Fredericton, NB / Ottawa, ON (January 16, 2021) – The relationship between a head coach and their quarterback is unlike any other partnership in sports. When working well, this pairing is powerful enough to lead playoff runs and bring home titles. On the other hand, a poor relationship between these two individuals will more often than not result in losing seasons and rumors surrounding job security. I have compiled two examples of successful QB, head coach relationships to help us dig deeper in analyzing this fascinating connection.
Tom Brady & Bill Belichick
Arguably the most successful tandem of coach and quarterback to ever compete in the NFL, this New England Patriots pair are the first in most people’s minds when considering this topic. Why is that? Try 16 division championships and six Super Bowls over the course of 19 years. Incredible. A driving force behind Brady and Belichick’s success was always an extremely similar set of values. No matter the game, no matter the scenario, Brady and Belichick always showed up with one thing on their minds: winning. Personal statistics have never been something held highly by either of these two. In the Brady, Belichick era, the Patriots won in all sorts of ways. If winning meant running the ball 40 times, putting Brady out wide for a play, or calling 10 quarterback sneaks throughout the game, the Patriots would do it without hesitation. This era in Patriots history has ended but will forever be remembered by this iconic likeminded duo of winners.
Josh Allen & Sean McDermott
The current AFC East champion Buffalo Bills possess the latest up-and-coming quarterback, head coach duo. Over the past three years, McDermott has developed his young quarterback, Josh Allen, into an MVP caliber player. The two have built a strong relationship grounded in trust and respect. Similar to Brady and Belichick, Allen and McDermott share in a number of common characteristics and experiences. These include their hard-nosed mentality, small-town backgrounds, joy for the game, and indifferent attitude toward the spotlight. This tandem has led the Bills to two straight playoff appearances and their first AFC East division title since 1995.
As these examples show, a good relationship between quarterback and coach can lead to tremendous success. Quarterbacks and head coaches are the leaders of football teams and greatly influence team culture as well as on-field performance. They must act as role models, setting a positive example of how their team should treat one another with respect and by displaying humility. A mutual sharing of common characteristics and values is often present in these positive relationships between coach and QB. When this combination clicks, a contagious confidence often flows from the top down throughout a locker room.
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