Rex Ryan: Brady made Patriots great, give Belichick Geno Smith and see if he wins

Getty Images

Tom Brady today called the question of whether he or Bill Belichick is more responsible for the Patriots’ success “a s–tty argument.” Shortly after that, Rex Ryan went on ESPN and engaged in that argument.

Ryan, who faced Brady and Belichick twice a year for eight years as head coach of the Jets and Bills, said he thinks Brady had more to do with the Patriots’ success than Belichick.

“It was definitely Tom Brady,” Ryan said. “If I’ve got to take one I’m taking Brady.”

Ryan said he would have won a trophy case full of Lombardi Trophies if he’d been coaching a quarterback as great as Brady. And although Ryan called Belichick “the best of all time,” he added that he doesn’t think Belichick would have done as well if he’d been stuck with a bad quarterback — like, say, Geno Smith, whom Ryan coached in his last two years with the Jets.

“Let’s give him somebody else, let’s give him Geno Smith, let’s give him whoever, and let’s see how many Super Bowls he would have won. We saw the answer was zero in Cleveland,” Ryan said.

Brady will play without Belichick for the first time this season, and although Brady claims he is not concerned about his legacy, Brady may be motivated by a desire to prove he can win without Belichick.

127 responses to “Rex Ryan: Brady made Patriots great, give Belichick Geno Smith and see if he wins

  1. Ryan is of course right. We’ll find out soon enough if BB can go to the SB 50% of the time without Brady. Not happening.

  2. Let’s not forget Rex drafted Geno… Bill never would have made that mistake; it’s his own fault

  3. Rex Ryan may be a bit of a blowhard, but he keeps making headlines, which is hard to do with no other football news. I’m glad he’s around.

  4. Fun fact: BB’s best year in Cleveland was 11-5, which matches Rex’s best season. Rex managed that just once while BB has met or exceeded that mark 17 times, including the last 10 consecutive seasons.

  5. Is that envy or just straight bitterness coming from Rexy?

    Belichick had the Browns on the rise until Model pulled the rug out from beneath him. Also give Belichick Revis for a year and you win a Super Bowl.

  6. Of course Bill Belichick wouldn’t be so stupid as to make his team reliant about a QB as bad as Geno Smith, unlike Rex.

  7. Rex is so mad that he ended up pretty much a total failure and Belichick is thought of by some as the greatest head coach in NFL history.

    Why does ESPN keep giving this clown a platform to spew his butthurt nonsense?

  8. Yeah we get it. Rex Ryan would be the greatest coach of all time if he had Brady as his QB.

    Fat chance and my foot (which he’d like too much).

  9. Did the alternative to Brady have to be Geno Smith? I mean that’s definitely a Jets move. Not a Bill Belicheck move

  10. The chip on Brady’s shoulder is about the same as Bill Belichick’s. They both are going to be motivated to do well without the other. NE v. TB in this next upcoming SB would be ideal for both. It won’t happen, but I’m sure both will give every effort to do just that.

  11. Rex Ryan’s argument is coming from a coach, who couldn’t even get to a Superbowl. What a jealous take,. By his argument Buffalo would be proof that he couldn’t win.

  12. luke8512 says:
    April 8, 2020 at 5:44 pm
    Is that envy or just straight bitterness coming from Rexy?

    Belichick had the Browns on the rise until Model pulled the rug out from beneath him. Also give Belichick Revis for a year and you win a Super Bowl.

    ———-

    No he didn’t. He had one lucky year there. Just one. They were back to normal at 5 and 11 the following year.

  13. Say what you want about Ryan, but this is right on the money. If you think BB and Geno would win more games than Ryan and Brady, you are flat out stupid.

  14. Belichick learned from the 2nd greatest mind in football in 1960’s Tom Landry. Rex is one of those low on the totem pole of coaches.

  15. We may or may not see how Bill B does with a QB other than Brady now–that one season without Brady (torn ACL) they still finished 11-5

    I think most would assume Bill will figure something out.

