New England Patriots

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Max Kellerman has a scorching take on the Tom Brady vs. Aaron Rodgers debate. Surprise!

Specifically, the First Take host and noted Brady denier is looking at how Bill Belichick would handle it if he had a chance to take Rodgers over Brady as his quarterback. Even though Belichick has said as recently as 2018 that there’s no quarterback he’d rather have than Brady, Kellerman is making one of the biggest mistakes you can make when analyzing the two QBs.

So, Max, would Belichick rather have Rodgers than Brady?

“Of course,” Kellerman started off as he launched into his take. “Listen, I love the way Bill Belichick thinks. Even being asked that question. He sees that as a problem to solve, every new game as a problem to solve. ‘OK, we’re facing this quarterback, how do we beat him?’ ‘I’ve never had to face Tom Brady,’ Bill Belichick says, ‘so I haven’t had to try to figure out how to beat Tom Brady the same way as if I were facing him.’ Belichick’s real success as a coach and a GM comes from the fact that he takes an unsentimental, sober view, and evaluates the players. You mean to tell me he wanted Jimmy Garoppolo instead of Tom Brady, but he wouldn’t want Aaron Rodgers instead of Tom Brady?

“It’s not that Bill Belichick would trade his past with Tom Brady for his past with someone else. They’ve won five Super Bowls together! And they’re in the Super Bowl every other year and they win more than half of those, so of course you wouldn’t trade the past. But heading into any of those seasons, if Aaron Rodgers were available to be his quarterback, and he could ‘Presto Change-O’ change Tom Brady into Aaron Rodgers, he’d have done it. Because Aaron Rodgers allows him to do more things.”

GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 30, 2014: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on as quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers snaps the football during the NFL game at Lambeau Field. The Packers defeated the Patriots 26-21. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

GREEN BAY, WI – NOVEMBER 30, 2014: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on as quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers snaps the football during the NFL game at Lambeau Field. The Packers defeated the Patriots 26-21. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

There’s your mistake, Max. You’re looking too much at the pure talent. Obviously, Rodgers has more arm talent than Brady and arguably more than any quarterback of his era. He’s more mobile than Brady. He’s more accurate with the deep ball. But Kellerman conveniently ignores the plain reality that there’s much more to playing quarterback than physical talent.

Patriots Hall of Famer and ex-Brady teammate Tedy Bruschi, now a longtime ESPN analyst, posed arguably the No. 1 question to Kellerman on his take: would Rodgers be able to put up with Belichick for 18 years the way Brady has? Would he take the coaching like Brady has?

As much as people like to ignore these qualities and just focus on what’s physically happening on the field, one of Brady’s most important qualities is his coach-ability. He’s been smart enough to execute plays the way Belichick expects him to. He’s smart enough to listen and take what defenses give him. And he’s able to compartmentalize anything that might anger or annoy him, and he’s been able to do it for nearly two decades.

Rodgers has never proven able to retain those qualities, certainly not as consistently and for as long as Brady has. In the end, Brady and Belichick have been the NFL’s perfect partnership, and it’s bred an unprecedented run of sustained success as a pair. Never has and never will be as simple as swapping in a more talented quarterback and getting the same result or a better result.

But hey, we just published about 600 words on Kellerman’s take with the video in tow. So I guess Kellerman wins this round.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.