(Herm Edwards photos courtesy of the Kansas City Chiefs)
Talk of Fame Network
Quick, now: Name the only head coach who kept the New England Patriots from winning the AFC East when Tom Brady finished the season as their starter. If you said, “Herman Edwards,” go the head of the class.
Yes, the former head coach and now ESPN analyst, led the New York Jets to the playoffs in 2002 when they – not New England – won the AFC East after gaining the tiebreaker over Brady & Co.
So what? So that’s the last time the Patriots failed to win the division with Brady quarterbacking them in December, and you have to wonder: Six Super Bowl appearances in the past 15 years, four Lombardi Trophies and 13 division championships … is this the greatest dynasty in NFL history?
“Yeah,” Edwards said on the latest Talk of Fame Network broadcast, “I would say in the world we play in now with the changing of players with free agency. Back in Pittsburgh’s era … San Francisco’s era … Dallas’ era … you can keep your teams pretty much intact. But in today’s world, with all the changes that have gone on with different franchises, it’s very difficult to do what they’ve been able to do.
“Now a couple of things come to mind when you think about that organization … or, three things. Number one ownership. It starts there with Mr. Kraft. (Then there’s) the head coach and then the quarterback. And they’ve been probably more consistent than any other organization in the last – what? — 15 or 20 years.”
New England’s record with Brady is staggering. The Patriots are 194-60, including 114-20 at home, with Brady going to more Super Bowls (six) than any quarterback and winning as many (four) as Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw. Then there’s this: New England has been to the last five AFC championship games.
So one more layup for Edwards: Montana or Brady?
“Oh, boy. I’d say this:,” he said, “If I had either one of them I’d still be coaching, I know that. Joe was probably the guy that really, really allowed quarterbacks with maybe not the strongest arm, not the biggest stature but the ability to have accuracy (to succeed). He was remarkable.
“Tom Brady for me is a guy that has done it with different players. He’s unique. He has had a different cast of players, it seems like, every other year. It’s never the same offense. It’s always different players. The one thing that has been consistent: His ability to adapt to the players and put them in position to be really good players.
“I think they both come away differently. I don’t like to choose. I think they go down in history as two of the best quarterbacks ever to play the position.”