Ryan, who was the head coach of the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills and played a ton of games against Belichick and the Patriots, made the assertion on ESPN broadcast on Sunday before Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers took on the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship.
“You guys are missing it,” he told the roundtable of former Patriots players that included Randy Moss and Tedy Bruschi.
“Nobody wanted to go to New England to be coached by Bill Belichick. They wanted to play with Tom Brady. Part of it is Belichick, but to play with Tom Brady. Why? That’s why you’re gonna win. And no quarterback was wanting to go to New England. I can assure you that.”
The debate since Brady left New England was who was responsible for the six Patriots Super Bowl championships. Was it Brady or was it Belichick?
Brady, so far, has the edge as Tampa Bay is one win away from a Super Bowl appearance and Belichick is forced to watch the game from home. The difference-maker in this season was the coronavirus pandemic and the number of opt-outs the Patriots had before the season began.
New England was one of the teams with the most opt-outs, which definitely hurt game-planning. Cam Newton, who signed on a 1-year deal, was coming off of an injury and didn’t have enough training camp time to really gel with teammates. Not to mention, New England’s top wide receiver Julian Edelman was also hurt.
Should the 2021 NFL season be a bit more normal, it might just show who got the better of the divorce. But Brady can quiet all speculation with a Super Bowl victory.