    The flip side is, with his love of the running game in a passing league, I don’t know if Rex could have won with any QB. And as a long suffering Jets fan, its amazing for a defensive wiz how often his defense would just not show up in big games or protect that late lead.

    for example, Tim Tebow. Ugh.

    Rex couldn’t win with Tebow either!

  16. I hate when people use Cleveland against BB. He was building a good team before Modell blew it all up to move to Baltimore

  17. I never thought I’d say this but, I love Rex Ryan. Every time he speaks it’s pure gold.

  18. didnthearwhat says: Say what you want about Ryan, but this is right on the money…
    ————
    Who drafted Brady? Who inherited, and benched, NFL’s highest paid QB in favor of Brady? Decisions like that, year after year, are what add up in the long run to 6 more SBs than Rex.

  19. The funniest thing about this is that Belichick wouldn’t disagree. He’s always said “Players win games, coaches lose them.’ There is a reason why Belichick always has himself and the coaches ride in the back of the plane while the players ride in front. He knows his teams are only as good as his players are.

  20. what Rex fails to mention is that BB saw something in Brady when no other teams did…he must be given credit for that…

  21. There are guys who can do it and there are guys who can talk about others who do it. Guess which one Rex is?

  22. So we all agree Bill Belichick drafted Tom Brady knowing he would be a HOF QB? I mean if we are just gonna rag on Rex…

  23. Players win the game. That being said BB has a system set up that will win consistently until players stop buying into it.

  24. It’s been proven conclusively that all the Ryans, Buddy and the boys, are Coordinators, not Head Coaches

  25. I’ve always thought Josh McDaniels never got enough credit for the success of the Patriots. He gets the most of of his players and nobody is better at designing “rub routes”.

  26. If you want to know how private conversations go inside NFL buildings, listen to Rex Ryan. Everyone sugar coats stuff when they speak to the public. Whether the subject is Belichick or Cam Newton, Ryan is just giving it to you straight. If you cant handle the truth you shouldn’t be listening to Rex Ryan. Ryan also said Belichick was the best. But the difference between a great coach and a super bowl winning coach is the great QB. That goes for a lot of great coaches, not just B.B.

  27. If Rex wants to make this about quality of coach then lets start with examining why Rex had Geno and Belichick had Brady.

  28. Rex seems to forget that BB did go 11-5 with a 7th rd pick in matt cassel ,so let’s not give mr Brady all the credit scheme had alot to do wit it

  29. Wow. Ryan didn’t even tap the breaks on that bus he just leveled Geno with. Watch out Mark Sanchez.

  30. This seems so dumb as to be intentionally provocative, which is probably why he said it. . .

    Brady is an all-timer, but Belichick is a coaching genius, esp on defense, where he does more with less than anyone ever. – Hawks Fan

  31. If Rex coached Brady, not sure he wins a lot. Anybody see the Jets offense, under Rex ? It was horrible.

  32. coward….blame your players for incompetence of leadership…

  33. mogogo1
    Fun fact
    Rex Ryan went two years straight to the AFCGG.

    Fun how you can cherry pick facts to make an argument huh?

  34. Well. If this season actually happens, we shall see. There are so many variables to continued success.

  35. No matter what you think of Rex as a head coach, but you can’t deny he is a damn good defensive mind. Pretty close to Belichick’s caliber on defense. I like that he feels he can trash talk now that BB has lost his secret weapon lol.

  36. Who would have ever guessed a loud mouth blow hard that lived for media attention would then join the media and br a loud mouth blow hard that lives for attention

  37. Buddy Ryan’s son Rex. Born on third base and thinks he hit a triple.

  38. Give Brady a coach like Ben McAdoo Pat Shurmur,or Rich Kotite and see what happens.

  39. Go back to 1999. You are an owner. Knowing what you know now, if you are offered one of Brady or Belichick without the other, who do you take? For me, it’s easy, Bill.

