I tweeted this on Sunday night after the Pats/Dolphins game:
Those two factual sentences made Patriots fans very upset.
If anything, that difference of Belichick's record with and without Brady is a huge compliment to Brady. You would think having the greatest NFL player of all-time would be enough for Pats fans. Another point I saw was that if you took a HOF QB away from any head coach, they would not do well. That's just not true.
Joe Gibbs won the Super Bowl with three different quarterbacks: Joe Theismann (who is a HOFer), Doug Williams and Mark Rypien. Great coaches can still be great even if you take away their best QB.
So how does Bill Belichick have a losing record over 169 games (that's over 10 seasons!) without Brady?
1991: 6-10 (missed playoffs)
1992: 7-9 (missed playoffs)
1993: 7-9 (missed playoffs)
1994: 11-5 (1-1 in playoffs)
1995: 5-11 (missed playoffs)
QB's Used: Vinny Testaverde (16-15), Bernie Kosar (11-18), Mike Tomczak (4-4), Mark Rypien (2-1), Todd Philcox (2-3), Eric Zeier (1-3)
We do need to be fair to Belichick here. That last year was a mess because the Browns were about to move to Baltimore. Art Modell made the announcement public in November of the 1995 season. That became a situation that made it impossible to win.
But, that doesn't excuse the first four seasons. The 1994 team did make it to the AFC Divisional game but lost to the the Steelers by 20. No Bill Belichick team without Tom Brady has ever made a AFC Championship game.
No matter how you look at it, the Bill Belichick Browns tenure was a failure.
New England Patriots Pre-Brady
2000: 5-11 (missed playoffs)
2001: 0-2 (Brady replaced Bledsoe as starter in 3rd game)
QB's Used: Drew Bledsoe (5-13)
Yes, Tom Brady wasn't the Tom Brady he would eventually become in 2001 but it is crazy that Belichick was 5-13 (!!!!) until Brady took over. If Brady never takes over and they go 5-11 again in 2001, I really believe he would have been fired. There was a lot of talk that he was in big trouble when they got off to such a poor start in 2001. Remember the Pats hadn't had a losing season since 1995 when Belichick took over in 2000. Fans were pissed after 2000.
New England Patriots During Brady Era With Other QB's
2008: 10-5 (missed playoffs but still won 11 games that year)
2016: 3-1(Brady took back over after his suspension in Week 5)
QB's Used: Matt Cassell (10-5), Jimmy Garoppolo (2-0), Jacoby Brissett (1-1)
This era is the one that makes the pro-Belichick camp look good. Going 13-6 with your starting QB being out is very good. Obviously, they had good backups in Cassel and Jimmy G but he had those guys ready to play. That 2008 team got fucked missing the playoffs but still going 11-5.
New England Patriots Post-Brady
2020: 7-9 (missed playoffs)
2021: 10-7 (lost in AFC Wild Card)
2022: 8-9 (missed playoffs)
2023: 0-2 (???)
QB's Used: Mac Jones (16-17), Cam Newton (7-8), Bailey Zappe (2-0), Brian Hoyer (0-2)
This stretch has been a disaster. The Pats are in NFL Purgatory. They are too good to get a top draft pick but they are not even close to a Super Bowl. Since Brady, they've become a mediocre team that hasn't gotten any better. This might be the worst Patriots team since the 2000 squad.
I know people will read this and say I'm biased because I'm a Jets fan. Yeah, no shit I'm biased. But I also think I can be fair too. I don't hate Tom Brady. I look at him like I look at Derek Jeter. I respect both guys and don't hate either. I wanted them fail all the time but they are both great winners. Brady won a Super Bowl without Belichick. That means a lot.
I do wonder when Patriots fans will run out of patience with Belichick. He does love NFL history and I'm sure he wants to break Don Shula's record for most wins by a head coach. Belichick needs 30 more wins. How long will it take him to get there? If they can only win around 7 games a year, you're looking at 4-5 more years. That would put Belichick at around 75 years old. Will Pats fans and Robert Kraft stand for years of more average seasons?
The Patriots run is incredible. They have the best owner in sports in Robert Kraft. They had the best QB in NFL history in Tom Brady. I just don't think they have the best coach of all-time. You don't get everything.