Remember a couple of weeks ago when the dynasty in New England was crumbling?
ESPN’s expose on conflicts between team owner Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady was all the rage.
Did Brady treat backup Jimmy Garoppolo poorly?
Did Kraft force Belichick to trade the young quarterback?
Did Belichick really want to get rid of Brady?
While discussions of rifts among the Patriots were muted by their come-from-behind win over Jacksonville in the AFC championship game Sunday, the topic of who is most important to the team’s success is irresistible as New England heads to its eighth Super Bowl in the Brady/Belichick era.
One of the best defensive players in team history said Tuesday that if he had to pick between the coach and the quarterback, he’s going with Belichick.
Appearing on ESPN’s “SportsNation,” Hall of Fame finalist Ty Law cited his reasons.
“I think that you’ve got to give the nod to coach Belichick,” he said. “Because when Tom Brady, when he went down, it was the next man up. It was a guy by the name of Matt Cassel. Now he came and did his thing, but when he left he didn’t have as much success. But I would say that coach Belichick is the glue that keeps the team in place, but it always helps to have Tom Brady there too, you know what I mean?”
Law was referring to the 2008 season, when Brady suffered torn ligaments in the opener and was lost for the entire campaign.
The unheralded Cassel, a seventh-round pick who wasn’t even a starter in college, stepped in and led New England to an 11-5 record.
Law stressed that’s not to slight his former teammate, Brady, but if forced to make a decision …
“But I think if you had to pick just one, and I was playing Mr. Kraft, I would say, ‘I’m going to sign coach Belichick to an extension.’”
New England has always been secretive about the coach’s contract situation, never releasing the deal’s length or his compensation.
But even though Belichick is 65 years old, it doesn’t seem like the five-time Super Bowl champion is looking to retire anytime soon.
Given that Brady has said he wants to play into his mid-40s, it certainly appears that coach and quarterback will be together for another few years.
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