Aaron Rodgers dropped the ultimate accolade on Bill Belichick this week, calling him the “best coach of all time” and a “living legend” ahead of the Green Bay Packers’ Week 4 matchup with the New England Patriots at Lambeau Field.
On the surface, there’s nothing crazy about that assessment. Belichick is highly regarded across the NFL, with countless players echoing similar sentiments over the years, particularly during the height of the New England dynasty. And the Patriots head coach was effusive in his praise of the Packers quarterback, as well.
Just two dudes patting each other on the back, right?
Well, FS1’s Skip Bayless believes there was more to Rodgers’ comment than meets the eye (or ear?). After all, the Packers just defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14-12 in Week 3, marking the second time in five career head-to-head matchups that Rodgers beat Tom Brady. It was Rodgers’ first victory against Brady since 2014, when the latter obviously still was a member of the Patriots alongside Belichick.
Bayless’ argument in a nutshell: Rodgers pumping Belichick’s tires was a way to indirectly diminish Brady’s legacy as arguably the greatest quarterback in NFL history.
“All of a sudden, he finally had the upper hand on Tom Brady, and he thought — because Aaron’s a shrewd operator, he’s a smart guy — he says, ‘I’m going to undercut Tom, because I’m going to proclaim Belichick the greatest coach ever and it will take much of the credit — if I say that, it’ll take at least some of the credit away from what Brady accomplished,” Bayless said Wednesday on “First Things First.”
A stretch? Probably. Because again, Belichick’s reputation is well established. It would have been more surprising if Rodgers didn’t speak highly of the Patriots coach leading up to Sunday’s showdown in Green Bay.
But, it’s nevertheless an interesting conspiracy theory involving two QBs who’ve long been compared thanks to their respective greatness. And it’ll only fuel further debate down the road, especially if the two lock horns in the NFC playoffs this season before Brady perhaps rides off into the sunset.
“He lied, because obviously Tom Brady gets at least 75 percent of the credit of making Bill Belichick,” Bayless said of Rodgers’ comment. “(Brady) put Belichick on the map after Belichick failed miserably in Cleveland — had four losing seasons in five — and he was about to get fired in Foxboro.”