The forgotten aspect that Ballard emphasized even more than Polian and Grigson, in the first 2 rounds is O-line, his model is definitely the Patriots much like the Titans are doing now as a focal point.
The Patriots had better talent on the O-line and D-line drafted consistently and heck of an OL coach in Scar. They could thus play any style of offense in any weather, IMO, and it showed come playoff time. Thus it did not matter who Polian drafted for his skill positions in Round 1. If you cannot get Lilja to block Joey Porter or Ryan Diem to block McGinnest or Bruschi in critical passing down situations in the playoffs, it is all for naught against good playoff teams. Plus, Polian did not draft good special teams players, something Belichick NEVER took for granted.
So, the trenches and special teams were always Patriots advantages, IMO, and unless Peyton's offense overcame bad field position and inability to run with the OL drafted and the other team's ability to play clock control vs his weaker DL most of the time, it was never going to work in the playoffs. The results showed that when they finally ran the ball with commitment on their way to a SB thus being able to keep a smaller and speedier defense's legs fresh and able to overcome the continual bad field positioning, thanks to so many KR/PR that went for chunks or punters having field days (Ellis Hobbs, Dante Hall, Devin Hester, and even in Peyton's last game with Indy with Cromartie getting a huge return to set up Rex Ryan and Jets for a game winning FG, the list is endless and something Polian should be ashamed of).
I do give BB a lot of credit for the Pats success but after playing under BB for years, I would be shocked if Brady couldn't go to half the teams in this league and win 10 or 11 games. I always felt like Peyton could win 10-12 as well with just an average team around him. Nobody can do it with a stinky team but you give those guys a decent line and average talent, they are winning 10 games IMO.
Yeah. I feel bad for Lebron. I personally like him a lot but all those finals losses will never be overcome.
In my view, the last 4 years since Manning has retired has showed just how big of a gap there was between him and Brady and everyone else. So if we are looking at just the past 25 years of football, I would put Brady first and then Manning. There has been no other QBs in the cap/FA era that have had as much control of the offense and the game as those two. Two complete masters on the field. Just my opinion of course but Brees, Rodgers, Favre, etc. they just don't measure up to the high level of Brady and Manning - you knew double digit wins every year and a division title and almost always a bye.
LeBron will never catch Jordan for GOAT IMO. I personally think Magic was better by a hair over LeBron but that is another topic. Peyton is considered by most of the media 3rd best ever, some still have Montana over him = understandable.
I have the Bucs going 11-5 this year and winning their division, so I think a lot of Brady.