Much has been made about the relationship -- or lack thereof -- between Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. But less than a week following Brady's retirement, his former coach showered him with praise in what was an emotional exchange between the greatest coach-quarterback combo in league history.
"The greatest player. The greatest career. A great, great person," Belichick said on Brady's first "Let's Go!" podcast since his retirement, via SiriusXM. "I guess it has to end at some point."
Belichick said he "learned so much" from Brady during their 20 years working together. The six-time Super Bowl-winning head coach said Brady offered him the unique experience of getting the see the game from the quarterback's vantage point.
"I learned so much from Tom because, as you know, I never played quarterback and I never saw the game through the quarterback's eyes," Belichick said. "I saw it through a coach's eyes. And Tom would tell me what he saw and how he saw it.
"It was incredible how during the game, he'd come off and I'd say, 'What happened on that play?' And he'd go through eight things that happened: tackle flash in front of me; this guy slipped; I saw the linebacker drop wide; safety was a little deeper than I thought he would be; and then this guy stepped in front and I kind of put it a little bit behind him because I saw this other guy closing. And then you'd go back and look at the film, and every one of those things happened in the exact sequence that he explained it to you on the field. I'm like, 'This guy sees everything.'"
Belichick and Brady have publicly complimented each other before. In 2019, the two shared the screen during an episode unveiling the NFL 100 All-Time Team.
"He was clearly a leader on the field." - Bill Belichick— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) December 28, 2019
From day one, @TomBrady showed promise. After 20 seasons he's named to the #NFL100 All-Time Team 🐐
📺: NFL 100 All-Time Team on NFL Network pic.twitter.com/Fi7AhT6mD2
Their most recent interview, however, was different in that Brady gave in to his emotions. Brady choked up when he was asked what Belichick did to help him become the best version of himself.
"I think it's more what did he not do," Brady said while fighting back tears.
While Belichick has already reiterated his plans to coach next season, Brady will continue to transition into his new life. Part of that new life will be his future induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which will undoubtedly be in summer of 2028. Rest assured that many of Brady's old teammates and competitors (including Peyton Manning, who was also a guest on his latest podcast) will be in attendance to celebrate his illustrious career.
And rest assured that Brady's old coach will be there to celebrate, too.