Re: BB the GM poll.
posted at 7/5/2013 7:31 AM EDT
In response to BabeParilli's comment:
In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:
I guess I'm most comfortable saying BB is among the top GMs in the league today, with maybe two or three others in with him. BB's made enough bad calls that I can't say he's unequivocably the best, but he's been so successful at maintaining a competitive team for so long that you have to put him right near the top. Newsome and Thompson are two I would say are roughly equals.
Teams with HOF caliber QBs are invariably competitive. BB's teams were not very competitive until Brady came along. (a 41 - 55 record pre-Brady)
That same stat could call into question BB's coaching too. What makes you think he's a great coach but a poor GM? Based on the logic above, you could say all his success is based on having Brady, and that his coaching and team-building ability have nothing to do with it.
Personally, I think all three factors (Brady, Belichick's coaching, and Belichick's team-building) have contributed to the team's success. But exactly because all three factors matter, I think it's hard to determine exactly where BB is as a GM based solely on win-loss record. I think you have to look at how the player's he's picked have performed relative to other players he could have picked (you also have to evaluate the somewhat unique strategy he's employed in the draft and free agency, which seems to place a higher value on cap flexibility than many other teams do). When you do that, I think you see he's done fairly well, but not necessarily specatularly so. I haven't done a rigourous study, though, of Belichick's moves versus other GM's moves, so I can't be sure. Which is why all this ranking is just opinion . . . not one of us has done any kind of rigourous study, so we're all kind of talking out our behinds . . .
One other factor that maybe is worth thinking about when evaluating BB. He seems to value "team fit" over individual talent as he picks players. He's looking for guys that complement the rest of the team more than he's looking for top individual talent. I think that complementary approach means he often has weaker individual talent on his teams, but talent that plays well together. That makes looking purely at individual player talent an incomplete way of evaluating BB. You have to look at both individual talent and overall team quality. That's a very difficult analysis to perform in a rigourous way.
When I say BB is a great GM, it's because I think he does a great job of putting a competitive team together. Where I think he maybe falls a bit short is in getting top talent, which ultimately, I believe, is essential to win the toughest games.