There is an unsettling trend in the NFL with legendary quarterbacks who spend a significant chunk of their careers with one head coach.
The success created from that long-term bond is difficult for the head coach to duplicate when the quarterback is gone.
On the flip side, this could be an issue that never happens again since football players and coaches are transient in this era.
Many examples have made headlines in the past couple of years.
Here are the most notable.
1. Sean Payton and Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
— Eric Ray (@EricRayweather) January 25, 2022
When Sean Payton announced that he was stepping away from the New Orleans Saints after a 16-year tenure, it could not have completely been surprising to those on the inside of the Saints organization.
Consider the fact that both Payton and quarterback Drew Brees arrived in New Orleans in 2006.
Brees was Payton’s quarterback until he retired after the 2020 season.
That stability and greatness that Payton knew and relied on were gone.
Everyone knew replacing Brees would be a tall order, but the Saints had injury and performance issues at the quarterback position the entire season.
2. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, New England Patriots
Most wins by a QB/Head Coach duo all-time including playoffs
Tom Brady & Bill Belichick (249)
Drew Brees & Sean Payton (144)
Ben Roethlisberger & Mike Tomlin (144) pic.twitter.com/kSGkUGfwtm
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) January 25, 2022
The Tom Brady and Bill Belichick relationship will probably go down in history as the most successful in the NFL.
Together, they won 6 Super Bowl titles.
Both arrived in 2000, and Brady notoriously left after the 2019 season.
Three years ago today:
Bill Belichick: “Love you.”
Tom Brady: “Love you too, man.”
— Ian Steele (@IanSteeleABC6) January 20, 2022
Belichick struggled through 2020 with quarterback Cam Newton.
He appeared to find a successful prodigy in the 2021 NFL Draft in Mac Jones, but developing the relationship will take time.
3. Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers
Ben Roethlisberger is the only starting quarterback that Mike Tomlin has ever worked with as an NFL head coach.
Tomlin arrived in Pittsburgh in 2007 as Roethlisberger was entering his fourth season.
Because Tomlin’s past experience was more in a defensive role, it really has been all about Roethlisberger for him.
Now that Roethlisberger is retired, how will Tomlin respond?
Even if the Steelers decide to promote backup quarterback Mason Rudolph to the starting job, Roethlisberger’s consistency and success will be difficult to replace.
4. Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks
This makes me so happy to see. Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll hyped together. Again. Shuts up those people who just want the Seahawks to collapse and tear it down. Can’t wait. 12-5 next year. Y’all will see! pic.twitter.com/rc8YUwKiiz
— Sami Jarjour (@SamiOnTap) January 10, 2022
The Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll partnership is still ongoing as of right now.
There have been rumblings of Wilson again wanting to see what possibilities exist outside of Seattle.
"Russell Wilson isn't gonna demand a trade but he does want to explore his options.. I just don't know how willing Seattle is to trade him" ~@RapSheet#PatMcAfeeShowLIVE #Seahawks pic.twitter.com/kVbA90PPEu
— 🅿️at McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) January 18, 2022
Carroll became the Seattle Seahawks head coach in 2010, and Wilson has been his quarterback in 2012.
If Wilson stays, this becomes the longest-tenured coach and starting quarterback relationship in the NFL as the pair will enter their 11th season together.
Head coaches and quarterbacks that win Super Bowls together have an unbreakable bond that is irreplaceable once the quarterback leaves.
Success with another quarterback is so hard to create.
It certainly is possible, and maybe Belichick will be the first of the above group to achieve it with Jones.
However, it is still a bittersweet moment in NFL history as these long and successful relationships between coach and quarterback are going away.