Sports fans live for two things: games and debates about games. Or debates about plays, players, coaches and anything related to the sport in question.
One of the most common debates? The GOAT debate. Greatest Of All Time. You can have that debate about every position in every sport on every level. CBS Sports Radio had that very discussion with Super Bowl-winning quarterback Joe Theismann, who was asked to rank Tom Brady on the all-time list of great quarterbacks.
“I think he’s the greatest that ever played,” Theismann said simply on Gio and Jones. “I felt that way last year even before he won the Super Bowl.”
Brady has played in six Super Bowls and won four of them. He won his first Super Bowl in February 2002 and his most recent Super Bowl in February 2015. That’s 13 years.
“It’s one thing to just say, ‘I think it’s Tom Brady.’ I think it’s another to have the reason,” Theismann said. “The reason is he’s won with so many different people around him. They have won championships with so many different people on offense, on defense, changes in coaching staffs – but the one constant in New England has been Tom and Bill. I think Bill could go down as the greatest ever. Tom is, in my opinion, the greatest quarterback that’s ever played the game of football.”
But who has benefitted from the other more? Did Tom make Bill or did Bill make Tom?
“I think it would be very difficult to choose one,” Theismann said. “Players are an extension of their coaches, whether they’re offense, defense – it doesn’t matter. The players are an extension of them. The right kind of player with the right kind of coach, you see the results. Chemistry is so very important. Bill trusts Tom completely.”
We saw that trust this past Sunday, as the Patriots trailed the Giants, 26-24, with less than two minutes to go. Brady engineered a 12-play, 44-yard drive to set up a game-winning 54-yard field goal for Stephen Gostkowski.
The Pats won, 27-26, to improve to 9-0.
“I felt the other night (Belichick) was going to let the Giants score and then just go ahead and do what they did against Denver – just go down the field and score a touchdown,” Theismann said. “But as it turns out, they stopped them and made them kick the field goal, which only made the job a little bit easier. You give Tom a minute-and-49-seconds, I don’t care where you start him from. Remember: the first three passes he threw gained no yards whatsoever – (and then he won the game).”