Former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike Holmgren once said he told a young and out of control Brett Favre the following to help buck up his raw but up-and-coming quarterback: “You and I are joined at the hip.”
It was that joining of the hip that led the Holmgren-Favre partnership to the top of the NFL in 1996. Unfortunately, two years after winning Super Bowl XXXI, that partnership came to a close as Holmgren left for the Seattle Seahawks.
Luckily for Packers fans, the same can’t be said of the current quarterback/head coach tandem in Green Bay–that of head coach Mike McCarthy and quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Like Holmgren/Favre, they’ve won one title and are in position to win more. McCarthy and Rodgers also plan to stick together for a much longer time than Favre and Holmgren did when the coach left for more roster control in Seattle. Rodgers just signed a contract extension and it’s clear McCarthy has no interest in becoming a general manager.
With their partnership being so secure as well as fruitful, the question beckons: Is the McCarthy/Rodgers duo the best head coach and quarterback combination in the NFL today?
Adam Schein of NFL.com thinks so. He wrote that he thought the two were the most prolific because they’re “…attached at the hip. McCarthy calls the plays, but the coach shares a brain with his quarterback.”
It’s absolutely true and that’s what it takes for a head coach/quarterback combination to work. To prove that point, one only has to look at perhaps the most successful pairing of head coach and quarterback in the 21st century: Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, respectively, of the New England Patriots. They won three Super Bowls in four years in the early part of the 2000s and have been back to the big game twice since then.