By Jash Mody
Bill Belichick is a seasoned coach with a high football IQ who conquers opponents with precise decision making and intense play calling. Tom Brady is a competitive phenomenon who leads his team both on and off the field. These two legends dominated the league year after year for decades. They revolutionized the game of football in many aspects, but are now rivals. Is the Patriots dynasty over? Did Brady need Belichick for success, or was it the other way around? These questions have been heavily debated and discussed throughout social media, but first, some history.
Brady started his career by making the most important decision of his life: football or baseball. He ended up choosing football because it was more meaningful as he was a big San Francisco 49ers fan. It is ironic how Brady, one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, idolized Joe Montana, another of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. In the NFL draft, Brady was selected in the sixth round by the New England Patriots. Through diligent studying with coach Belichick and improved physical conditioning, Brady led his team to their first ever Super Bowl win. This began the Patriots dynasty.
Belichick was the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants from 1985-1991. He won two Super Bowls there and, after a short stint in Cleveland, he then went back to work with his former coach, Bill Parcels, and the New England Patriots in 1995. Parcels ended up retiring, making Belichick the head coach. He saw the athletic ability, dedication and leadership of Brady and trusted him to lead this team to an elite level. Together they built a dynasty with many accomplishments, such as nine Super Bowl appearances, six Super Bowl wins and the first team with an undefeated 16 game record.
After all these impressive achievements, the question began to rise of whether it was Brady or Belichick who was responsible for the success. In March 2020, Brady signed a contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the Patriots' elimination from the playoffs. He had been a Patriot for 20 years and left Belichick, separating the dynamic duo. Brady then went on to win a Super Bowl in his first year at Tampa Bay, while Belichick was not able to get his team to the playoffs with a mediocre 7-9 record. The media began to conclude that Belichick's success came from Brady. Others defended Belichick saying that Brady won because he was put on a good team and Belichick did poorly because he lost eight starting players on defense.
Artwork by Saffah Azeem
Belichick and Brady go head-to-head creating competition after Brady left the Patriots to play for the Buccaneers.
Student opinions differ on the topic.
“I believe that Belichick needed Brady for his success. Although Belichick strategized the plays and helped build a team around Brady because of his winning presence. Brady has won multiple MVPs and six super bowl championships with New England. When he left and signed with Tampa, a team that struggled, he brought them a championship. Belichick and the Patriots didn't even make the playoffs,” said freshman Dylan Sanichara.
“Both players have contributed to the success of their team. They both are great, and they both deserve equal credit,” said sophomore Varun Devjani.
“Belichick needed Brady. It’s obvious. He was never known as an amazing coach before Brady. An offensive or defensive coordinator isn't anything special. Belicick was recognized as one of the greatest after Brady came along. It's fishy,” said freshman Charlie Vasquez.
On October 3 2021, Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ended up defeating his former team, the New England Patriots. The final score was 19-17. Brady put up a shockingly low 269 yards, 51.2 completion percentage, a 70.9 passer rating, and zero passing touchdowns. These statistics are Brady's lowest so far this season. Some people are making the argument that Belichick's defense was able to shut down Brady’s offense so it's technically a win for Belichick. Many expected the defending Super Bowl champions to easily defeat the Patriots but were astonished to see how close the game was. However, it could have just been the Buccaneers game plan to play defensively.
“I was happy with the game and outcome. Mac Jones played great, and Tom Brady popped off. I just wish that the Tampa defense was better,” said sophomore Taranpreet Takhar.
“I view that game as the finale to the story of the two greats who were once teammates, now enemies. Legends forever...”
“In my personal opinion, I felt it was one of the greatest moments in sports history. The game itself was thrilling and memorable, but the events that built up to that game were incredible. In my mind, I view that game as the finale to the story of the two greats who were once teammates, now enemies. Legends forever,” said freshman Arjit Nair.
“The Patriots are nothing without Tom Brady,” said freshman Vir Sethi.
Afterward, the media focused on Belichick and Brady’s post-game hug. It was noticed how fast Belichick hugged Brady. People speculated that Belichick was disappointed and frustrated about the loss against his former teammate. Later in an interview, Brady said that after the game they met and caught up with each other. Brady refused to reveal what was discussed between the two of them.
Fans must wait to see what Belichick will do with his new quarterback, Mac Jones, and how long Brady continues playing in the league.