Bill Belichick is eating crow this week, and Tom Brady is the one to blame.
The sports world is piling on the New England Patriots head coach in the wake of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ divisional round win over the New Orleans Saints. To the surprise of no one, Skip Bayless has used Brady and the Bucs’ NFC Championship Game berth as an opportunity to say Belichick has been “exposed” by his former quarterback.
ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale, a Tampa native and longtime Bucs fan, also is among those dumping on the greatest coach in NFL history.
“Thank you Mr. Belichick so much for not keeping him in New England,” Vitale said Sunday night after Brady brought the Bucs to their first conference title in 18 years.
Check out this video he posted to Twitter:
Talk about twisting the knife.
Is it fair to criticize Belichick? Yes, as it remains difficult to come up with good reasons for why the Patriots ever should have let Brady leave. The 43-year-old clearly has something left to offer, and the Patriots obviously didn’t enter the 2020 season with a legitimate succession plan.
That said, perhaps we should wait a while before declaring this a decisive “win” for Brady. The Patriots sooner or later had to reset their operation, and moving on from an expensive, old quarterback on paper is a good place to start the process.
Of course, Brady is no ordinary “on paper” quarterback. For years, he has proven that, for him, age truly only is a number. He isn’t what he once was, but he is more than capable of playing winning football.
Brady on Sunday will look to earn a spot in his 10th (!) Super Bowl when he and the Buccaneers take on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Kickoff at Lambeau Field is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. ET.