Hall of Fame coaches are made by great players, and Bill Belichick should have quit the moment Tom Brady “retired” to Florida.
Few coaches in the history of sport have been made by one player the way Belichick, and the ensuing mystique, were built by one guy.
No “great coach” has been made by one player like Unbeatable Bill.
Phil Jackson had Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, and then later Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.
Gregg Popovich had Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginoboli.
Jimmy Johnson had Troy, Michael and Emmitt.
But credit Belichick and his staff for drafting, developing and putting Brady in the game decades ago. Hard stop on the Patriots’ dynasty being more Belichick than Brady.
On Sunday in New England, the Dallas Cowboys did their best to give Belichick a win but Beatable Bill and his Patriots blew it.
Despite multiple turnovers in the end zone, among other screwups during the game, the Cowboys defeated the Patriots in New England, 35-29, in overtime.
The Patriots with Tom Brady don’t lose this game. Of course, the Patriots with Tom Brady hardly lost any games.
The Patriots with only Bill Belichick lose plenty of games. Belichick, 69, now looks like a man he once revered, Tom Landry.
As the Cowboys ascend, the Patriots are in the unfamiliar territory of descending not to mediocrity, but becoming the Cleveland Browns under Bill Belichick.
It has been so long since Belichick was the head coach of the Browns you need a reminder that in his five years there he was 36-44 (.450).
Without Tom Brady as his starting quarterback, Belichick’s record is that of a coach who should be fired multiple times.
Shout out to the good folks of the Elias Sports Bureau who double-checked my math for the following of a head coach whose career record is 282-140 (.670).
▪ The Patriots are currently 2-4, and it looks like Belichick will now have two winning records in eight seasons without Brady — Cleveland in 1994 and New England in 2008, when Brady missed nearly the entire season with a knee injury.
▪ Coach Belichick is now 27-32 with the Patriots in games that Brady didn’t start.
▪ Coach Belichick is now 63-76 in games that Brady didn’t start.
▪ Coach Belichick’s winning percentage in Cleveland was .450.
▪ Coach Belichick’s winning percentage in New England without Brady is .457.
For 20 years the Patriots were the NFL’s dynasty, with Bill and Brady complementing each other to create the most feared pair since Bonnie and Clyde. (And, no, I don’t know who would be Bonnie and who would be Clyde.)
The NFL’s previous dynasty belonged to the Dallas Cowboys, which unofficially ended in January of 1996, with the team’s last Super Bowl win — and their last Super Bowl appearance or even NFC title game appearance for that matter.
All dynasties end, and some coaches are able to get out before it all becomes Rome aflame.
Phil did with the Bulls.
Jimmy Johnson did with the Dallas Cowboys, although he left prematurely.
Scotty Bowman left his Detroit Red Wings dynasty right on time in 2002.
Pop’ hangs on in San Antonio, where he could finish 0-82 and still his legacy would remain intact.
Landry hung on too long. Before he was fired by Jerry Jones, Landry had presided over a team that posted three straight losing seasons, and were 17-30 over that span.
He was 64 in his final season with the Cowboys.
Once Brady left New England to sign with Tampa Bay, even the most loyal of Belichick backers knew a slide was coming.
And when Belichick committed to rookie Mac Jones to be his starting quarterback this season, it was the clearest indication the franchise was rebuilding.
Against the Cowboys, and other opponents this season, Jones looks legit. There are also no guarantees.
No one would know this more than Bill Belichick.
He’s not a dummy.
He’s just not a genius.
His genius was Tom Brady.
The record is conclusive.