As Operation: Kick Belichick While He Down continues, a member of the coaching fraternity was the latest prominent person to take a swipe at the Patriots’ legendary head coach.
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Bruce Arians’ Comments
Arians caused a stir this week when he spoke about one of the keys to dealing with Brady, and he favorably compared himself to Belichick. Here is what he said:
Consummate leader. Has been all year. Got the air of confidence that permeates through our team every day. I allow him to be himself. Like, New England didn’t allow him to coach. I allow him to coach. I just sit back sometimes and watch.
While some might argue Arians wasn’t trying to shade Belichick, it’s difficult to argue the veteran head coach was unaware his comments would be taken as a slight.
Anytime you make a comment that compares yourself favorably to someone else in the same position who didn’t necessarily get the same results, you’re taking a shot. Arians knew what he was doing, and the 68-year-old intentionally stirred the pot.
The Reaction to His Arians’ Statement
The pile-on continued after Arians’ comments.
On NFL Network, Rob Gronkowski was asked differences between Belichick/Arians: "They're both great coaches for sure. I love getting coached up, but one of the biggest things that I would just say is … the freedom. The freedom of just being yourself with the coaches."
— Ryan Hannable (@RyanHannable) January 17, 2021
“Arians' observation isn't entirely accurate, though: While Belichick established ‘The Patriot Way,’ Brady played a huge role in making his teammates better by holding them accountable and getting everyone on the same page.” – @tomecurran https://t.co/v6xtYf06Q4
— Michael Elkins (@melkins31175) January 19, 2021
Darren Hartwell of Yahoo! Sports chimed in with his take:
According to Arians, that’s thanks in part to his hands-off approach, which differs from Belichick’s intense attention to detail as he coaches up every player from Brady to the long snapper. Arians’ observation isn’t entirely accurate, though: While Belichick established “The Patriot Way,” Brady played a huge role in making his teammates better by holding them accountable and getting everyone on the same page. And considering Belichick and Brady won six Super Bowls together, it’s hard to criticize the setup in New England. But if Brady was looking for a fresh start with a head coach who lets him do whatever he wants, he certainly picked the right boss in Arians, whose coaching style apparently is perfect for another ex-Patriot in Rob Gronkowski.
You have to wonder if Belichick is putting these things on his personal bulletin board.
Is Arians Right?
There is no definitive way to coach. It’s a coach’s job to win with the personnel that is on their roster. When you have a player capable of leading in a way that Brady can, the head coach is wise to take advantage of that quality.
When a player of Brady’s ilk isn’t there, a different approach is needed. We don’t know how much “coaching” Brady was allowed to do in New England, but he did win 6 Super Bowls with Belichick, so they did something right. If Arians gets the best out of Brady by giving him more freedom, then that is the right approach for their situation.
However, Arians is out of bounds for the unprovoked shot at Belichick. Perhaps Belichick will queue the Michael Jordan meme ahead of their regular-season meeting in 2021.
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