Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are undoubtedly the greatest quarterback-coach duo in the history of the NFL, but Belichick is reportedly planning to continue coaching even after Brady leaves the game to prove he doesn't owe all of his success to his future Hall of Fame quarterback. According to Bleacher Report, Belichick wants to coach at least another five years.
On Thursday's episode of Undisputed, Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless got into a heated discussion over Belichick's standing among the greatest coaches in league history, and whether or not he could be successful without Brady.
Shannon: Belichick can win a Super Bowl without Tom Brady
“I think he’d be very, very successful [without Brady]. I think now it would be foolish of me or anybody else to think that he would have the level success that he’s enjoyed with Tom Brady, but I do believe that he could win a championship, because you know what he’s up against? Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco. That’s what he’s up against in the AFC.
Now, if he doesn’t trade Jimmy Garoppolo, that’s the first salvo that tells me he believes Garoppolo can take him where he needs to be once Tom Brady leaves.
Skip, let me tell you something about how great athletes - whether you’re a great athlete, a great coach - you want to prove to [yourself] that your success isn’t dependent on someone else."
Kyle TeradaKyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Shannon: Great coaches are always tied to their best player
"Because, see, right now, no matter what coach Belichick does, they always go back to those five years that he had in Cleveland. Coach Belichick gets to say ‘well the only person that’s ever won in Cleveland was Paul Brown, so you shouldn’t hold that against me. Look at all the coaches that have come after me! What success have they had?’
If you look at quarterbacks and coaches… Terry Bradshaw and Chuck Noll, they’re tied at the hip. Terry Bradshaw left, Chuck Noll didn’t do anything. You look at Bill Walsh. Now Bill Walsh was tied with Joe Montana, Joe Montana won another with [George] Seifert, Seifert won another one with Steve Young.
Normally, great head coaches and quarterbacks are tied together. Lombardi was tied with Bart Starr. And so for [Belichick]… Skip, if he could pull this off, forget NFL, this would be the greatest you’ve seen [as] a coach."
Winslow TownsonWinslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Shannon: If Belichick wins a Super Bowl without Brady, he'd the greatest coach in any sport
"I have a very unique perspective also, Skip, because when I played in Denver… I never wanted to leave Denver. Butleaving it gave me an opportunity to show people that I could catch the football without John Elway throwing it to me, and I think a lot of people undervalued me. Now, I’m not going to minimize the impact that John had on my career, because he helped me immensely. He made sure, early on in my career, that I knew what I was doing.
… You look at coach [Don] Shula. He’s the all-time winningest coach in history. But this is what happened, Skip. He went from Johnny Unitas to Bob Griese to Dan Marino. You think there’s a good chance he probably should have the most wins in NFL history with those three quarterbacks?
And that’s how it works. So coach Belichick is saying ‘you know what? You think everything that I’ve been able to accomplish since I’ve been in New England is because of that guy.’ But guess what happens if he wins one Super Bowl with Jimmy Garoppolo? It’s game, set, match. It’s all him… the majority of people would then turn and say ‘coach Belichick deserves more credit than we previously ever gave him.’ And that’s what he wants to prove."
Geoff BurkeGeoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Skip: Tom Brady's going to be around too long for Belichick to prove himself with a different QB
“There might be a whole lot of new quarterbacks [in the AFC] by the time Tom Brady finishes, which is going to be five years from now. So after Tom gets to age 44 and he retires, it’s going to be 2023. So if Bill continues to coach [three more seasons], Bill will be 70, 71 and 72 as he tries to win with Jimmy Garoppolo? I think Jimmy will be gone by then, right? Wouldn’t he be somewhere else? Would he have been able to keep Jimmy for five more years in the fold? I don’t think he could.
…. I’ll give you this. I think it eats up Bill Belichick that Tom Brady gets as much credit as he does get - and he still, Tom Brady, does not get enough credit for what he’s done for Bill Belichick.
So it’s going to come to this, to your point, Bill Belichick’s going to have to run off Tom Brady. That’s what’s going to have to happen. If it eats him up enough that he wants to prove to the world before he’s into his 70s that he can win a Super Bowl with Jimmy Garoppolo, he’s going to have to run off Tom Brady. He’s going to have to send him somewhere, he’s going to have to Peyton him. He’s going to have to push him out the back door. Peyton went to Denver and you know what happened."
Bob DonnanBob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Skip: Bill Belichick is not an all-time great coach, and he's not more valuable than Brady
Shannon: "So let me ask you a question, now. If Mr. Kraft has to choose between the two, Tom Brady or coach Belichick, what does he do?"
Skip: "If I’m Bob Kraft, that’s a laughable question to me, because I’m picking the quarterback. If it’s just two years from now, and Tom says he can play three more, I am picking the quarterback. I’ll go find another coach."
Shannon: "I can’t believe you said that out loud. Wait a minute, Skip. You think great coaches grow on trees?"
Skip: "I don’t think he’s a great coach. I think he’s a very good one. All I know is that in his first six years of head coaching, he had five losing seasons before Tom Brady fell out of the sky and into his lap. And by the way, in that year of 2001, with Bill Belichick as the head coach, he had fallen to 0-2 and I know various assistants on his staff were ready to put their house on the market because they all thought they were going to get fired after they went 5-11 the previous year… if he’s an all-time great coach, he would have been better than he was in Cleveland.Tom Brady saved his job and turned around his career."
Bob DonnanBob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Skip: You can't ignore Belichick's record before he lucked into Brady
Shannon: "I’m not minimizing, I’m marginalizing Tom Brady, but I think you’re doing a huge disservice to coach Belichick by trying to minimize him."
Skip: "I am not, because he had a three-time Pro Bowl quarterback in Drew Bledsoe the previous year and he went 5-11, did Bill Belichick, in New England. And then he started off with Drew Bledsoe at quarterback, 0-2 in 2001. In New England, not in Cleveland, in New England. All of a sudden, this kid out of the sixth round took the job over.
And I gave Belichick - I told you at the Super Bowl, Belichick deserves a one big pile of credit for sticking with Tom Brady when Drew Bledsoe got healthy. They were 5-5 and he said ‘I like what I’m seeing from this kid,’ and they went forward with the kid and he sent Drew Bledsoe after the year to rival Buffalo."
Matthew EmmonsMatthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Shannon: Tom Brady couldn't have beaten the Falcons or the Seahawks without coach Belichick
"Can I ask you a question? When the Patriots were down 28-3, how many strip sacks, how many three-and-outs did Brady do? That’s coach Belichick. When they’re down on the goal-line stand and they made that play against Seattle, what part did Tom Brady play in that?
Coach Belichick didn’t let Russell Wilson and Beast Mode score in the fourth quarter… Tom Brady is 25-9 [in the playoffs]. Only three times in those 34 games has that defense given up 30 points. Aaron Rodgers has had that happen to him in 16 games seven times!"