Tom Brady, Not Bill Belichick, Is The Reason For The New England Patriots' Success

By Willis Patenaude
New England Patriots
Greg M. Cooper – USA TODAY Sports

In the wake of the 2014 NFL Draft, two things have become blatantly obvious. The New England Patriots should replace head coach Bill Belichick, and it should be overwhelmingly evident that the Patriots’ success has more to do with Tom Brady than it ever had to do with Belichick.

Now, Belichick can mock “the geniuses that are online” but let’s be honest, his own “genius” is exaggerated and overstated. For starters, drafting Brady was a happy accident because Belichick has a history of drafting QBs late and all of them except Brady turned out to be failures. It’s also comical to suggest that Belichick developed or groomed Brady for the starting role because even that was a chance of fate when Drew Bledsoe was injured by Mo Lewis in 2001.

The rest, as they say is history, but history has been distorted to bestow Belichick with more credit than is rightfully deserved.

All one has to do is look at Belichick’s coaching career without “The Golden Boy.” During his tenure as the Cleveland Browns‘ coach, his record was a pitiful 36-44. In his first year in New England without Brady, he went 5-11. Even the year that Brady took over as starter, the Patriots began the season 0-2. So in retrospect, Belichick was a megaflop as a coach until Brady entered the picture.

You could also argue that the defensive genius behind the Patriots Super Bowl wins was Romeo Crennel, and the numbers would support this. Ever since Crennel left the Patriots organization, the defense has progressively gotten worse, especially in the post-Spygate era. However, everyone still maintains it was Belichick’s defensive genius that was responsible, but the Patriots haven’t won a Super Bowl since Crennel left, so hindsight suggests Belichick was never the defensive genius.

It’s also obvious that had Bledsoe never gotten hurt, Brady would never have gotten the chance to even start for the Patriots. Think about that and ask yourself if Belichick would have the same celebrated reputation if Mo Lewis didn’t change the course of history, because the facts say Belichick would have been fired already.

Furthermore, Brady wins in spite of Belichick, not because of him. Brady has never played with a Hall of Fame running back or tight end. He’s only had one legitimate wide receiver in his entire career that he didn’t have to build into one, and that was Randy Moss. The 2007 team almost went undefeated, ultimately losing in the Super Bowl because Belichick’s heralded defensive schemes couldn’t stop Eli Manning.

Otherwise, Belichick has surrounded Brady with wide receivers that couldn’t make an Arena League team. Reche Caldwell, Tim Dwight, Doug Gabriel, David Givens, Bethel Johnson, David Patten, Donte Stallworth, Taylor Price, Tiquan Underwood, Kenbrell Thompkins and J.J. Stokes are just a few of the atrocious weapons Belichick has furnished Brady with and still, Brady wins.

The list of running back and tight ends, outside of Corey Dillon and the oft-injured Rob Gronkowski, is even more dreadful and still, Brady wins. Brady restructured his contract, makes less than he should and is a consummate professional and what thanks does he get for it? Brandon LaFell, Jeremy Gallon and knowing the future of the franchise is in the hands of some FCS Tony Romo-lite QB named Jimmy Garoppolo.

Brady has built a career on cleaning up the messes created by Belichick while his adversaries Peyton Manning, Andy Dalton, Jay Cutler and Matthew Stafford get the type of wide receivers that he deserves. Meanwhile, Brady is expected to win with the equivalent to the “Little Giants.”

What Brady did in 2013 going 12-4 was miraculous. Without him, that team would have gone 4-12. The Patriots almost always overachieve, not because Belichick gets the most out of “value picks” and castoffs no one else wanted, but because of Brady. However, he can only do so much. In the playoffs, Belichick’s ineptitude and refusal to surround Brady with appropriate weapons always rears its ugly head.

Without Brady, Belichick is nothing more than Mike Shanahan without John Elway and Jimmy Johnson without Troy Aikman. Brady proved he was a winner in college, but Belichick has only proven to be an ordinary coach without Brady. It’s time Patriots fans refuse to accept anything less than championships and stop saying “In Bill We Trust”.

Instead, they should start saying “In Brady We Trust.”

Willis Patenaude is a New England Patriots writer for Follow him on Twitter@WillisPatenaude, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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