NESN Debates: Will Bill Belichick Win Super Bowl Without Tom Brady?

Belichick and Brady won six titles together with the Patriots


Bill Belichick owns six Super Bowl rings as a head coach, all of which he obtained with Tom Brady as the New England Patriots’ starting quarterback.

This has led to endless media bickering over whether Belichick, who also won two Super Bowl titles as a defensive coordinator, can lead a team to championship glory now that Brady has moved on.

The 2020 campaign obviously wasn’t a good look for The Hoodie, as the Patriots posted their first losing season since 2000 — the year before No. 12 took over as New England’s starting QB — while Brady is leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers into Super Bowl LV.

Maybe will argue Brady already settled the debate of who was more important to the Patriots’ dynasty, but it’s worth noting this has been a strange season, due in large to COVID-19, and that Belichick could be poised for an aggressive offseason in New England.

Belichick will turn 69 before the 2021 season, and it’s unclear how much longer he intends to coach. That said, our latest “NESN Debates” feature kicks around the question on every Patriots fan’s mind: Will Belichick win another Super Bowl without Brady?

Here are the responses we rounded up from the NESN Digital team.

Ben Watanabe: No
But not because Brady carried him or deserves all the credit for the Patriots’ dynasty. Building a Super Bowl contending core is difficult, in case you didn’t know. It’s somewhat simpler to slide a great quarterback onto a team with a single hole at that position than it is to build and coach an entire program up to that level.

Ricky Doyle: No
Unless Belichick jumps ship for a job somewhere with a championship-caliber roster in place. The Patriots’ unprecedented success over the last two decades has tricked some New Englanders into thinking Super Bowl parades were just part of the calendar. They’re not. Winning is hard, and all dynasties come to an end. Belichick is no spring chicken, and his opportunities to hoist another Lombardi Trophy therefore are limited. I’ll play the percentages here.

Marcus O’Mard: Yes
The show must go on, and Belichick won’t stop until he silences the doubters.

Doug Kyed: No
Ultimately, probably not because it’s just so difficult to win a Super Bowl in the NFL. Belichick will have the Patriots back in playoffs and Super Bowl contention quicker than one might think, however.

Zack Cox: No
Would it shock me? No. And I do believe the Patriots, who have $60-plus million in cap space to play with this offseason, will reload their roster and be right back in the playoffs in 2021. But unless they quickly hit on a new franchise quarterback, I don’t believe another Super Bowl title is imminent.

Adam London: No
I can’t see Belichick winning another Super Bowl, unless he shockingly makes a jump to the NFC. Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson aren’t going anywhere, and Deshaun Watson seemingly has a chance to make an AFC team other than the Houston Texans a powerhouse. The Justin Herbert-led Los Angeles Chargers are on the rise, too. The Patriots need to find a legitimate franchise quarterback and retool the receiving corps. That could take a while.

Logan Mullen: Yes
The Patriots have $60 million in cap space this offseason, plus one of their highest draft picks in a long time. I honestly don’t think the wait will be that long.

Dakota Randall: Yes
Only because I think he’s going to coach for a while. If Belichick sticks around for another five to seven years, he’ll get another title.

Lauren Campbell: Yes
But he needs to address what’s missing in New England instead of just hoping for the best.

Abigail Adams: No
It doesn’t mean he can’t, but I’m not sure the pieces will be there before he leaves the Patriots.

Alex Francisco: Yes
Quite honestly, there is not much more I’d like to see in the world than education reform, an end to food insecurity and for Belichick and Brady to win their own respective Super Bowls without each other. Then we could put the silly debate to rest about who needed the other more to be successful.

I feel like both the QB and coach have a huge motivation to win on their own to further cement their legacies, and I believe Belichick will coach longer than people anticipate to try and make sure that happens. I mean, just look where he took the worst Patriots team in recent memory this past season — Coach of the Year type stuff.

Sean McGuire: Yes
Admittedly, it’s tough to think about right now. The Patriots’ roster is decimated, with their biggest needs coming at quarterback, receiver and tight end. But I wouldn’t be shocked to see Belichick coach another five or six years, longer than Brady will be playing. Bill, the GM, will have to step up for Bill, the coach. But Bill, the coach, is good enough to do it again.

Patrick McAvoy: Yes
I think he’s got one more in him, but it’s looking tough. If he doesn’t re-tool the Patriots’ roster and win one in 2022 or 2023 at the latest, he might be done.

Meredith Gorman: No
I’d like to say yes, but I don’t think so. I can’t see the connection that Brady and Belichick had being duplicated again. That said, Belichick is a football mastermind, so you never know.

Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images

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