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How Much Of Team's Success Is Coach Responsible For? - Bill Belichick Edition

How much of New England's success is Bill Belichick responsible for?  

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This was brought up in the Mike Tomlin - Time To Go? thread. How much is the coach responsible for the team's success?

I'll ask it specifically here with a team that's had:

1. Great Success

2. For many years

3. With the same coach 

I know it's an impossible question to accurately answer but I'll ask: How much of New England's success is Bill Belichick responsible for?

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I'm not answering the second question because that's a rabbit hole with no answer, but the first? Second most important position in the organization. 

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Went with 80% which some will consider too high. Players have to play the game but players (other than Brady) come and go.  Belichick is the architect; he built an organization and a culture that is key to their success.  His prowess for defensive game plans dates back to his days as the Giants' DC where 2 SBs were won shutting down teams like the dynasty era 49ers...   To this day, his track record against young QBs (under 25) is phenomenal.  

 

 

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Players have to make the plays, but with regards to long-term success, it's almost all the head coach. A successful head coach leads to rewarding results in the following vital aspects of team-building:

  • Continuity
  • Quality assistants
  • Better players
  • A solid lockerroom/culture
  • Proper game-planning

Belichick has all of this, so I went 90%. Players still get hurt, fumble, and drop passes.

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Look at New England/Boston before Belichick came, I mean over the length of the franchise. That''s what they'll probably return to after he leaves. However Pittsburgh had a similar situation with Chuck Noll it's true, and they've had two more coaching regimes which have been successful over time.

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I'll give him 50% credit. And that's a lot IMO. Pats don't go on this epic run without GOAT at QB.

Helps to play in the (annually) weakest division in football. THIS is what propels them from "wildcard round" to "home w/ bye" in the post season. Jets/Bills/Phins rebuilding for the entirety of the BB/TB12 era. People overlook this quite a bit.

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31 minutes ago, MAC_32 said:

I'm not answering the second question because that's a rabbit hole with no answer, but the first? Second most important position in the organization. 

What's your guess at how important Belichick is to the team's success?

It's a message board with anonymous screen names. Not really going out on a limb. 

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I have always felt the NE success has been much more on B.B. than TB. Brady happens to have been a great fit in terms of what NE wants to do and what they look for in players. Hard working and willing to go the extra mile without necessarily breaking the bank. 

Over the course of their run, the names have changed over and over again (other than Brady). Yet they have continued to be one of the best teams year after year. Sure, Brady has had plenty of times when he bailed them out, but that’s what great QBs are supposed to do. 

They are one win away from going to what, their 8th straight conference championship? I believe the only other constants over that stretch have been their PK, Gronk, and Devin McCourty. 

If QB is the main reason teams win (for teams with the same head coach), then teams like PIT, GB, NO, IND, and DAL should have won way more than they did.

I would probably give BB two-thirds to three-quarters of the credit depending on the year. Some years the Pats had no business getting as far as they did. They had some rosters that I would say were average at best and with injuries by the end of the year maybe not even that. 

Edited by Anarchy99
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9 minutes ago, Dizzy said:

I'll give him 50% credit. And that's a lot IMO. Pats don't go on this epic run without GOAT at QB.

Helps to play in the (annually) weakest division in football. THIS is what propels them from "wildcard round" to "home w/ bye" in the post season. Jets/Bills/Phins rebuilding for the entirety of the BB/TB12 era. People overlook this quite a bit.

People make the point all the time.  However, I think there is a "chicken or the egg" aspect to this.  The teams within the division flirt with respectability at times but can't get past NE.  I think it influences their decision making at times.  Lack of continuity in Miami, for example, has been a big problem.  A typical NE season is 5-1 in the division and 8-2 outside it...  and that is with a first place schedule.  Still beating the majority of teams.

A good discussion might be "how can teams rebuild for 20 years"?  

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Belichick can do things and run a team differently than everyone else.  He can take chances without much repercussion (i.e: Josh Gordon)...

He had to start at ground zero like every other coach in 2000.  But what he’s built is a program that not replicatable by anyone else, even supposed coaching prodigies off his tree.  The franchise building competitive advantage they have is significant.

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I wonder if you did a similar poll in 1989 on Walsh /Montana if it would be similar (because now I’d guess people would say Montana was 90 percent of the success).  

We do know that Belichick was not this successful in a previous coaching stint without Brady.   And they went 11-5 with Cassell the year Brady got hurt, which shows Belichick wasn’t bad.  But I’m one to say that having the greatest qb of this era is a pretty big reason that they had the best team of this era more than having the best coach.  They certainly brought out the best in each other.  

