Tom Brady on 'Great' Bill Belichick Relationship: 'I'm Just Incredibly Grateful'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 1, 2021

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, front, and quarterback Tom Brady watch the final minute of an NFL wild-card playoff football game loss to the Tennessee Titans, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Steven Senne/Associated Press

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick spent 20 years together before the future Hall of Fame quarterback decided to leave New England and join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ahead of the 2020 season. 

That's worked out well for Brady, with the Bucs heading to the Super Bowl. But ahead of the big game, Brady told reporters Monday that he still has a strong relationship with his former coach.

"I have a great relationship with him," he said. "I'm just incredibly grateful for what he's meant in my life as a coach. He's everything you could ask for as a player."

The pair had more than a little success together in New England, reaching nine Super Bowls and winning six of them. 

"I loved my time and two incredible decades there," Brady told reporters. "My football journey took me to a different place. I certainly could never have accomplished the things in my career without his support and his teachings."

Brady, of course, is doing just fine without Belichick, reaching his 10th Super Bowl this season. He left a Patriots team largely devoid of offensive weapons for one that had Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Ronald Jones II and would go on to add Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown and Leonard Fournette. 

Mike Reiss @MikeReiss

Rob Gronkowski tells @AdamKilgoreWP that he hears from family and friends that New England fans are pulling for him and Tom Brady in Super Bowl LV. “It’s a sense of relief to hear. They’re unbelievable fans up there. It settles in a place in my heart...pretty special.” https://t.co/yt391qkIQp

Brady also went from a brilliant defensive mind in Belichick to a gifted offensive mind in Bruce Arians. The result? While the Pats went 7-9 this past year, missing the postseason, Brady is off to the Super Bowl.  

The debate over whether Brady or Belichick was more responsible for New England's unparalleled success this century raged when Brady signed in Tampa Bay. But as Brady told reporters, Belichick will always hold a special place in his journey.

"Incredible coach and mentor for me, had a lot of those in my career, but obviously he's at the top of the list."

Now he'll try to win his first title without him.