Tom Brady’s second retirement from the NFL on Wednesday brought about decidedly less fanfare from around the league as a number of key figures in the quarterback’s accomplished career already delivered heartfelt messages after his announcement last year. However, Bill Belichick–the Patriots coach who won six Super Bowls alongside Brady in New England–delivered an emotional congratulations to his longtime partner on Monday.
Appearing on Brady’s Let’s Go! podcast with Jim Gray, Belichick had a brief, yet touching note for the 45-year-old.
“The greatest player. The greatest career,” Belichick said, per Ari Meirov. “The great, great person. It was such an opportunity and an honor for me to coach Tom. I guess it’s got to end at some point. It’s the greatest one ever. Congratulations, Tom.”
An emotional Brady said he appreciated Belichick’s heartfelt comments before reflecting on the duo’s time together in the NFL.
“For me, there’s nobody I’d rather be associated with. 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,” Brady explained, via Ryan Hannable. “In my view, people were always trying to pull us apart. I don’t think we ever felt like that with each other. We never were trying to pull each other apart. We actually were always trying to go in the same direction.
“[Bill and I] didn’t always agree, but we respected each other. I know he respected me for the job I did, and I certainly did the same. When you go away from each other you respect each other that much more. I certainly did.”
Brady and Belichick’s legacies in football will be forever intertwined as they formed one of the most formidable dynasties ever seen in the NFL. With the quarterback now riding off into the sunset widely recognized as the greatest player in league history, the Patriots coach will look to add to his remarkable résumé before he too decides to walk away from football for good.