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42 minutes ago, kittenmittens said:

The most important position in football is head coach.  The 2nd most important is QB.

A great example is LA Rams. Horrible with Fisher. Great with McVay. Fisher had Foles and Gurley and did nothing. Pederson had Foles and won a SB.

 

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One of the (many) things I love about football over other sports is the importance of the coaches. Major League Baseball managers are almost superfluous with rare exceptions at the tails of best and worst. NBA coaches are more responsible for psychotherapy and group dynamics than Xs and Os in many cases. But in the NFL it’s so clearly about the coaches. 

I went with 50% for Bill B because that gives him more credit than anyone else. And I think that’s fair. 

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2 minutes ago, Protocols of Stringer Bell said:

I wonder if you did a similar poll in 1989 on Walsh /Montana if it would be similar (because now I’d guess people would say Montana was 90 percent of the success).  

We do know that Belichick was not this successful in a previous coaching stint without Brady.   And they went 11-5 with Cassell the year Brady got hurt, which shows Belichick wasn’t bad.  But I’m one to say that having the greatest qb of this era is a pretty big reason that they had the best team of this era more than having the best coach.  They certainly brought out the best in each other.  

Belichick in NE is 11-5 with Cassell, 2-0 with Garoppolo, and 1-1 with Brissett. That is a .700 winning percentage without Brady in NE. Small sample size, but very good results.

IMO he needed Brady more in the early years. They won 3 Super Bowls in Belichick's first 5 seasons there. At that point, Belichick had all the security he needed to run the team the way he wanted to without interference. It certainly helped him to have Brady ever since then, but I think he also would been very successful with other QBs.

I voted 80%. However, I don't think the value for Belichick translates directly to other coaches like Tomlin, who do not have the same level of control within their organizations.

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13 minutes ago, Protocols of Stringer Bell said:

I wonder if you did a similar poll in 1989 on Walsh /Montana if it would be similar (because now I’d guess people would say Montana was 90 percent of the success).  

We do know that Belichick was not this successful in a previous coaching stint without Brady.   And they went 11-5 with Cassell the year Brady got hurt, which shows Belichick wasn’t bad.  But I’m one to say that having the greatest qb of this era is a pretty big reason that they had the best team of this era more than having the best coach.  They certainly brought out the best in each other.  

The Niners went 91-33 with Steve Young starting in the regular season (.734) and 8-6 in the post season (.571) They went 100-39 (.719) in the regular season with Montana starting and 14-5 in the post season (.737).

It’s hard to really make a case that the wheels fell off with Young leading the offense.

In New England’s case, the trio of Cassel, Garopollo, and Brissett went a combined 14-6 (.700). I’m not sure that group would win 70% of the time with another head coach.

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3 minutes ago, Jason Wood said:

One of the (many) things I love about football over other sports is the importance of the coaches. Major League Baseball managers are almost superfluous with rare exceptions at the tails of best and worst. NBA coaches are more responsible for psychotherapy and group dynamics than Xs and Os in many cases. But in the NFL it’s so clearly about the coaches. 

I went with 50% for Bill B because that gives him more credit than anyone else. And I think that’s fair. 

Football and baseball are certainly different animals.  One huge challenge of football is attrition... But Baseball has such a long season and the clubhouse chemistry, day to day grind, advanced metrics of one-on-one match-ups, plus the more surgical in game substitutions...  I wouldn't think that managers are superfluous. 

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Well Steve Young was pretty good replacement 

I guess it’s hard for me not to think Brady was at least equal to Belichick.  In a league where it’s universally agreed that QB is the most important position, having the best QB ever would seem to be the biggest advantage one could have.  

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7 minutes ago, Protocols of Stringer Bell said:

Well Steve Young was pretty good replacement 

I guess it’s hard for me not to think Brady was at least equal to Belichick.  In a league where it’s universally agreed that QB is the most important position, having the best QB ever would seem to be the biggest advantage one could have.  

All of this discussion is theoretical, so there really isn’t a right or wrong answer. Young went 3-16 as a starter with TB with a passer rating  of 63. He moved on to the Niners and posted the highest career QB rating until very recently. 

Admittedly not apples to apples, as the Bucs were nowhere near the  same talent level as the Niners. I still think the system and the coaching were a huge part of the SF success in the 80s and 90s.

