If there's a brilliance in Belichick, it lies within SpyGate and what resulted from SpyGate.
We know that he is good friends with Jimmy Johnson and Jimmy tried to stick up for Belichick in the SpyGate scandal by stating that he tried to steal signals by using Howard Mudd to see if they could get the signals, but they just couldn't pull it off.
I think Belichick, who learned things from Jimmy like the value of stockpiling picks, thought that if a team could steal signs with a high level of accuracy, the advantage would be there. And thru the use of cameras (Mudd had to do it w/o cameras) and Ernie Adams' quick and brilliant football mind, they were able to pull that off and have way more success than they should have.
But the brilliance extended to how they were able to use their success to their advantage. This is a copycat league and the league often thinks 'if you can't beat them, trade for them.' Thus, you got all these teams trying to do it 'the Patriots way' and acquiring overhyped assistant coaches and making silly trades with the Patriots when the real key to their success was SpyGate and Brady. Most other organizations would never figure out how to use their success to their advantage.
Lastly, people often forget that the AFC East may be the worst division in football. The main reason being is that outside of Brady, none of the other teams have been able to establish anything that looks like a quality franchise QB.
Between the Jets, Dolphins and Bills, the best QB of the bunch in the last 10 years has been Chad Pennington. And by 2002, his shoulder was so messed up that he completely lost his arm strength and couldn't stay healthy. And the '08 season the Dolphins really relied upon the Wildcat to make the playoffs with Pennington. No other division has had anywhere near that lack of quality QB's than the AFC East.
Take a look:
AFC North: Roethlisberger, Palmer, Dalton, Flacco
AFC South: P. Manning, Luck, Vince Young, Schaub, Garrard
AFC West: P. Manning, Cutler, Plummer, Rivers, Brees, Gannon
NFC East: Romo, RG3, McNabb, Vick, E. Manning
NFC North: Cutler, Favre, Rodgers, Stafford
NFC South: Brees, Ryan, Newton, Delhomme, Freeman
NFC West: Bulger, Warner, A. Smith, Hasselbeck
The AFC East, outside of Brady has had:
NY Jets: Sanchez, Pennington, Favre, Clemens, Bollinger
Buffalo: Bledsoe, Holcomb, Losman, Edwards and Fitzpatrick
Miami: Fiedler, Feeley, Frerotte, Harrington, Lemon, Pennington, Henne and Tannehill
So the Pats are at a very distinct advantage due to them playing in the worst division in football.
The integrity of the Dallas Sports Media can be summed up in this quote 'I've gotta be the bad guy on CBS11 and my radio job on ESPN. I don't have to be the bad guy here.'
- Steve Dennis
Legend of Kirby Dar Dar Blog