  40. the refs in the chiefs game, spygate, deflategate, russell wilson and the falcons coaches made brady better then he actually is too.

  41. We’re about to find out how good both are without each other.

    My guess? Not very, for either.

  42. A reminder that the reason Geno Smith had to start as a rookie was because Rex Ryan decided to play Mark Sanchez in the 4th quarter of a preseason game (behind a 3rd string offensive line) where he suffered a season ending injury. Maybe if Smith had time to sit behind a veteran for a year and learn, he might have had a better career. Of course, the person who prevented that from happening is the same person criticizing Smith now.

  43. Still the only head coach to start a rookie QB twice on opening day in his coaching career. Was 3-2 v Brady when he had a defense. Sanchez was his QB. Geno also beat Brady with Rex his rookie year. Geno was just somewhwere else sometimes.

  44. Wow, I actually agree with Rex on something. Belichick didn’t do anything with Bledsoe, Kosar or Testaverde.

  45. Brady 100% was more instrumental in that he was taking such steep discounts for years, allowing for a deeper team around him

  46. Why does Rex bring Geno Smith into that discussion?
    * Classless, unprofessional, and not central to the point he was making.
    * He played for Rex, and that’s what he says, really?
    * I don’t like it (and I’m not an AFC East fan).

    And Rex should quit whining and making excuses about not winning. He had plenty of chances to succeed and some pretty good players. Belichick out coached him, plain and simple.

  47. Belichick has a losing record as a coach over nearly 100 games without Brady as his starter. He made the playoffs just once in seven tries without Brady as his starter. He had exactly one playoff win as a head coach before Tom Brady entered the picture. I think the substantial evidence we have is that Belichick needed Brady to not end up a disgruntled ex-head coach like Rex.

  48. Nobody is going to kiss Rex’s Ring’s ! Oh…..wait a minute. BTW is there a QB out there that Ryan has developed or even made better?

  49. Rex Ryan with Brady would have just as many SB victories as he did without TB12…ZERO.
    _____________________

    Well,that says a lot about Tom Brady. Butt fumble got to 2 AFCCGs with Rex and one by beating Brady. Your statement means Brady can’t do much better.

  50. People keep wanting to judge Belichik on this coming year. To be fair, he is going to need to give Stiddham a year, or two, to really grow into the position, and then judge.

  51. Well, therein lies the problem. Belichick didn’t select Geno Smith in the draft and except him to be his next franchise QB. Ryan may be griping about being saddled with lesser talent at QB, but who was the last QB drafted by the Jets who wasn’t a complete bust? Ken O’Brien in 1983, nearly 40 years ago.

    Meanwhile if Brady played for Rex, I’m convinced Rex would have found a way to mess it up. Ryan is NOT Belichick, and Rex’s attempt to suggest otherwise is laughable, kind of like comparing Rex’s dad to Tom Landry. Uh, NO!

  52. freefromwhatyouare says:
    April 8, 2020 at 5:50 pm
    Rex is so mad that he ended up pretty much a total failure and Belichick is thought of by some as the greatest head coach in NFL history.

    Why does ESPN keep giving this clown a platform to spew his butthurt nonsense?

    ====================================================

    One word, ratings.

  53. As usual, he always finds a way to make it someone elses fault that he didn’t have success.
    Dude, you had tons of seasons to overcome that monster and only came close twice. And those were not that close. Stop trying to pretend you are on BB’s level, you aren’t.

  54. The ownership and coaching structure is what built the Patriots dynasty not any one player! 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆

  55. jonrando says:
    April 8, 2020 at 5:39 pm
    Let’s not forget Rex drafted Geno… Bill never would have made that mistake; it’s his own fault

    ——-

    Eh Bill drafted plenty of crappy QBs too. Ryan Mallett ring a bell?

  56. xbam says:
    April 8, 2020 at 6:48 pm
    what Rex fails to mention is that BB saw something in Brady when no other teams did…he must be given credit for that…

    ——

    Then why did he let Brady stick around until the end of the 6th round?

