It's a debate that often comes up when a successful coach and a legendary player are paired up and dominate an era together: How much of the credit belongs to the man on the sidelines?
That particular question seems to surface a lot when Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are the duo being discussed (with another example being Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan), and it did again in a Tuesday interview between the Sports Junkies and ex-NFL player and current football analyst Ross Tucker.
And that's when Tucker — who played under Belichick during his career but also briefly suited up for Joe Gibbs in 2007 — argued that, considering who each coach had under center during their terrific runs, Gibbs deserves more credit for his accomplishments out of the two.
"I'm not saying this is against Belichick," Tucker said. "Probably the most impressive coach gameplan wise that I've played for. But, for me, I look at what Gibbs did... three Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks that are not Hall of Famers. Like, that is crazy, and will never be duplicated."
"So I understand Belichick's had more sustained success," he continued. "I'll also say this, though: Then Gibbs came back, and went to the playoffs with Mark Brunell and Jason Campbell/Todd Collins the year I was on the team... As great as Belichick is, he's doing it with a guy that's clearly the best quarterback of all-time, and even Bill Walsh had it with Montana.
"To me, I'm still going with Gibbs."
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Now, Tucker's claims will be met with skepticism from plenty, and the Junkies were quick to voice theirs.
"I just think it comes down to hardware when you start listing greatest of all-time," Jason Bishop responded, giving a nod to Belichick's five titles as New England's boss.
"And early years of Brady, he wasn't carrying the team," JP Flaim added. "It was a totally different type of Brady in those early years, he was more of a game manager and they had a great defense. And I'll say this, when Brady went down that one year [in 2008], they were 11-5."
But Tucker stood firm in his argument that Belichick still owes a ton of his results to his signal caller, while Gibbs never had anyone close to Brady's caliber yet still captured three rings. To reinforce his angle, the former lineman pointed out that Belichick only had one winning season with the Browns out of four, and he didn't make the postseason with the Pats in 2000 before Brady's ascension.
Unfortunately, there's obviously no way to fully prove which of the two icons is superior. However, Tucker hinted that he might be more inclined to change his mind if the two Patriots leaders split up and head their separate ways.
"Look, all I want is for Brady and Belichick to break up, like, tomorrow," he said, "so we can see both those guys do it other places."
The Gibbs over Belichick take may be controversial, but the rest of the NFL can at least agree with that part of Tucker's interview.
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