So I accidentally watched Showtime’s Inside the NFL this morning as I was going through NFL Game Pass- it just happened to be replaying on NFL Network. The show is hosted by James Brown, Michael Irvin, Boomer Esiason, and current Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall, and it’s where we saw Bill Belichick mic’d up earlier this week.
The hosts held a discussion about where Belichick ranks among All Time Coaches after the mic’d up segment and I think it deserves some attention because it’s a great discussion by some highly qualified football minds. The conversation veers off into The Legacy of Tom Brady, but Marshall winds up calling Belichick the greatest coach of all time and Brady the greatest quarterback of all time.
Here’s the full transcript of the segment.
Brown kicks off the discussion by asking about Belichick being so animated before the game during the mic’d up segment.
“Well, let’s face it, Romeo Crennel, Vince Wilfork, guys that he’s won championships with, he’s got respect for those guys. The interesting thing about Bill Belichick from my stand point, I’ve been watching him since 2001, and Ive done a number of his games as broadcaster. He does a number of things during games that very few coaches do, or have the security to do. Well, let’s not forget that he has total autonomy up there, running the entire show, picking the players, cutting the players, trading for the players. He’s an amazing coach.
“Off the field, away from everything, and I’m sure you [Irvin] would agree with this, he’s a great guy, he’s just hanging out. But when it comes to his football team, it’s one thing only, it’s this way.”
“I wanted to engrave and call these [Lombardi] trophies the Belichick Trophy. We’ve had some great coaches, some great coaches, Lombardi, all of these guys, and I played under one in Jimmy Johnson, but what this guy [Belichick] is doing is off the charts.
“First of all, we don’t have the control of money, controlling the players anymore. You’re giving guys $30-, $40-, $50 million dollars guaranteed, so no more I got dominion over you, I have to now make sure I partner with you, and this dude knows how to partner with those players and bring the best out of each of those guys that he gets.
“Let me tell you what he’s done. He’s made us look bad because we talk about the importance of the quarterback all the time on TV. That’s all we talk about. He makes all other coaches look bad who say, I need my quarterback to win in this league, because he wins with every quarterback, and we must address what does this mean about the great Tom Brady’s legacy that he’s winning with any quarterback-”
“Woooooow, are you really starting that?”
“No, it does, look, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning. Tom Brady had the greatest coach of all time with him.”
“And the greatest coach has the greatest quarterback of all time.”
“That’s just chicken and egg.”
“My thing is this, in week 2, I wasn’t here, you guys talked about would you pick, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, or Peyton Manning. And all you guys picked Belichick. And I’m baffled by that because Tom Brady, we all know this is a quarterback driven league. Tom Brady is gone for the first four weeks of the season, we all know that. They’re undefeated, they’re playing well.
“And it’s interesting to me how the narrative has changed from being the in the middle of the spectrum as wow, these two together, now it’s well, we don’t need Tom Brady, Belichick is the best ever.”
Everyone talks over each other to dispute Marshall’s last statement
“This is what I’m saying, the thing about Tom Brady, tell me how many Hall of Famers has he played with for the extended period of his career? You could say he played with Randy Moss for a year, you could say that he might have played with Rodney Harrison and Junior Seau for a year or two there, but when you look at the guys that he’s played with, and not a knock on those players because they’re all solid, good players, he’s made them all better. ”
“Brandon, you’re on the field now, Brandon, he’s [Esiason] saying the greatest coach ever, we’ve heard that Paul Brown invented, Bill Walsh innovated, is sustained success that Belichick has mastered is that enough to proclaim him as the greatest coach ever.”
“Jet nation, I am sorry, I am sorry, but he is the best ever. He’s the best ever. That’s not going to change anything. That’s not going to change our preparation, we’re not going to give him the division. But he is the best.”
“And they love him, Brissett came off the field and handed him the ball. He’s saying, thank you for everything you’re doing for me. It’s incredible to watch.”
“What makes this show great is NFL Films because we get an inside look and we learn a lot about our players and coaches when you get a see them in action on the sidelines. Two things that showed me a lot about Bill Belichick. He gave his player a nickname, LB [sic, he meant LG for LeGarrette Blount], that’s respect, that’s love. The quarterback came back to him with the ball after he scored and said, here coach, ball security, that’s respect, and that’s love.”