  57. Rex is money for ESPN. He’s a human headline machine. That said, BB would have done better with Sanchez than Rex did. Sanchez may not be that good, but he’s better than Geno and would have had a better career overall if he had better coaching.

  58. Rex’s veiled shot at one of the best coaches in NFL history is one of the stupidest things that Rex has ever said, and that is saying something. Rex gives no credit to Belichick and the organization he put together that began by drafting Brady in the sixth round and developed an unproven talent. Ryan’s bravado on the screen is getting very old very fast. Hot takes without any intelligence behind them have no place in serious sports commentary.

  59. Rex said he’d win multiple titles with Brady, but Rex is a terrible coach. That would be the problem with that.

  60. Was it Brady or Belichik? Easier to answer than the classic question:
    What came first the chicken or the egg.
    1. In the beginning it was Belichik. Brady probably would not have ever started for any other team and BB- as the HC of the Patriots- deserves credit for how they maximized Brady’s ability in the 2000 season and for sticking with Brady after Bledsoe came back.
    2. After 2005 it was mostly Brady. He took a big jump in performance in the 2005 season and became a top three QB until 2018. (Except for a rare year off in 2013).
    3. The final answer is that it was both of them. No one in 2001 thought that Brady was better than Bledsoe. And that is good because he was not. But Brady was better for the offense BB wanted to run. Brady would probably not have been a starter without BB. And there is no way that BB wins six SBs without Brady.

  61. Dennis Carson says:
    April 8, 2020 at 10:08 pm
    Wow, I actually agree with Rex on something. Belichick didn’t do anything with Bledsoe, Kosar or Testaverde.
    =============================

    Kosar was finished as a quality QB when Belichick came to Cleveland. After he was cut, the only jobs he could find were as a backup.

    The reason people don’t remember Testaverde as joke and one of the all time busts is that Belichick signed him in Cleveland and resurrected his career.

    Bledsoe was okay in Buffalo and Dallas, but never made the playoffs or won more than 9 games.

  62. I say this as a Jets fan and a Bill Belichick (from his days with the Giants).
    Belichick turned the Browns around and won a playoff game with Vinny Testaverde. He also brought Testaverde to the Jets NOT Bill Parcells.
    Following tseaon they started off 3-1 and then Art Moell announced the Browns were leaving Cleveland. The roof feel in. The fans turned on ownership and their players and the players just quit. The Browns ended the season 5-11
    The 2008 Patriots went 11-5 with Matt Cassel filling in for Tom Brady, who was injured during the first half of game 1.
    Rex Ryan’s best years with the Jets were his first 2 seasons and he had primarily Eric Mangini’s team. The main additions were Mark Sanchez as QB & Bart Scott at LB. The Jets fired Eric Mangini off a 9-7 season.
    Rex is so jealous. Let’s NOT forget Rexie’s brother Rob Ryan coached the Patriots LBs under Bill Belichick and won 2 Super Bowls.

  63. His to be spotty Cleveland record without Brady has been noted…what about his first season in New England (5-11) and season 2 starting 0-2 before Mo Lewis knocked Bledsoe out then going 13-3 the rest of the year. Not sure how Brady doesn’t deserve more credit than Bill

  64. gridironczar says:
    ……………………………………….
    Rex Ryan’s best years with the Jets were his first 2 seasons and he had primarily Eric Mangini’s team. The main additions were Mark Sanchez as QB & Bart Scott at LB. The Jets fired Eric Mangini off a 9-7 season.
    ……………………………………….

    That is the important thing to remember, Mangini put 99% of that team together and the guys Rex picked (Sanchez) were not good players.

  65. Can we give the Matt Cassel thing some perspective? He wwent 11-5 with a team that came off a 16-0 season, they also scored 11 points a game fewer with Cassel at the helm. To put it in perepctive, the past went 12-4 with Brady last year if they go 7-9 with Jarrett Stidham and score 11 fewer points a game on average will you still feel the same way about Belichick because that’s the same dropoff from Brady to Cassel.

