Asante Samuel is Wrong; New England’s Belichick is Not ‘Just Another Coach’
File this one under "freezing cold takes", courtesy of former New England Patriots' cornerback, Asante Samuel.
On the heels of Cam Newton being dismissed by the New England Patriots, Samuel took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the mastermind behind the Patriots, their head coach and general manager, Bill Belichick. In the story reported by CBS Sports, among other outlets, Samuel goes on to explain his opinion on ESPN's First Take, claiming that he and Belichick are "cool", but that the coach has not shown the ability to be a great coach without his former quarterback, Tom Brady.
Do you agree with this take? I find it hard to say yes.
Look, here's where I stand on this. We may not have a full picture of what Bill Belichick is as head coach of the New England Patriots. His two losing seasons in New England were his first and his most recent, and both did not feature Tom Brady as the team's starting quarterback. He had one winning season out of his five in Cleveland, and was fired as a result.
So, yes, Bill Belichick may not truly be the "greatest" head coach of all-time. He may pail in comparison to the likes of Lombardi and Shula. That said, he is by NO means "just another coach", and should be regarded as one of the better game-planning minds to grace the gridiron.
As good as Tom Brady was, there are 52 other players on the roster each season. Belichick devised a scheme, usually referred to as The Patriot Way, that worked year-in and year-out. The team missed the playoffs during the season Matt Cassel was playing quarterback, but still managed to get the team to an 11-5 record. That's a record that gets most teams into the playoffs.
For me, the tweet that Asante Samuel sent was one sent out of spite, and one sent by someone with a grudge. The reputation of Bill Belichick may be aided by Tom Brady's performance, but Tom Brady's growth in New England was also aided by Bill Belichick. One hand washed the other, and those who believe Samuel need to realize that.