Brady, Belichick Met Privately After Bucs-Patriots Game
By Jason Hall
October 4, 2021
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick's quick embrace with longtime former Patriots and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady after Sunday's (October 3) game did little to silence questions regarding a possible falling out in their 20-plus-year relationship.
However, the two apparently shared a private moment away from cameras after the on-field postgame hug that followed the Buccaneers' 19-17 win in New England.
The Athletic's Jeff Howe reports Belichick "was in the Bucs locker room for 23 minutes" and "walked out with Brady" after the game, adding that the two "planned to meet up after the game, so they coordinated this meeting beforehand."
Brady also confirmed the meeting during his postgame press conference, though opted to keep details of his conversation with his former coach private.
Belichick and Brady planned to meet up after the game, so they coordinated this meeting beforehand.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) October 4, 2021
"We've had a lot of personal conversations that should remain that way," Brady said via ESPN's Mike Reiss. "They’re very private. I would say, so much is made of our relationship. … Nothing is really accurate that I ever see."
Tom Brady on the post-game chat with Bill Belichick: "We've had a lot of personal conversations that should remain that way. They’re very private. I would say, so much is made of our relationship. … Nothing is really accurate that I ever see."— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) October 4, 2021
Belichick's brief on-field hug with Brady was caught during NBC Sports' postgame coverage of the quarterback's his first and only game against his former team.
While several other Patriots coaches and players with past ties to Brady were also captured giving the seven-time Super Bowl champion much more emotional embraces after the game, Belichick's was brief and seemed rushed.
CBS Minnesota sports anchor Norman Seawright III tweeted that the hug was, "giving 'ran into my ex in public and completely overthought the situation'" vibes.
During Belichick's October 1 Zoom call with reporters, the six-time Super Bowl champion was asked if he believed he would've had the same success without Brady in New England, which he answered with an emphatic, "no."
“Of course not,” Belichick said via CBS Boston. “We talked about that for two decades. I think I have been on the record dozens of times saying there is no quarterback I’d rather have than Tom Brady. I still feel that way.
“I was very lucky to have Tom as quarterback and to coach him,” Belichick added. “He was as good as any coach could ever ask for.”
Brady finished Sunday's game with 269 yards on 22 of 43 passing, which included setting the NFL all-time passing record and leading a 19-17 comeback victory over his former team of 20 years, the New England Patriots.
Trailing 17-16 with 4:34 remaining in the fourth quarter, Brady led a successful drive that was capped off by a 48-yard field goal by Ryan Succop with 1:57 remaining.
Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones finished Sunday's game with 275 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, leading New England into field goal range before kicker Nick Folk missed on a would-be 56-yard attempt in the rain.
Brady entered Sunday's game just 67 yards shy of Drew Brees' previous NFL record 80,358 passing yards.
Last week, the 44-year-old joined Brees as the only other quarterback in NFL history to throw for more than 80,000 yards, finishing the Bucs' 34-27 Week 3 loss to the Los Angeles Rams with 432 yards and a touchdown on 41 of 55 passing, putting his career mark at 80,291 passing yards.
Brady has now defeated all 32 NFL teams following Sunday's win.