  66. ufdtorres says:
    April 9, 2020 at 12:17 pm
    His to be spotty Cleveland record without Brady has been noted…what about his first season in New England (5-11) and season 2 starting 0-2 before Mo Lewis knocked Bledsoe out then going 13-3 the rest of the year. Not sure how Brady doesn’t deserve more credit than Bill
    ____________________________________________________________________________________

    In a few ways. ONE, during his first year, BB tore down the roster and redid it. THAT team won the SB carrying Bledsoe’s record breaking contract. Second, BB recongized Brady right away as someone who was very good, and carried 4 QBs on the roster that year, something he only did that year. Many years he only carried two. Third, when Brady started playing, BB saw that teams had a difficult time adjusting to him and that he was progressing and made the difficult and unpopular decision to keep Brady as the starter. ALL those decisions led to a Superbowl in year 2. If you watched those games, you’d know that was really good defense and special teams and good but not spectacular offense. You are getting sucked into the modern Brady narrative, but until he won the 3rd SB, the narrative was “dink and dunk quaterback” and “game manager”. He got better and better as he went. Both are great. Neither would have gotten those 6 SBs alone. All else is speculation and your personal feelings. But I can tell you, film doesn’t lie.

  67. Rex is wrong here. Bill would have looked at what Geno did well and rolled with that. Covered him up better. Rex has put together some amazing defenses, but Geno wasn’t his only QB on those Jets and Bills teams. He failed the exact same way with all of them.

  68. Rex is a bitter guy for whatever reason. But this argument used by some fans about Belichick would have been nothing without Brady is just plain crazy. If you’ve followed the great and greatest teams that had good runs you’ll find most of the time those coaches had the same QB’s. It tends to go hand and hand when you pair a very good QB with a very good coach. It’s a recipe for success and you can pick those teams out from the history of football.

    If bitter Rex is going to say give Belichick Geno Smith and see if he wins then we’ll never know if Bill Walsh, Vince Lombardi, Tom Landry and Chuck Noll to name a few would have won had they had Geno Smith.

  69. “It was definitely Tom Brady,” Ryan said. “If I’ve got to take one I’m taking Brady.”

    ——-

    As knowledgeable as this community of couch potatoes is on the subject of football (I’m including myself), I think Rex deserves a little bit of more credit than he’s getting here having coached in the NFL and game-planning for the Patriots all those years. He did quite well a number of times. The one that sticks with me the most is the 14-2 Pats team that got stuffed by the 11-5 Jets in the playoffs in the 2010/2011 season. They’d just beaten Manning and the Colts on the road, too. Brady still had 300yds and 2 tds, but that Jets D mixed coverages and played out of their minds. It was the 1st time in years Brady saw nobody open virtually the entire game.

    Until this entire past year of course. But I’m told he sucks now.

  70. NinoBrown says:
    April 8, 2020 at 6:16 pm

    Rex won (NFC championship appearances) with Sanchez, so there’s that…
    =======================================================================
    Wrong conference. But I get your point. People who say Rex wouldn’t have won a SB with Tom Brady, seem to be ignoring Rex was just one game away twice with terrible Mark Sanchez as his QB. I also remember Rex beating BB & Brady in the playoffs with lousy Mark Sanchez.

  71. davedsone says:
    April 9, 2020 at 12:52 pm
    ufdtorres says:
    April 9, 2020 at 12:17 pm
    His to be spotty Cleveland record without Brady has been noted…what about his first season in New England (5-11) and season 2 starting 0-2 before Mo Lewis knocked Bledsoe out then going 13-3 the rest of the year. Not sure how Brady doesn’t deserve more credit than Bill
    ____________________________________________________________________________________