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1 hour ago, Dizzy said:

Helps to play in the (annually) weakest division in football. THIS is what propels them from "wildcard round" to "home w/ bye" in the post season. Jets/Bills/Phins rebuilding for the entirety of the BB/TB12 era. People overlook this quite a bit.

No it’s not overlooked, it’s constantly brought up. And it’s not really true if you look at their record v the AFC East and their record against everyone else.

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People can cite outliers but I think success of a team rests mainly on two pillars, QB and head coach. And with respect to the QB it's not just about how he plays, it's about how he plays and leads.

Patriots, similar to the Saints under Payton/Brees, does to some degree make it difficult to separate the impact of the two. I think you got a situation with great QB's and great head coaches but actually trying to asses who is most responsible is pretty difficult. But I think the two are the most important elements for team success and setting culture and massive key here is both parties need to be on the same page.

Now let's look at the Steelers. Mike Tomlin is getting criticized for the culture and I think he deserves at least some blame. But someone seemingly devoid of blame is Roethlisberger.  I was thinking of this after reading a series of  tweets yesterday which I'll summarize, the bolded is not my words but the tweets:  Roethlisberger ran Todd Haley out of town, criticized Martavis Bryant constantly, was all too pleased to call out Bell, called out Washington publicly and now he's fighting with Antonio Brown. He also undermined his coach with the anthem stuff.

I'm not looking to dissect those comments above and debate the validity of each claim. But I'll say I can't imagine the two QB's I mentioned earlier, Brees or Brady, conducting themselves in this manner. Brees and Brady IMO do far superior jobs in tangent with their head coaches of setting team winning cultures.

Again you can get outliers but  the QB and head coach both being not only good at their jobs but also working together to set the proper culture needed for longterm success. Saints and NE have great head coaches and QB's who work in concert, hard for me at times to separate success of one vs the other.

 

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1 hour ago, Joe Bryant said:

What's your guess at how important Belichick is to the team's success?

It's a message board with anonymous screen names. Not really going out on a limb. 

I mean, his foot print is all over the entire organization. He has some blind spots (i.e. the draft), but everyone has their weaknesses. Like usual I am making too much of it but it is too open ended of a question to answer. 

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Went with 70%.

BB's greatest contribution is consistency- they are always in the mix.

Sure, Brady is a big part of it, but the coach drives everything an organization does- how it operates, the culture, the power dynamics, the work ethic. 

Let's face it- the players really run the show. They can run you out in two years if you don't win. The reality is, many players probably really dislike playing under BB- it's intense, there is not a lot of fun BUT- when you win like he does, it is nearly impossible to criticize the approach because it brings results, and when you win, it is really tough to justify criticisms of a coach.

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In BBs case, I put 80%.Brady doesnt hurt. BB does more with less talent than any coach in nfl history. I have never heard of an ex-NE player going elsewhere and flourishing. Solder? nope. Dion Lewis? nope. maybe aqib talib but name any other ex-Pats player who went to a pro bowl with another team. don't say Jimmy G, he had 12 TD and 7 picks in 2017. got hurt this year after not looking very good in the first place.

when you watch NE play you see the little nuances BB installs - the pre-snap shifts on the kicking defense.the corners always stripping the ball while the WR is still in the air. stuff he's taught them.leverage. going for it on 4th down no matter where the offense is or how far they have to go. gimmick plays 2-3 times per game. they're relaxed all the time. Cowherd spoke about this. Pitts int at the GL in last year's game prime example. NE didnt panic. Ben didn't need to throw that pass, or hurry up to the line. Steelers panic'd. NE stripped a Balt. receiver in the endzone on final play of a playoff game couple years ago. knocked the ball out before the WR had his feet on the ground.that's taught by BB. they were down 14 pts TWICE in the game and won..

NE never gets blown out. SF had a 34-0 lead with Kaep. won 37-34 .came back to win the SB v. Atl. that WILL NEVER happen with a coach like Andy  Reid. he just doesnt win big games, never will. NE won't win 8 games without BB as the HC. this year's roster is probably the worst the team has ever had, sans Michel. yet they're 9-5,have a bye. very real chance they host the AFC championship again. conversely, watch Andy Reid squander yet another banner year from his offense with a pancake flop tight vested boneheaded play calling loss with their first playoff game. one coach is a legend the other is an also-ran. the nfl is littered with also-rans.

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2 hours ago, Jason Wood said:

One of the (many) things I love about football over other sports is the importance of the coaches. Major League Baseball managers are almost superfluous with rare exceptions at the tails of best and worst. NBA coaches are more responsible for psychotherapy and group dynamics than Xs and Os in many cases. But in the NFL it’s so clearly about the coaches. 

