Bill Belichick says Patriots know how to win without Tom Brady

Bill Belichick held his Monday conference call with the NFL media and finally addressed what life would be like in New England without Tom Brady.

The Patriots head coach showed his characteristic cool composure and reminded the world that the team has been successful – albeit at a fraction of the level – without their superstar quarterback.

Tom Brady shocked the media this off-season when he hit free agency for the first time in his two-decade career.

Brady signed a two-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and broke the hearts of New England fans everywhere.

Brady left the team where he won six Lombardi trophies and helped install a seemingly unending domination by the New England Patriots in the AFC East.

Since his departure, questions have been raised about how productive the Patriots can be without Brady under centre – and Belichick is now answering them.

According to NFL.com, Belichick said: “Everything we did, every single decision we made in terms of major planning, was made with the idea of how to make things best for Tom Brady.

“Now with that being said, we’ve had several situations where we had to play and we knew Tom wasn’t going to be the quarterback.

“So that would go back to [Matt] Cassel and Jimmy {Garoppolo] and Jacoby [Brissett] and situations like that.

“And so, in those situations […], we adapted what we had to the player and – Cassel would be a good example – we geared everything towards doing what was best for him, just like we always geared everything for doing what was best for Tom.

“I don’t really see that changing. Whoever the quarterback is, we’ll try to make things work smoothly and efficiently for that player and take advantage of his strengths and his skills.”

Cassel completed 63.4 percent of his passes in 2008 after Brady suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 1.

Cassel finished the season with 3,693 yards, 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, helping New England go 11-5, although they just missed the playoffs that year.

The Patriots also went 2-0 with Jimmy Garoppolo and 1-1 with Jacoby Brissett when Brady was suspended for Deflategate.

At quarterback, the Patriots now have Jarrett Stidham and recently added veteran back-up Brian Hoyer for a third stint at Gillette – it’s expected the two will battle it out for the starting job.

Bill Belichick added: “To start with, I think the main thing is to give everyone a chance to compete, to get people comfortable with the position and the skills that they’re playing, the communication that’s involved.”

Bill Belichick could draft a quarterback

There are also rumours the Patriots will select a quarterback from this year’s draft class with one of their 12 picks.

Their first pick comes at no. 23 in the first round and they don’t have another until their three picks in the third round but of course they can always trade up.

There’s plenty of talented quarterback prospects in this year’s draft class and Bill Belichick made it clear he’s been eyeing it up.

READ MORE: NFL 2020 Draft: Top quarterback prospects

In his conference call, he said: “There’s quite a range of players and some of the systems that they play in in college are different.

“Each guy has his own set of skills; he has his own circumstances. Some players have played well over a sustained period of time; some players have had an exceptional year in the past year or two.

“There are always a variety of things you have to try to put together and look at, but certainly there’s a lot of interesting players and guys who have really good arms, can really throw the ball and some very athletic players, some players that have won a lot of games and have shown their competitiveness and instinctiveness.

“So, interesting group and probably one that has decent depth to it.”

Only time will tell if Belichick is going to draft a quarterback and add extra complexity to the QB competition this off-season.

What do you think? Who should start under centre for the Patriots? Do you think they should draft a talented quarterback?

Let us know by joining the discussion on our Facebook page.

Katie Feehan
Born in Yorkshire, Katie is a freelance journalist currently based in York. As a keen sports writer, Katie has a diploma in Multimedia Journalism from the Press Association and has worked on the busy Newcastle Chronicle sports desk. She has also written for Gateshead FC and contributed to various websites including HITC and Give Me Sport.

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