As part of his Let’s Go! podcast on Monday, the first after his official retirement announcement, Tom Brady had a guest that he’s quite familiar with — his longtime coach with the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick.
“The greatest player, the greatest career,” Belichick said, H/T Chris Mason, Masslive.com. “A great, great person. It was such an opportunity and an honor for me to coach Tom. I guess it’s gotta end at some point. But it’s the greatest one ever. So, congratulations, Tom.”
That sentiment was shared by Brady, who also downplayed any notion of a rift with his former coach.
“For me, there’s nobody I’d rather be associated with,” Brady said. “From my standpoint, I think it’s always such a stupid conversation to say, ‘Brady vs. Belichick’ because, in my mind, that’s not what a partnership is about. Coach couldn’t play quarterback and I couldn’t coach.”
“In my view, people were always trying to pull us apart. I don’t think we ever felt like that with each other. We never were trying to pull each other apart. We actually were always trying to go in the same direction.”
Brady was drafted by the Patriots in 2000, Belichick’s first year as the team’s head coach. In the second game of the following season, longtime New England starter Drew Bledsoe was hurt. Brady replaced him and held the job for the remainder of the season, which ended with the Patriots winning their first Super Bowl.
From the 2001 season until Brady left the Patriots after the 2019 season, New England won six Super Bowls, appeared in three others, had no losing seasons and won all but two AFC East Championships. One of those misses came in 2008, when Brady sustained a season-ending injury early in Week 1.
In terms of success, there has never been a better coach and quarterback combination. No other coach has more than four Super Bowl wins as a head coach, no other player has more than five and no other quarterback has more than four.
Brady left the Patriots after the 2019 season, joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa won a Super Bowl in Brady’s first season and followed that up with division titles in 2021 and 2022.