Tom Brady will finish his athletic career as not just the greatest quarterback of a generation or two, but as one of the greatest athletes ever to participate in any sport.
Just to win one Super Bowl requires an enormous number of factors to come together, for an entire season including the playoffs and lastly the Super Bowl. In a sport with a very high injury rate, the loss of a single starter at any point in the season can fundamentally change the team’s outcome, no matter how good the remaining players. The fact that Tom Brady is once again at the top of the sports world has caused some to question whether it was Tom or Coach Belichick that made the Patriots one of the most successful sports franchises in history.
The simple and obvious answer is that it was both. A coach cannot win as much as Coach Belichick has done in his career without a great quarterback and a team of talented athletes. Tom Brady cannot win and perform consistently, at the highest level without the right coach and the right supporting staff, both on and off the field.
I would imagine that at this point in Brady’s career he entered his Tampa Bay contract with a lot more leeway as to what he could control with respect to coaching, approach and personnel decisions. In his 20 years as an athlete, he learned from one of the most successful NFL coaches how to structure a winning team environment and then with his own prodigious athletic skills, Brady took this knowledge to Tampa. I am willing to bet that the Tampa coach gave up a lot of control in order to sign Tom Brady.
Success in sport, comes from the right balance of coaching and athletic talent. In team sports like football, it is a very complicated process as there are a variety of egos and skill sets that all need to come together every day and every week in order to win. What Tom Brady and the Tampa coaching staff have accomplished in Florida is absolutely amazing. What Tom Brady and Bill Belichick did together in New England for 20 years may never be repeated. On the other hand, what Phil Jackson did in Chicago with Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and the rest of the Bulls was equally impressive. Coaching absolutely matters and so does athletic talent.