Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have been like peanut butter and jelly since Brady’s surprise debut as a rookie in 2000, but soon the Patriots coach may have to prepare for life after his Super Bowl winning quarterback.
For the past 14 seasons the two have been inexorably linked, sharing a coach-quarterback connection rivaling Joe Montana and Bill Walsh or Dan Marino and Don Shula. But with Brady now 38 years old, the day will come soon when the All Pro quarterback looks to hang up his cleats.
It appears that Bill Belichick is already preparing for that day. In May he drafted Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on the second day of the draft, later telling reporters that the team is going to be proactive in the search for Brady’s eventual successor.
“With the situation we have at quarterback… I think you’re better off being early than late at that position,” Belichick said after the draft.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport said the Patriots were willing to be even more aggressive, and would have snagged quarterback Blake Bortles if he could have fallen far enough.
Bill Belichick has already been sitting on one of the most promising quarterbacks in the NFL. Strong-armed Ryan Mallett has sat the bench behind Tom Brady for the past four seasons, and this spring Belichick denied rumors that the team was looking to trade him.
“Well, that’s not really something that we’re that interested in,” Belichick said, via PFT. “Ryan’s done a good job for us. Fortunately for our team, maybe unfortunately for Ryan, he hasn’t really had any playing time in the last three years but he’s improved tremendously as a quarterback and as a football player and we have a lot of confidence in him.”
But it’s anyone’s guess what Bill Belichick will actually do when it comes time for Tom Brady to retire. Belichick has gained a reputation for some outside-the-box personnel moves, including cutting loose a number of players who were still seen as in their prime.
Bill Belichick may not have to do that with Tom Brady. Though the Patriots quarerback has seen his production dip a bit, he remains an elite quarterback and recently said he would play until he was 50.