Skip Bayless really is going out on a limb with his latest take on Bill Belichick’s prospects for future success.
The FOX Sports analyst predicted Thursday on “Undisputed” the New England Patriots head coach will be in for a “rough ride,” now that Tom Brady has departed for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with Rob Gronkowski in tow. Bayless in his scathing take credits Brady with playing an outsized role in Belichick’s achievements as Patriots coach by coming through in clutch moments and quelling any potential locker-room rebellions.
“… Brady made Belichick in New England,” Bayless said. “It was Tom Brady who made Belichick possible. Let him get away with this for 20 long years in New England. Being the dictator that he still is, the tyrant that he still can be, the coach that finally drove Rob Gronkowski out of New England …
” … Belichick got away with it for 20 years because Tom Brady was his buffer, his mediator in the locker room and told everybody ‘suck it up, swallow it, bite your tongue because he is the coach, and we’re going to win this way.’ And without Tom mediating there would have been chaos, there would have been mutiny because there was mutiny in Cleveland under Bill Belichick. … pre-Brady, Bill Belichick was 41-57 and on the verge of being fired a second time in New England. Then Brady happened. And Brady had been taught by his father, ‘honor the coach,’ and Brady was the most coachable quarterback in the history of pro football and he always did what Bill said to do.
“Yet on the other side of the coin, Brady was also the clutchest quarterback in the history of pro football, and every time they needed to pull out a big game, Brady pulled it out. So again and again, Brady saved Belichick, Brady made Belichick, Brady is the reason there are the Patriots as we knew and used to love them.
“And I’m here to tell you now Bill Belichick is in trouble. He lost his buffer, he lost his clutch quarterback, he’s by himself and they are going to be quicker to mutiny in that locker room because today’s players won’t accept a dictatorship from the head coach. I’m sorry, he’s in for a rough ride in trying to rebuild that locker room in his image without the quarterback clutch buffer.”
"Brady let Belichick get away with being the dictator he is for 20 years, the coach that finally drove Rob Gronkowski out of New England. Tom Brady was Belchick's buffer and mediator. Now Belichick is in trouble." — @RealSkipBayless pic.twitter.com/lw3ydRoqUB
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) April 23, 2020
Bayless’ latest contribution to the ongoing Belichick-Brady debate certainly will garner attention, even though it includes assertions Gronkowski and Brady both previously downplayed or refuted outright.
Perhaps Bayless chose 2020 NFL Draft Day to wade in so forcefully because he knew it might garner the most attention? If that’s the case, well played, Skip.