I went with 50% for Bill B because that gives him more credit than anyone else. And I think that’s fair. 

That's interesting as I went 50% too. Not sure what that says about us GB.

I think you can make the case it's higher than 50% though.

 

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2 hours ago, lod001 said:

A great example is LA Rams. Horrible with Fisher. Great with McVay. Fisher had Foles and Gurley and did nothing. Pederson had Foles and won a SB.

 

Exactly.  Fisher had Goff too and made him look like a total bust.  McVay took over and he looks like a stud.  Reality is probably in the middle there. 

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Curious what people would think in this scenario. Take a team in need of both a HC and a QB, let's say Denver.  BB is 66 and Aaron Rodgers is 35 so let's just say both have a shelf life of giving you 5 good years. If you are or were a fan of Denver which one of those hires would you rather have, which one do people think would make the biggest impact over the next 5 years?

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1 hour ago, MAC_32 said:

Like usual I am making too much of it but it is too open ended of a question to answer. 

1

:shrug: Ok.

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5 minutes ago, menobrown said:

Curious what people would think in this scenario. Take a team in need of both a HC and a QB, let's say Denver.  BB is 66 and Aaron Rodgers is 35 so let's just say both have a shelf life of giving you 5 good years. If you are or were a fan of Denver which one of those hires would you rather have, which one do people think would make the biggest impact over the next 5 years?

That's a good question. My answer would be Belichick would make more impact. 

In other words, I'll take a great coach over a great QB. Not by a lot. But if I had to pick one, I pick the coach. 

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Just now, Joe Bryant said:

That's a good question. My answer would be Belichick would make more impact. 

In other words, I'll take a great coach over a great QB. Not by a lot. But if I had to pick one, I pick the coach. 

I tend to think BB as well but then I think of impact Peyton made when he initially joined Denver. Made them an instant contender despite what I view(ed) as an average coach.But then that's choosing a great QB over an average coach and this is not quite the same question.

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3 hours ago, Dizzy said:

I'll give him 50% credit. And that's a lot IMO. Pats don't go on this epic run without GOAT at QB.

Helps to play in the (annually) weakest division in football. THIS is what propels them from "wildcard round" to "home w/ bye" in the post season. Jets/Bills/Phins rebuilding for the entirety of the BB/TB12 era. People overlook this quite a bit.

I also gave him half. But as you say, not a lot of HCs win without that certain QB running the offense and being team leader. 

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I think Belichick probably doesn’t get enough credit for “the machine.”

It’s commonly posted here and elsewhere what scrubs Brady has made look great across his career. It’s been a list of cast offs and lower picks (yes outside of Moss/Gordon). 

I don’t think Belichick gets enough credit for identifying those pieces but also designing a system where those players can thrive. He’s had a number of players and coordinators, but clearly his system works. 

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3 hours ago, Joe Bryant said:

What's your guess at how important Belichick is to the team's success?

It's a message board with anonymous screen names. Not really going out on a limb. 

I don't understand what the percentages are supposed to mean.  Should i say he's 40 percent, then give brady 40 percent and split the other 20 between the rest of the team?  Or they're both 90 percent? 

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3 minutes ago, Jayded said:

I think Belichick probably doesn’t get enough credit for “the machine.”

It’s commonly posted here and elsewhere what scrubs Brady has made look great across his career. It’s been a list of cast offs and lower picks (yes outside of Moss/Gordon). 

I don’t think Belichick gets enough credit for identifying those pieces but also designing a system where those players can thrive. He’s had a number of players and coordinators, but clearly his system works. 

Yes, those further up the chain pick out those below them. Great talent is found by great talent evaluators.

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Bill Belichick’s record is not 11-5 without Brady it is 52 - 60 without Brady. Players matter more than coaches. I do give BB far more credit than other coaches though. He’s always put his players and coaches in the best situation and is a great personnel man. 

Edit to add: Correction to add Garappolo and Brissett. It is not 14-6 without Brady it is 55-61.

Edited by Iceman03

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3 hours ago, Protocols of Stringer Bell said:

Well Steve Young was pretty good replacement 

I guess it’s hard for me not to think Brady was at least equal to Belichick.  In a league where it’s universally agreed that QB is the most important position, having the best QB ever would seem to be the biggest advantage one could have.  

