Thursday night’s drubbing of the Houston Texans moved Patriots coach Bill Belichick past Curly Lambeau into fourth all-time in regular season coaching wins; that achievement on its own proves he’s a legendary leader of football players. But it was the way the hooded one accomplished win no. 226 that astounded the sporting world. Forced to start a rookie third-string quarterback on a short week (while wearing terrible jerseys), Belichick’s Patriots still rolled to a convincing 27-0 victory.
Without actually doing any research, I can safely assume Belichick’s contemporaries in the “greatest coach of all-time” conversation never faced a scenario like that (because the cash grab that is Thursday Night Football is a recent – admittedly pretty great – invention). Bill Walsh, Don Shula, Tom Landry, and George Halas were all genius coaches in their own right, but the scenarios Belichick has faced this year prove he’s truly the football mastermind.
Now, given the news that New England could be looking for yet another QB after Jacoby Brissett sprained his thumb against Houston, Belichick has an opportunity to vault himself beyond the stratosphere of best coaches of all-time and into the conversation of greatest leaders of all-time (move over, Lincoln and Napoleon). But after all he’s accomplished in his career, simply getting a win over lowly Buffalo with Julian Edelman under center would, well, I’ll let Shania take it from here.
If Belichick wants to truly enter the pantheon of great leaders, he needs to take full advantage of the opportunity in front of him. He could start anyone he wants at quarterback, and prove definitively that Tom Brady is only successful because Belichick chose him as his marionette. So just how should the coach go about showcasing his utter brilliance?
I’ve got some ideas.
Here are some potential starting QBs for the Pats for Week 4 along with the degree of difficulty Belichick would face with each one under center.
Pats Potential Week 4 Starting QBs
Skills: Used to bouncing around to teams willy-nilly, including playing for the Pats in 2006.
Challenges: Is 52, and wasn’t that good in his prime.
Degree of Difficulty: Putting a frayed shoelace back through the eyehole.
Skills: Surprising mobility; last listed at 320 lbs, he’s probably durable; has a great nickname (“Hefty Lefty”).
Challenges: It’s been scientifically proven that left-handed QBs can’t win (Steve Young notwithstanding); players and refs could get him confused with Rex Ryan.
Degree of Difficulty: Eating a five-pound burrito.
Skills: Handsomeness; at least someone in his gene pool is a good quarterback.
Challenges: Convincing the o-line to block for such a d-bag; the last time the Bills played a Rodgers, they shut him down.
Degree of Difficulty: Sitting through all of The Last Airbender.
Tom Brady in a Wes Welker mask
Skills: All of them.
Challenges: Limited vision; getting a helmet to fit over the damn mask; getting people to believe Wes Welker can still play football; not getting caught cheating, again.
Degree of Difficulty: Deflating 12 game balls to meet specific requirements set out by a quarterback and not getting caught.
Skills: A Hall of Famer; has a great nickname (the “Snake”).
Challenges: It’s been scientifically proven left-handed QBs can’t win, especially when they’re recently deceased.
Degree of Difficulty: Explaining any new technology to grandparents.
Skills: Sarcasm; frying bacon; telling people I can drive stick even though I can’t.
Challenges: Zero legitimate quarterback experience; worse conditioning than Lorenzen; a short attention span; I’m usually drunk on Sundays.
Degree of Difficulty: Landing Flight 1549 in the Hudson.