With six Super Bowl wins to his credit, Bill Belichick will most likely go down as the greatest head coach in NFL history, and deservedly so.
Fast forward to today, though, and I feel confident in saying that Belichick is on his way out and will never win another Super Bowl. I am not saying he will be fired – his team did make the playoffs last year – but he has earned the right to leave the NFL in his own way.
It seems Belichick is still trying to win the same way he did with Tom Brady. And early returns are showing that it isn’t going to work.
Brady proved he could be surrounded by average weapons and still elevate everyone’s game. They were able to generate enough points to be effective during normal and crunch times.
Belichick has relied on good defense, elite special teams, and a once-in-a-lifetime quarterback to help him secure a dynamic legacy. It seems the only mountain he has left to conquer is being able to win the big one: post-Tom Brady.
Brady, on the other hand, went down to Tampa Bay and won another ring – and came close to playing for another – so it wasn’t just being in the Belichick system that made Brady the player that he is.
The stubbornness of using the same formula is proving to not always be the best way to go about things.
Belichick wants to leave a legacy that’s separate from being lucky enough to have Tom Brady as his star player. He wants his legacy to be his system – a system that has not only created Super Bowl winners, but also produced the best quarterback who ever lived.
Every coach and player who makes it to this level has to have some sort of ego, and while it varies from person to person, the most successful people in this business usually have a pretty big one.
One could even go as far as saying the biggest dragon Belichick has left to slay is Tom Brady.
We always say what makes Nick Saban so great is his ability to be malleable as the game changes over time. Saban used to have the same identity as Belichick, but he realized that paces of the offense and the rule changes will affect one’s success — so he changed his style. Will Belichick do the same?
To this point, he hasn’t, and I don’t see that happening any time soon. Asking Mac Jones to win the same way Brady did is not only unfair, it isn’t going to work. Mac is going to be a good quarterback, but he is not and will never be Tom Brady.
It seems Belichick is going even further outside of the box by letting defensive coordinator and former head coach Matt Patricia become an offensive coordinator.
The Patriots continue to deprive Jones of legitimate playmakers who can make his job easier, while trying to rebuild what is usually a stout defense — especially in the back end.
Patriots fans are not satisfied with just making the playoffs and don’t want to fall back into obscurity because their winningest coach wants to make it about his system and not the signal caller.
We may just find out that Belichick was more of a system coach than Brady was a system quarterback.
None of this diminishes all that Belichick has accomplished as a head coach. There is, however, one common denominator in all of the Super Bowls wins by the future Hall of Fame coach: Tom Brady.
Without Brady, it seems like the ride is over.
Jake Crain is co-host of “Crain & Company.” the Daily Wire’s sports show, also featuring co-hosts Blain Crain and David Cone.
The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.