Okay, but Belichick did not always have the best QB.  Brady has only been All-Pro first team three times, so in only three seasons did he have the best QB that particular season.  Brady wasn't a great QB when he came into the league and didn't really become a consistently great QB till around 2005/2006.  Brady was more Troy Aikman than Joe Montana for those first three titles. 

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There are other factors other than HC and QB; you have to have a good FO, talent selection, luck and good players. I don't think many coaches have the total control BB (or impact) has so his situation is somewhat unique (imho) at least nowadays. Trying to separate and quantify how much of NEs success is the result of BB or TB is a fools errand and not possible imho. As I interpret the question I guess I would go with 50% but he does not have the success he has had without the goat leading by example, holding things together thru some pretty difficult seasons and in game moments for almost 2 decades now. BB was born to coach and run an nfl team; he is brilliant and maniacal in is preparation and he just happened to find a qb who is equally driven and maniacal.  

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39 minutes ago, bostonfred said:

I don't understand what the percentages are supposed to mean.  Should i say he's 40 percent, then give brady 40 percent and split the other 20 between the rest of the team? 

2

Yes. The different components all need to add to 100.

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3 minutes ago, NE_REVIVAL said:

There are other factors other than HC and QB; you have to have a good FO, talent selection, luck and good players. I don't think many coaches have the total control BB (or impact) has so his situation is somewhat unique (imho) at least nowadays. Trying to separate and quantify how much of NEs success is the result of BB or TB is a fools errand and not possible imho. As I interpret the question I guess I would go with 50% but he does not have the success he has had without the goat leading by example, holding things together thru some pretty difficult seasons and in game moments for almost 2 decades now. BB was born to coach and run an nfl team; he is brilliant and maniacal in is preparation and he just happened to find a qb who is equally driven and maniacal.  

Sure. It's impossible to get accurate. But it's a good illustration to see how much people think a coach matters.

The discussion in the other thread was coaches don't matter as much as people think. 

So I asked how much Belichick matters to NE. 

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I hate to give the HC most of the credit but it is hard not to with BB.  NE drafts low every year. They win with low draft picks, malcontents from other teams, old players that have a season or 2 left in them, FAs and players that nobody wants yet the machine keeps chugging along.  The Pats GMs have left and not had success, all the assistants who have left for HCs jobs have not had success. So it has to be the one constant thing.

I really don`t think most fans who hate NE realize how hard it is to win year in and year out in the NFL.  My Detroit Lions have not won one playoff game in 28 years.  BB has 27 playoff wins since 2002 alone.  The NFL is built for teams to rise and fall with the draft and cap...even though NE does not win every year just to be in the hunt every year is a feat in itself and one that makes me extremely jealous of as a football fan that would love to have that.

Edited by Da Guru
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5 hours ago, Anarchy99 said:

I have always felt the NE success has been much more on B.B. than TB. Brady happens to have been a great fit in terms of what NE wants to do and what they look for in players. Hard working and willing to go the extra mile without necessarily breaking the bank. 

Over the course of their run, the names have changed over and over again (other than Brady). Yet they have continued to be one of the best teams year after year. Sure, Brady has had plenty of times when he bailed them out, but that’s what great QBs are supposed to do. 

They are one win away from going to what, their 8th straight conference championship? I believe the only other constants over that stretch have been their PK, Gronk, and Devin McCourty. 

If QB is the main reason teams win (for teams with the same head coach), then teams like PIT, GB, NO, IND, and DAL should have won way more than they did.

I would probably give BB two-thirds to three-quarters of the credit depending on the year. Some years the Pats has no business getting as far as they did. They had some rosters that I would say were avaerage at best and with injuries by the end of the year maybe not even that. 

:goodposting: My thoughts and percentages 

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5 hours ago, kittenmittens said:

The most important position in football is head coach.  The 2nd most important is QB.

Agreed, although I might put owner and GM over QB.

1 hour ago, Leroy Hoard said:

I also gave him half. But as you say, not a lot of HCs win without that certain QB running the offense and being team leader. 

That's what makes Andy Reid so good imo. He succeeded with McNabb, Vick, Alex Smith, and now Mahomes. Granted he hasn't been as successful as BB. But none of those guys are close to Brady (at least not yet...)

57 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

Yes. The different components all need to add to 100.

Then it really can't be 50% unless the HC is also GM. 

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There are different ways of posing the "what percent" question which give different answers.

The way I usually think of it is that differences in quality between teams come down to roughly:

25% quarterback
25-30% the rest of the offense
30% defense
5% special teams
10-15% coaching staff

This is saying that quarterback is by far the most important person on the team, and that the best quarterbacks should be getting over 25% of the salary cap ($44 million in 2018). So 25% for QBs is a lot, even though it doesn't look like a huge number. And the head coach is a contender for second-most-important person on the team.

