Mazz: Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo and the succession plan that never came to be

In the span of roughly two years, after having what Belichick himself called “the best quarterback situation in the league,” the Patriots effectively lost both Brady and Garoppolo for a second-round pick in 2018 and a compensatory selection in the 2021 draft, which feels like one of the worst examples of roster management in the history of all professional sports.

Mazz: On Jimmy Garoppolo, Kyle Shanahan and the failings of the helicopter coach

Systems like the ones run by McVay and Shanahan are designed to make decision-making easier for relatively inexperienced NFL quarterbacks, but they are also restrictive. And when it inevitably comes time for the quarterbacks to make a play – to make a snap-decision – they have proven incapable, at least in part because Daddy has been protecting them and making all of the decisions for them. Welcome to the world of helicopter coaching.

Mazz: Is meeting with Buffalo another beginning or The End?

So here we are now, in Week 16 of what could be Tom Brady’s final season in New England, and the Patriots have one final hurdle to clear in the regular season: the Bills. Buffalo might effectively sit between Brady and The End, between New England and a final Super Bowl run or the Patriots and an ominous appearance on wildcard weekend.

Mazz: Brady vs. Garoppolo? Now That Would Be Super

Does that mean the Patriots erred in trading away the man whom many (including Belichick) deemed Brady’s successor? No. Garoppolo still comes with lots of questions, durability first among them. But if there’s anyone out there still suggesting that Garoppolo was some sort of flash in the pan … stop. Don’t embarrass yourself. He can play.

Anderson: In Battle of Brady-Garoppolo, Give Me Brady Every Damn Time

By Ty Anderson, Let me be clear: It would have been great had the New England Patriots had been able to successfully, peacefully, and naturally transition from Tom Brady to Jimmy Garoppolo. Think about it, the Patriots would have secured themselves (an unheard of) 30-year window of competent play from the most important position…