt Cassel completing 63% of his throws for 3,600 yards and 21 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions.
In 2016, Brady missed four-games due to suspension for cheating in the playoffs. Argue as you will, but that’s what happened. He cheated by definition. With that being said, the Patriots continued on without him, going 3-1. His backups completed 67% of their throws for 902 yards and four touchdowns to zero interceptions.
In my mind I can’t consider you the greatest of all-time if your team can have success without you in the lineup. To me that shows it’s more of the system and coaching that is leading to success rather than the quarterback.
For example; in 2010 the Indianapolis Colts were 10-6 and considered Super Bowl contenders for the following season. But when Peyton Manning had his neck injury the following season that same Colts team went 2-10 without him.
Or in 1992, Dan Marino led the Miami Dolphins to an 11-5 record but came up short in the Conference Championship. The following season in 1993, Marino lead the dolphins to a 4-1 record before suffering a season ending injury. The Dolphins went 5-6 the rest of the season and fell short of making the playoffs.
Everyone wants to use Brady’s record and Super Bowl appearances as their reasoning for why he’s the greatest. Yet that’s a lazy argument. Because in football more than any other sport it takes an entire team to win. Not every quarterback is given the gifts that Tom Brady has, and I don’t mean his talents.
Dan Marino never had a 1,000-yard rusher, or a Top 10 defence throughout his career. Is he really to blame for not winning a Championship, or did the Dolphins organization not surround him with enough talent to get the job done?
Joe Montana won four-Super Bowls. But he had the greatest receiver to have ever played the game, one of the greatest defences in the history of football, the first running-back to both rush for 1,000 yards and receive 1,000 yards, and a plethora of Hall of Fame talent. Is he a better quarterback because he was surrounded by far better talent? I would argue not.
Bill Belichick is the true goat
Everything that I’ve discussed is why I believe Bill Belichick is the greatest coach to have ever coached in football. He’s won with and without Tom Brady. He’s won seven-Super Bowls as a Head Coach and a Defensive Coordinator. He’s built two-dynasties in an era of football that is built to not allow that with free-agency.
He’s cut big name players just before they had nothing left to give, and found unknown talent that has over performed year-after-year. He’s consistently given Tom Brady a great offensive line, multiple 1,000 yard rushers, multiple 1,000 yard receivers, and a Top 10 defence every season. It’s unreal and should be impossible.
Whether the Patriots win the Super Bowl or not; Belichick, not Brady is the true goat.