Tom Brady understands The Plan.
The Denver Broncos tried and failed to execute The Plan last year. The New York Jets tried and successfully launched The Plan this year. The seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback understands the impetus.
The Plan? Recruit four-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers … in part, by recruiting his close friend and offensive coordinator of two MVP seasons, Nathaniel Hackett.
“Continuity in sports and in general is very important,” Brady told Yahoo Sports on Thursday morning by Zoom. “Continuity can create a margin of error that’s difficult for other teams to catch if you do the right thing.”
Continuity is exactly what Aaron Rodgers — and receivers Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb, and offensive tackle Billy Turner — gained by joining the Jets. In New York, each of the former Green Bay Packers reunites with a coordinator who guided the Packers to three straight 13-win seasons, including two NFC championship game appearances and two MVP campaigns for Rodgers.
The Jets hired Hackett as offensive coordinator after his one-season stint as Broncos head coach faltered. Within three months, they had sealed the deal for a Rodgers trade.
The advantage that familiarity creates is not mere perception, Brady says.
“I think him choosing that organization and facilitating that trade could possibly allow him to be very successful,” Brady said, speaking in partnership with Hertz's Let's Go campaign. “He’s familiar with the plays. Now he’s got to get used to the players which shouldn’t take him a long time because he’s played with a lot of players over time. So they have a great opportunity, although it’s a very tough division with some other very talented teams.”
BetMGM gives the Buffalo Bills the best odds to win the AFC East, at +125 after a 13-3 campaign. The Jets trail closely at +200 after major offseason acquisitions highlighted by Rodgers, followed by the Miami Dolphins (+300) who traded for star cornerback Jalen Ramsey this offseason and star receiver Tyreek Hill last year in buoying a roster that looks stacked if quarterback Tua Tagovailoa can stay healthy.
And don’t discount Brady’s former Patriots (+750).
“I think Bill Belichick’s one of the greatest coaches in the world of sports,” Brady said. “I have tremendous faith in coach Belichick.”
All of which leads to plenty of questions in the AFC East and across the NFL. Most questions can’t even begin to materialize into answers before September.
“We’re a long way from the finish, we’re not even at the starting line,” Brady said. “But a lot of teams think they’re better than they are right now. Some think they’re worse than they are right now. That’s just the reality of life in the NFL.
“That’s why we all watch: because none of it’s very expected.”