Tom Brady has penned an emotional tribute to the ‘best coach in the history of the NFL’ in Bill Belichick after the 71-year-old’s Patriots exit, hailing the ‘amazing’ dynasty that saw them both win six Super Bowls together.
Brady, 46, and a seven-time Super Bowl champion, played under Belichick, who he considers to be a ‘father figure,’ for 20 seasons in New England, from the year he was drafted in 2000, all the way until 2020.
He left the Patriots, two years before retiring in 2022, winning his first and only Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under then-head coach, Bruce Arians.
‘I’m incredibly grateful to have played for the best coach in the history of the NFL,’ Brady wrote to start of his statement on Belichick on Thursday.
‘He was a great leader for the organization, and for all of the players who played for him. We accomplished some amazing things over a long period of time, many of which will be hard to replicate. he worked every day to help up achieve the ultimate goal, in the ultimate sport.’
‘And, although we were successful, some of the greatest lessons, I learned, were in the moments where we faced the most challenging adversities. He set the tone for the organization, to never Falter in the face of adversity, and to do what we could do, and what was in our control, which was to go out and do our job.
‘I could never have been the player I was without you Coach Belichick. I am forever grateful. And I wish you the best of luck in whatever you choose next.’
In a week full of shock departures, particularly those of Nick Saban at Alabama and Pete Carroll in Seattle, there seems to only be questions regarding Belichick’s future out of all three football coaching greats. Saban announced his retirement from the game, while Carroll is likely to follow in that same path, as well.
Belichick, however, has denied speculation that he is fully retrieving himself from the gridiron, as he has been linked with coaching vacancies on the L.A. Chargers, where he would coach a talented quarterback in Justin Herbert, and the Atlanta Falcons.
‘I’ll always be a Patriot…but for now, I’m going to move on,’ said Belichick at his final press conference on Thursday, suggesting that he still wants to coach or be in an executive role with a franchise. In New England, he was De factor general manager and head coach.
More to follow…