Tom Brady retiring – for good, this time — seems to have thawed his sometimes icy relationship with former coach Bill Belichick.
The legendary Patriots head man was a guest on a star-studded episode of Brady’s “Let’s Go!” podcast on Monday, his first since announcing his second retirement last week after 23 seasons in the NFL. While a guest on the show, Belichick — whose professional marriage with Brady didn’t end on the best of terms after 20 seasons — paid the seven-time Super Bowl champion a tremendous compliment with his playing days finally over.
“The greatest player, the greatest career,” Belichick said. “A great, great person. It was such an opportunity and honor for me to coach Tom. I guess it’s got to end at some point. But it’s the greatest [career] ever so congratulations Tom.”
Brady and Belichick reached nine Super Bowls together, winning six and are considered the greatest coach-quarterback duo in NFL history. The relationship reportedly frayed during their final years together in New England, leading Brady to leave and win a Super Bowl in his first season with the Buccaneers. There was at least some belief Brady could have ended up back with Belichick in New England had he chose to keep playing, but ultimately called it quits.
“For me, there’s nobody I’d rather be associated with,” Brady said about their success together. “From my standpoint, I think it’s always a stupid conversation to say, ‘Brady vs. Belichick’ because, in my mind, that’s not what a partnership is about.”
Belichick, whose staff worked this year’s Senior Bowl, reminisced on the show about seeing Brady’s picture on the walls at the game in Mobile, Ala. and about watching him play there before the Patriots selected him in the sixth round (199th overall) of the 2000 NFL Draft. He called Brady the “ultimate winner” in a statement after Brady’s announced his retirement.
“That’s kind of where it all started,” Belichick said. “Michigan, the Orange Bowl, the East-West game.”
Where it all will end is certainly Canton for both of them.