    In a few ways. ONE, during his first year, BB tore down the roster and redid it. THAT team won the SB carrying Bledsoe’s record breaking contract. Second, BB recongized Brady right away as someone who was very good, and carried 4 QBs on the roster that year, something he only did that year. Many years he only carried two. Third, when Brady started playing, BB saw that teams had a difficult time adjusting to him and that he was progressing and made the difficult and unpopular decision to keep Brady as the starter. ALL those decisions led to a Superbowl in year 2. If you watched those games, you’d know that was really good defense and special teams and good but not spectacular offense. You are getting sucked into the modern Brady narrative, but until he won the 3rd SB, the narrative was “dink and dunk quaterback” and “game manager”. He got better and better as he went. Both are great. Neither would have gotten those 6 SBs alone. All else is speculation and your personal feelings. But I can tell you, film doesn’t lie.

    ________________________________________________________
    Dave,
    What turnover was there at game three of season 2? The pats averaged 10 points a game the first two games with the highest paid QB in football (Bledsoe) and 25 points a game after Brady took over. Defense was the same (16 ppg during the 0-2, 17 ppg the entire season). Those are the facts. One move from 0-2 with a poor offense To 13-3 and a super bowl. Seems pretty straightforward, good luck with Stidham and no weapons

  72. Some really jealous (of Belichick’s success) people here
    One guy points a game that the Jets beat the Patriots.
    Another guy basically says going 11-5 with Matt Cassell was easy. Anyone could have done it.
    Come on give some damn credit!

  73. Some really jealous (of Belichick’s success) people here
    One guy points a game that the Jets/Rex beat the Patriots.
    Another guy basically says going 11-5 with Matt Cassell was a given. Anyone could have done it.
    Brady is arguably the greatest QB of all time and Belichick is arguably the greatest coach of all time.
    Come on give some damn credit!

  74. Rex is just trying to make headlines, but I think he really believes that. It’s easier for him to believe that Belichick had an “unfair” advantage when beating him in the AFCE. That advantage, of course, was completely out of Rex’s control-a HoF QB. Rex was not a terrible coach, not great of course, but I doubt that, as a competitor, he could accept that he was being outcoached so consistently by Belichick. It had to be something Rex didn’t have-Brady.

    I think all of us who are reasonable know that it was a combination of Belichick and Brady that led to those Superbowls. Could Belichick have won with another QB of high talent, like Rodgers or Roethlisberger? As long as they accepted his coaching, then yes. On the other hand, could Brady have won with a different coach? If that coach was talented, then yes. We all know that. However, the question remains how much each of them respectively would have won. And, honestly, that’s a dumb and speculative question. The only real important thing here is that success is the product of players playing well and coaches coaching well. Both Brady and Belichick deserve credit for the teams’ success. I think personally the opposite of Rex, that Belichick runs that team and is more responsible because he simply controls more of the organization than Brady does and a SB win is an organizational feat, but unlike Rex, I’m not delusional enough to consider the other guy (Brady) irrelevant.

  75. Rex could take Jets to AFCCG with Sanchez, he would have had no problem won 6 with Brady.

    He would be a genius with Brady.

  76. Looks like lot of fans here believe that Ferrari is great car because of the workers who assemble it.

  77. Tom Brady is a very good quarterback. He’s also the most overrated quarterback of all-time. His passer rating is the same as Dak Prescott’s.

    Aaron Rodgers is actually the greatest quarterback of all time. And no, I’m not a Packers fan.

  78. Two words…Matt Cassel. 2008 Patriots go 11-5 to tie the Dolphins for division lead but lose on tie breakers. New England becomes only the second 11-5 team not to make the playoffs while 8-8 Cleveland is in via winning their division. Ironically New England loses final spot to the Jets. Anyway it’s ancient history but please, keep thinking Belichick can’t win without TB. He has been reinvigorated by the challenge and if it takes a season to reload so be it. The Hoodie will see the SB again much to the dismay of so many.

  79. It may take three years to recover and restock the talent, but I see the Patriots back on top with Bill still running the show. It will reveal ALL the answers to this speculation, and hopefully enjoyable and interesting to watch.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.