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The “Patriot Way” Is A Hoax

Success in New England was never about Bill Belichick.

New Orleans Saints v New England Patriots
Bill Belichick reached greatness by riding coattails.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The “Patriot Way” is a hoax. It’s phony. It’s a sham. It’s a ruse.

Our friends at the Pats Pulpit wrote a post about it earlier this year, and I think Bernd Buchmasser did a great job exploring the subject. So why do I think the whole thing is a farce?

Because of Tom Brady, who, no matter how you feel about him, is literally the best player in the history of the NFL. He is the GOAT.

After the 2019 season, Brady decided that, kitten it, I’m going to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In a lot of ways, I believe it was a giant “KITTEN YOU!” to Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft. As we know, Brady won the Super Bowl with the Bucs with a typically spectacular line with the big lights on.

From the Pats Pulpit post linked above:

For Rob Ninkovich, it means something else (Editor Note: the Belichick slant).

“Look, the way Bill coaches is the ‘Patriot Way’ and for 20 years, they had Tom Brady to embody that philosophy perfectly,” he told Boston.com. “The way that Bill coaches his team to be putting the team first, not selfish, doing what’s best for the team, putting the team’s goals in front of your own personal goals. That was Tom Brady. He was able to do that for 20 years.

Look, I dig that the Patriots did cute little things like taking the names off uniforms and such, but doesn’t every team in the NFL try to focus on team first over the individual? I mean, this is Spencer Tillman levelish right here. “The Texans are going to focus on more turnovers in 2021!” Doesn’t literally every team focus on creating turnovers? Have you ever heard a defense say, “Our goal is to create fewer turnovers?”

Take former New England wide receiver Danny Amendola, who won two Super Bowls during his five seasons driving on the “Patriot Way”. Amendola appeared on FOX Sports’ First Things First earlier this week and defined the phrase more in favor of Brady than Belichick.

“When you see ‘Patriot Way’ in the dictionary, it’s going to have Tom Brady’s pic next to it,” he said. “None of those coaches threw any passes. None of those coaches caught any passes. None of those coaches made any tackles. They got guys in the right position because they watch a lot of film and they spend all their time at the facility. But Tom Brady is the ‘Patriot Way,’ and that’s the reason why Tom Brady’s in the Super Bowl right now and the Patriots aren’t.”

As we saw in the Bill O’Brien Error (sic), coordinators and coaching CAN have a significant impact. The fact that the Texans are getting easy yards for the first time since 2012 (before the Buffalo atrocity two days ago, at least) is a big tell. That said, Tom Brady has had a significant say regarding the play calling for years now. Josh McDaniels has been a long-time offensive coordinator, but Brady had a lot of flexibility at the line of scrimmage with audibles when with the Patriots.

Yet Bob and Cal McNair keep trying to recreate the Patriot Way in Houston. Bill O’Brien, Jack Easterby, and now Nick Caserio are arrogant enough to think it’s possible to do so. Bob and now Cal are gullible enough to keep shooting for it.

From Josh McDaniels to Bill O’Brien, the Belichick coaching tree has been one disaster after another. This shouldn’t be a surprise. You cannot have the Patriots Way without the best player in NFL history playing the most important position on the field.

The Patriot Way is not replicable. The Texans are grinding their franchise into the ground trying to recreate something that cannot be recreated. Until the #Failson realizes this—and he never will—the franchise is in a world of hurt.