Patriots

Ty Law says Patriots dynasty is more about Bill Belichick than Tom Brady

The Hall-of-Fame Patriots cornerback suggested Brady's Super Bowl win last season doesn't prove the quarterback was more instrumental to the franchise's success than Belichick.

Ty Law Patriots
REMOTE TRANSMISSION -- REMOTE TRANSMISSION--- 11-3-2002:Orchard Park, N.Y.:GLOBE STAFF PHOTO/JIM DAVIS........The Patriots defense shined today, here cornerback Ty Law (24, right) heads upfield after intercepting a Drew Bledsoe pass in the fourth quarter, stiffarming Bills offensive tackle Marques Sullivan (74, left). Library Tag 11262002 Sports
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The Patriots’ fateful Week 4 matchup with the Tampa Buccaneers might be the only time Bill Belichick and Tom Brady ever face each other as opponents with Brady’s career winding down — well, that’s what we assume anyway.

So although this singular game is just one small drop in all they’ve accomplished, it will nonetheless serve as the latest crux for the eternal Belichick vs. Brady debate: who was more responsible for the Patriots’ longtime dynasty?

NFL Hall of Famer and former Patriots cornerback Ty Law is apparently all-in on Team Belichick.

The former defensive back and current businessman told The Greg Hill Show on WEEI he’s siding with the architect and overseer of the “Patriot Way” despite Brady winning a Super Bowl with the Bucs last year while the Patriots missed the playoffs without him.

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“Belichick has a lot more upside because Belichick can coach a lot longer than Brady can play,” he explained. “Brady is on — for most people — on the bottom side of his career. He’s got another year or so left. He’s playing great football.

“But I always tell people, Brady would not have a seventh Super Bowl if he was with New England. I know a lot of people don’t want to hear it, but he didn’t have that type of team to lead him to a championship. I didn’t want to see Brady leave…But he did what was best for Tom Brady and his legacy. He wanted to move on and win.”

Law’s latter point about the Patriots’ flawed supporting cast was borne out in Brady’s final season with the team, in which New England was ousted from the playoffs in the Wild Card Round by Tennessee despite going 13-3 and winning the AFC East. Then, the Patriots struggled badly in 2020 after Brady left, limping to a 7-9 season with Cam Newton at quarterback.

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Belichick then spent record amounts of money in free agency to revamp the team’s offensive weapons, bringing in tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry as well as wide receivers Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne.

Of course, Brady wasn’t interested in waiting around to see what the Patriots would do. Instead, according to Law, the quarterback landed himself on a team primed for Super Bowl contention in the Buccaneers.

New England Patriot Head Coach Bill Belichick talks with Ty Law during stretching exercises on the practice field at Gillette Stadium. Jim Davis/Globe Staff

“He went down there — how many Pro Bowl receivers?” he said. “You got Gronk to come down there, Antonio Brown. They had a hell of a defense. They have a system. He’s in Florida. It ain’t cold. The body feels good. Man, please. Wouldn’t you? I would.”

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Nothing that happens when Brady returns to Foxborough to face the Patriots will truly decide this debate, which will likely continue for years after both Belichick and Brady are no longer in the NFL.

But that doesn’t mean the takes around the mental duel between the two old partners, as well as the “old vs. new” matchup pitting Brady against Mac Jones, won’t be hot.

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