BUFFALO, NY – As they prepare for their annual march to the AFC playoffs, the Buffalo Bills today took time to reflect on their wise decision to draft QB Tom Brady with the 27th pick (#156 overall) in the 5th round of the 2000 NFL draft.
“Talk about the greatest draft steal of all time, eh?” beamed Wade Phillips, now in his 15th season as the Bills head coach. “All the success we’ve had, all the division titles, the four Super Bowl championships, that undefeated season in 2007. It all began when we selected Tommy.”
“Playing here with Buffalo has been a dream come true for me,” said Brady, a two-time Super Bowl MVP for the Bills. “I couldn’t imagine ever playing anywhere else. I heard rumors that some mystery team was considering taking me in the 6th that year, but thankfully Wade scooped me up one round earlier. Just consider me a Bill for life.”
As Brady settled into the greater Buffalo area (he married a waitress from a local Waffle House in 2009), he and Phillips teamed to form the nucleus of a dynasty that would dominate the AFC for the next decade. And as Brady racked up one passing record after another, Phillips cemented his status as the greatest coach of this, and possibly any era.
“Sure, I’m flattered when the analysts call me a ‘genius’ and a ‘legend,’ things like that,’ smiled the 66-year old Phillips, whose partnership with Brady ranks as the winningest coach-QB combo of all time. “But who knows if they’d think of me that way if i didn’t have Tommy Terrific back there as my signal caller for the past thirteen years? Truth is, I even heard a Â few rumors that Buffalo was thinking about firing me back in 2000. Sure glad they changed their mind. I’ve seen a lot of coaches bounce from team to team around the league over the years while I’ve stayed right here with Tom.”
Indeed, the names of the coaches that have come and gone from the rest of the AFC East during Phillips’ tenure is a list of long-forgotten nobodies. Few NFL fans are likely to remember the obscure likes of Jim Bates in Miami, Bill Belichick in New England, or Al Groh with the Jets. Each of them bombed out miserably with their respective teams while Phillips and Brady maintained their stranglehold on the division, up to and including this season, where the 10-1 Bills are currently enjoying their bye week.
“I’m looking forward to relaxing this weekend, and just watching the games on TV,” said Brady, wearing his customary day-off attire of ripped sweatpants and a faded t-shirt. “I’m curious to see the Broncos-Patriots game on Sunday night. That Peyton Manning – E.J. Manuel matchup should be a good one.”