Bill Belichick Says Tom Brady Is 'Probably the Greatest Player in NFL History'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 7, 2021

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick watches his team warm up before an NFL football game against the Houston Texans Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick waded into the debate about the NFL's greatest player of all time, and you probably won't be surprised by his answer.

Belichick said on The Greg Hill Show that Tampa Bay Buccaneers star Tom Brady is "probably the greatest player in NFL history." He also reflected on his time coaching Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor, whom he called the best ever on the defensive side of the ball.

"It's been a tremendous opportunity for me as a coach," Belichick said. "I certainly learned a lot from Tom. He helped me develop as a coach, as did Taylor. I am very thankful for my opportunity to have over 30 years coaching those two guys."

Any GOAT debate is always subjective, but Brady is probably the most common response when the conversation focuses on the NFL.

The 44-year-old is a seven-time Super Bowl champion and the all-time leading passer (82,975 yards and counting). The fact he's totally upending the aging curve is bolstering his legacy further.

StatMuse @statmuse

Tom Brady is better in his 40s than his 20s 🤯<br><br>20s (96 games):<br>— 147 TD<br>— 78 INT<br>— 61.9%<br><br>40s (72 games):<br>— 148 TD<br>— 43 INT<br>— 64.9% <a href="https://t.co/miGPQkF8B7">pic.twitter.com/miGPQkF8B7</a>

Belichick and Brady didn't have a bitter public divorce when the later left the Patriots in 2020 and signed with the Buccaneers, but ESPN's Seth Wickersham detailed how their relationship became strained over time.

Given what Brady helped New England achieve, one might have expected the team to make a stronger effort to re-sign him. The situation seemed to cement Belichick's calculating approach to roster-building. Nobody is untouchable regardless of what he did in the past.

Belichick and Patriots owner Robert Kraft remained laudatory when Brady's departure was sealed, with the former calling him "the greatest quarterback of all-time."

New England Patriots @Patriots

Statements from <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Patriots?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Patriots</a> Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft and Head Coach Bill Belichick on Tom Brady's Patriots career: <a href="https://t.co/DFmmbzAIdo">https://t.co/DFmmbzAIdo</a> <a href="https://t.co/flVpDFB4HJ">pic.twitter.com/flVpDFB4HJ</a>

During Tuesday's radio appearance, Belichick praised Brady further by saying, "Nobody deserves more credit for our success here than Tom does."