A look into the future, with a familiar Pats storyline
Posted: Monday June 13, 2005 10:15AM; Updated: Monday June 13, 2005 11:57AM
Bill Belichick (left) and Tom Brady should be getting used to celebrating Super Bowl victories by now.
Brian Bahr/Getty Images
Peter King will answer your questions each week in Monday Morning Quarterback: Tuesday Edition.
From a mind far, far into the 2005 NFL season ... and far, far, far away from the whiny holdout of Terrell Owens and the weird mystery of Ricky Williams, both of which will be forgotten on an icy February Sunday come Super Bowl XL ...
DETROIT, Feb. 5, 2006 -- Joe Montana was 33 when he won his fourth Super Bowl. Terry Bradshaw was 31.
Tom Brady is 28, and it's likely that no player -- at least sincea young Gale Sayers ran wild for the Bears 40 years ago -- has ever secured a bust in Canton by age 28.
So let's just stop the nonsense that you can't compare Brady with the all-time greats. And let's cease the folderol that some other quarterback in today's game might be better than Brady. The position is about winning, first and foremost, not gaudy numbers. Brady, an amazing 12-0 in the postseason now, is 73-17 as an NFL starter. He's setting the bar so high for future Hall of Famers that no one will be able to reach it.
"Tonight,'' vanquished Minnesota safety Darren Sharper said nobly in an unashamed Vikings locker room, "Tom Brady proved he's the best football player on the planet. And the Patriots proved they're one of the best teams of all time. You've got to put them up with the old Packers and Steelers now.''
New England's 30-17 Super Bowl XL victory proved a lot of things, but we leave Ford Field knowing that we've seen greatness, in Brady and the Patriots, for the ages. Brady's third Super Bowl MVP award was well-earned on a day when the pesky Vikings got to him for five first-half sacks, three from all-world defensive tackle Kevin Williams. Brady, who took six stitches in the chin from a violent Williams sack in the second quarter, finished with the right side of his face a bloody pulp ... but also ended up, most importantly, 20 of 26 for 278 yards and three touchdowns. Two were thrown to All-Pro tight end Ben Watson.
The Patriots made NFL history by becoming the first team in the 86-year history of the NFL to win four championships during a five-year span. Pittsburgh won four in six seasons between 1974 and 1979 and the Packers won four NFL titles in six seasons in the '60s, straddling the pre- and current Super Bowl eras.
After the game, the man who now has to be mentioned with the great coaches of all time, Bill Belichick, met Brady in a dank hallway outside the Patriots locker room and embraced him like a long-lost son. This was a terrific game for Belichick as well, gets credit for more than just the head-coaching victory here. Belichick, who spent the season doubling as New England's offensive coordinator after Charlie Weis ascended to Notre Dame last year was tonight's MVAC -- Most Valuable Assistant Coach -- after calling two gutsy touchdown plays in the fourth quarter that led the Patriots back from a 17-16 deficit with 14 minutes to play.
"You're the best quarterback I've ever seen,'' Belichick said in Brady's ear.
"Well, you're a pretty good coach, too,'' Brady said, smiling, and, because he's funnier than he looks, threw in this Wolverine zinger: "But we're in Michigan. So I can't say you're better than Lloyd Carr.''