Mike Greenberg on Monday stood on his soapbox and explained why Tom Brady clearly deserves the bulk of the credit for the Patriots’ success over the past two decades.
Stephen A. Smith hears what Greenberg is saying, but he’s taking the other side of one of football’s most popular debates.
While Smith isn’t trying to minimize anything Brady accomplished over 20 seasons in New England, he believes Belichick deserves more praise for overseeing the entire operation.
“…Here’s the reality of the situation: Bill Belichick has won 74 percent of his games,” Smith said on ESPN’s “Get Up.” “Listen, I’m not one to take away anything from the greatness of Tom Brady. I understand it. I believe he deserves a boatload of credit. Obviously, he’s the GOAT. All of that is true. But the flip side to it is that when you look at football, there are three phases. There’s offense, there’s defense and there’s special teams. I’ve never seen Tom Brady catch an interception, I’ve never seen him sack a quarterback, I’ve never seen him defend against the run, I’ve never seen him play special teams.
“When you take all of those things into consideration despite his greatness, you know, football, as we say, is the ultimate team sport. You consider the multitude of responsibilities that come with being the leader and a head coach of an NFL franchise, we can’t ignore the greatness of Bill Belichick and just sit up there and say, ‘Excuse me. You know what? You only did this because of Tom Brady.’ Certainly, it helped, but he also helped Tom Brady. Let’s remember that.”
While we understand the point Smith is trying to make, we’ve never seen Belichick pick off a pass, sack a quarterback, play run defense or participate in special teams either. Coaches likely will be the first to tell you that it’s the players who win games, but players often are put into position to claim victories thanks to great coaching.
So while it’s probably a pointless argument, we’ll likely see a resurgence in the debate as Brady embarks on his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.