Another way to look at things is that you could take the Packers over the past decade and say: Rodgers has been an elite QB, the non-QB talent on the team has been averageish, the coaching has been averageish, so Rodgers is responsible for 100% of their success. With NE, there has been an elite QB, an elite coach, and somewhat above average talent, so maybe 40% of credit to Brady, 40% of credit to Belichick, 20% of credit divided between the rest of their talent.

Although it seems a little weird to give zero credit to Clay Matthews, Jordy Nelson, Josh Sitton, and so on. Maybe we should take every above-average player and coach that the Packers have had, estimate how much worse they would've been if you'd knocked that player down to average, and then credit each player in proportion to those numbers. Which would leave Rodgers with maybe 40% of the Packers' value-added. (But if you do this with "replacement level" instead of "average" then that might drop to 20%.)

Although all of these answers are taking the personnel for granted. The head coach, GM, and the rest of the front office play a big role by choosing the players and assistant coaches, and that doesn't really fit into this kind of percentage breakdown. When the Seahawks find talented players like Russell Wilson in the mid-rounds, it's sort of weird to ask how to divide up percentages of credit between Wilson for being such a good QB and the front office for finding good players like Wilson.

TL;DR I think Belichick has played a large role in the Patriots' success and I voted 20%.

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While I don't disagree with all of the above post, I will dispute the amount put towards the qb. The top 6 paid all have something in common.

https://touchdownwire.usatoday.com/2018/12/30/highest-paid-quarterbacks-arent-making-the-playoffs-rodgers-garoppolo-cousins-ryan/?utm_source=touchdownwire&utm_medium=recirc&utm_campaign=rail-most-popular

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Voted 60% and now I feel that is too low.  Watching BB and Parcells for the better part of 4 decades and they have consistently produced more than the talent level on their teams especially after losing their QB.

Hostettler SB Win

Ray Lucas run after losing Testaverde (they did dig a deeper hole than they should have with their Rick Mirer experiment though)

Cassell after losing Brady

Bringing up BB's run in Cleveland in my mind doesn't work imo.  Parcells almost got run out of town before getting his program in place.  BB would have been successful in Cleveland if kept on board. Parcells laid the seeds for the early Patriots run, but how BB has nurtured, sustained and adapted it over the past 2 decades makes him the GOAT of all coaches imo.

 

 

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2 hours ago, -OZ- said:

Agreed, although I might put owner and GM over QB.

That's what makes Andy Reid so good imo. He succeeded with McNabb, Vick, Alex Smith, and now Mahomes. Granted he hasn't been as successful as BB. But none of those guys are close to Brady (at least not yet...)

Then it really can't be 50% unless the HC is also GM. 

All that Reid has proven is that he’s a good QB coach

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For NE specifically, I voted 50. 50 BB, 50 TB.

Best coach, best QB = dynasty, they’re equally responsible down the middle.

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8 hours ago, Protocols of Stringer Bell said:

I wonder if you did a similar poll in 1989 on Walsh /Montana if it would be similar (because now I’d guess people would say Montana was 90 percent of the success).  

We do know that Belichick was not this successful in a previous coaching stint without Brady.   And they went 11-5 with Cassell the year Brady got hurt, which shows Belichick wasn’t bad.  But I’m one to say that having the greatest qb of this era is a pretty big reason that they had the best team of this era more than having the best coach.  They certainly brought out the best in each other.  

I don't think there was a salary cap during the Montana run.  Made things far different.

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1 hour ago, baymen said:

Voted 60% and now I feel that is too low.  Watching BB and Parcells for the better part of 4 decades and they have consistently produced more than the talent level on their teams especially after losing their QB.

Hostettler SB Win

Ray Lucas run after losing Testaverde (they did dig a deeper hole than they should have with their Rick Mirer experiment though)

Cassell after losing Brady

Bringing up BB's run in Cleveland in my mind doesn't work imo.  Parcells almost got run out of town before getting his program in place.  BB would have been successful in Cleveland if kept on board. Parcells laid the seeds for the early Patriots run, but how BB has nurtured, sustained and adapted it over the past 2 decades makes him the GOAT of all coaches imo.

 

 

He had 5 seasons, a half decade, in Cleveland. You can declare it unfair all you want, when you dismiss it you are marginalizing the impact of Tom Brady.

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