The 2020 campaign marked the first NFL season since 1999 that Tom Brady wasn't on the New England Patriots roster. As the 2020 season winds down, Brady finds himself getting ready to compete in his seventh Super Bowl while the Patriots missed the playoffs altogether.
On Monday, current Detroit Lions and former Patriots wideout Danny Amendola joined "First Things First," and was asked about New England head coach Bill Belichick getting players to buy in to the "Patriot Way" with Brady being gone. Amendola didn't mince his words and said it's difficult to push the "Patriot Way" without TB12 on the roster because Brady himself embodies the entire idea more than Belichick.
Here's what Amendola said:
"When you see the 'Patriot Way' in the dictionary, it's got Tom Brady's picture next to it. None of those coaches caught any passes. None of those coaches made any tackles. They got guys in the right positions because they watched a lot of film and spent a lot of time at the facility. Tom Brady is the 'Patriot Way.' That's why he's in the Super Bowl & the Patriots aren't."
Amendola clearly believes that Brady was more of the reason for the Patriots' success than Belichick. It's certainly an intriguing debate, given that the team won six Super Bowls during Brady's time in New England.
"When you see the 'Patriot Way' in the dictionary, it’s got Tom Brady’s picture next to it. None of those coaches caught any passes. … Tom Brady is the 'Patriot Way.' That’s why he’s in the Super Bowl & the Patriots aren’t." — @DannyAmendola pic.twitter.com/XtVd0ntJPc— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) February 1, 2021
Amendola spent five seasons with the Patriots from 2013 to 2017 and won two Super Bowls during his time with the franchise. The veteran receiver is definitely familiar with the way both Brady and Belichick operate.
In the Patriots' first year without Brady, the team elected to sign veteran Cam Newton to be the team's starting quarterback. Newton did get off to a solid start, as he threw for 714 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for four touchdowns in the team's first three games. However, Newton struggled down the stretch and tossed just eight touchdowns while being intercepted on 10 occasions.
Amendola probably isn't the only one who believes that Brady was the reason for the Patriots' dynasty rather than Belichick being the mastermind.