Belichick and Brady: Why it works

ESPN.com Illustration

ESPN.com columnist Greg Garber writes on the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick dynamic, which on the surface would seem like an odd couple but are actually cut from the same cloth. The two hold the record for most wins by a quarterback/coach combo (14). Here's an excerpt:

Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are a curious yin-yang puzzle, far greater than the sum of their shining parts. They are also very much brothers in arms.

Odd couple? Maybe, but Bill Belichick and Tom Brady share a burning desire to win.

We saw them together in last year's excellent NFL Films documentary, "Bill Belichick: A Football Life," filmed during the 2009 season. After a 38-17 Monday night loss at New Orleans, Belichick says plaintively to Brady: "We have no mental toughness. We can't play the way we need to play. I just can't get them to play the way they need to play on a week-to-week basis.

"It's so [expletive] frustrating."

Brady, commiserating, nods and says, "We got our [expletive] kicked.

It's a marvelous moment because it underlines the fact that Belichick and Brady, despite their obvious differences, are really hard-wired the same way. Belichick is the de facto boss, but he seems to have accepted Brady as a rare peer, a colleague even. This enduring partnership is the chief reason the New England Patriots find themselves in Super Bowl XLVI.