Bill Belichick will forever be linked to quarterback Tom Brady. And that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
As a tandem for the New England Patriots, the pair have pocketed six Super Bowl rings, made nine Super Bowl appearances, grabbed countless divisional titles, and more importantly, they wrecked the league for roughly two decades.
It’ll be a long time until someone comes even close to matching his credentials, but while Belichick spends most of his time shining his Lombardi trophies, there must be a part of him that feels like there’s a massive hole in his résumé.
Without Brady, Belichick has yet to win it all. Brady, on the other hand, proved that he can win one without Belichick by his side. And it’s safe to say that these two will never team up ever again. So, with Belichick getting accustomed to life without Brady, how does he usually fare without him? Also, where would we rank his 2021 season amongst the handful he’s coached without Brady by his side?
Patriots: Bill Belichick’s coaching history without Tom Brady
9. 1991 Cleveland Browns
Team record: 6-10
For the most part, Bill Belichick’s first year as a head coach in 1991 is often swept under the rug. Reason being is that the Cleveland Browns are viewed as a moribund franchise that were lucky to have Belichick at the time. That simply isn’t true.
Although making the playoffs seldom happens for Cleveland nowadays, for most of the 1980s, they were consistently getting past the regular season. In fact, two years prior to Belichick arriving, Cleveland found themselves in the AFC Championship Game with a chance to make it to the Super Bowl. While they came up short, the future seemed bright.
With most of those same pieces from that Super Bowl contending team, Belichick completely flopped in year one. The Browns finished the season 6-10 and were up and down throughout. On three separate occasions, the Browns endured a three-game losing streak.
Don’t listen to the doubters about that season, Belichick had plenty of help. Bernie Kosar finished the year with the fifth-most passing yards, throwing for 3,487. He also heaved the sixth most touchdown passes that season, finishing up with 18. Belichick had players … he simply didn’t know what to do with them.