February 2, 2019


The keys to the brilliant Brady-Belichick partnership can be found in the Patriots' Wednesday morning meetings (Michael Lombardi Feb 1, 2019, The Athletic)

Former Knicks coach and current ESPN announcer Jeff Van Gundy has a quote that perfectly describes Tom Brady: "Your best player has to set a tone of intolerance for anything that gets in the way of winning." Brady sets that tone. He has been the best player on the Patriots since 2001, and his eagerness to always put the team first, his willingness to work the hardest, prepare the longest and, most of all, never find satisfaction in any individual honor or single Super Bowl victory sets him apart from most great players. Both Brady and Belichick have an insatiable appetite for winning and share the philosophy that legendary Packers coach Vince Lombardi displayed when he said: "The greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more." The drive to always do more regardless of what they've already achieved is the secret sauce to Brady and Belichick's success.

Many NFL fans believe that without Brady under center for all these years, Belichick would be an average coach. That is misguided. Of course Brady is hugely responsible for the success of the Patriots, but no player can dominate any sport without the supporting cast, the right scheme, the right coaches and, most of all, the right culture that the coach sets. Just ask Lakers star LeBron James or any frustrated Packers fans who have watched two of the greatest quarterbacks of our generation, Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers, and yet have only seen two Super Bowl victories between them. Part of what makes Brady so great is his willingness to develop and accept Belichick's culture. The partnership of Brady and Belichick makes the team strong; it makes the organization consistent and allows the culture to nourish.

In those 8 a.m. team meetings, Brady is not immune from being criticized. Belichick shows no favoritism when making his point. The coach is chasing perfection. And since Brady is often the driving force toward that perfection, he will make mistakes and then deal with Belichick's mild-mannered but harsh assessment. Never raising his voice, Belichick is evident with his analysis. And by being able to disparage Brady, he gains the attention of the other players. There were so many times when I've overheard a new player leaving his first team meeting express to a new teammate: "Man. If he gets on Brady, no one is safe."

No matter how well Brady plays on the field, no matter how many touchdown passes he throws or comeback drives he leads, allowing Belichick to coach him hard is his most beautiful trait and one that has allowed the Patriots' dynasty to continue.

Posted by at February 2, 2019 9:31 AM