Menu - The Hub For New England Patriots Fans

New England Patriots > Patriots Blog

Brady vs Belichick? QB’s Podcast Reveals It Truly Was a Partnership

Ian Logue
Ian Logue on Twitter
2 months ago at 9:51 am ET
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary

Brady vs Belichick?  QB’s Podcast Reveals It Truly Was a PartnershipWinslow Townson - USA TODAY Sports

Ever since Tom Brady and Bill Belichick parted ways following the 2019 season, there’s been plenty of discussion about who was truly more valuable to who, especially after the former Patriots quarterback went on to win a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020.

However, three years later, the dust has settled and Brady is finally done with the game, having recently retired.  With the Patriots enduring two losing seasons since Brady’s departure, something that didn’t happen during his entire tenure here (New England won fewer than 10 games just once [2002] during Brady’s time as QB), there have been plenty of discussions about who was more important to that incredible run of success.

Following a recent “Let’s Go” Podcast where Bill Belichick appeared, the two talked about their time together and how valuable each guy was to the other.

For Brady, one of the biggest things he learned was all the little things about the game that Belichick pointed out, along with the example Belichick set as a head coach.  The quarterback also said that Belichick taught him about picking up on certain things about a defense on film, and a lot of what he described as the little “nuances” that made him a better player.

“He started to begin to teach me really what football was all about,” said Brady.  “How to study defenses when I started to play, certainly.  We’d have weekly meetings, sometimes once, sometimes twice, and I couldn’t imagine a better teacher to say, ‘Hey, this is how you’re going to play quarterback in the NFL.’  And this is … the nuances of the game.  And not only that, but I just – from his leadership, which is really one of his great, great, qualities, he showed up every day with a purpose.  There was, when he always joked ‘no days off’, he meant it.”

“There was his ability to sustain even what he’s still doing, 23 years with the Patriots, beyond that, so many years in the NFL.  But he’s in there working in the office right now.  He’s not out there golfing.  I’m sure he has his moments for those things, but they’re a lot fewer than what he could be doing.  You look at his stature and who he is, and what his level of performance has been over a long period of time, he could be retired years ago.  The reality is, he loves the sport, he loves teaching, he loves coaching, he loves competing, and nobody’s done it better than him.  And I think what a blessing for me.  There’s no way I have the success that I’ve had personally without him, and I’m very grateful for that.”

For Belichick, what really stood out to him after selecting the former Michigan quarterback in 2000 was how he dealt with a difficult situation during his college career.  Despite a lot of his success, the team still recruited and brought in fellow quarterback Drew Henson, who ended up seeing time on the field.  While Henson was a bigger and stronger athlete, he didn’t enjoy the same success and Brady ultimately came in on several occasions and brought the team back before retaking the starting role.

Belichick said how Brady handled that stood out, and after seeing him quietly establish himself among the rookies, he felt like there was something special there.

“I think it kind of started his senior year when Tom would start every game and Michigan do pretty good, and then [Drew] Henson would come in and things usually didn’t go so good,” said Belichick.  “And then they’d bring Tom back at the end and they won most of their games. And then he had a great Orange Bowl game against Alabama. Just based on the opportunity that he had and the way he played well in big games at big moments and kind of, you could see the upswing, the potential, that he had, that’s kind of where he started.”

“And then, his rookie year, you know, Tom didn’t play much, three snaps or whatever it was, but he took leadership over that rookie class and we had like 22 rookies and first-year players that year and he would keep them out after practice. They’d run plays, he knew what everybody was supposed to do. So if somebody made a mistake on the play – it wasn’t run by the coaches, it was run by Tom – and you could see the leadership that he captured with the team just in those sessions among his peers, which at that time were rookies and first-year players.”

Greg M. Cooper – USA TODAY Sports

Belichick then went on to explain how after the 2000 season, he brought in Damon Huard to potentially be the backup quarterback, yet Brady never waivered.  He also pointed out that after Drew Bledsoe went down with an injury in 2001, the toughest decision he made came following the team’s regular season loss to the Rams when he ultimately decided to make Brady the starter for the rest of the season.

“After the first season, I brought in Damon Huard because I felt like I wanted to have an experienced backup quarterback and Tom beat him out in preseason,” said Belichick.  “So Tom was the backup quarterback.  And then when Drew got hurt, then it was really pretty much history until the St. Louis game, the Rams game, and that was the game where prior to that week, I split reps between Tom and Drew, but Tom played the whole game and I just felt like after the game, that I just couldn’t do that.  I had to give the starting quarterback the majority of the reps, and that it would just be hard to play well with only getting half the snaps.  So at that point, I made Tom the starting quarterback.  That’s the smartest decision I ever made, maybe other than drafting him.”

One of the most interesting bits Belichick talked about was how well Brady saw the game, and how it changed the way he coached.  He explained that working with Brady allowed him to see things in a different perspective through the eyes of a quarterback, which was eye-opening for him.

“Tom talks about how much I taught him in those meetings but I learned so much from Tom because I never played quarterback, and I never saw the game through the quarterback’s eyes,” said Belichick.  “I saw it through a coach’s eyes. And when Tom would tell me what he saw and how he saw it, it was incredible. 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 flashed in front of me, this guy slipped, I saw the linebacker drop wide, safety was a little deeper than I thought he’d be, and then this guy stepped in front, I kind of put it a little bit behind him because I saw this other guy closing.’”

“And then you 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 coming off. I’m like, ‘this guy sees everything. He sees the rush, he sees the coverage, he sees the routes, he sees the depths, and he sees a lot of things presnap. And when we had the meetings that Tom referred to, we would go over fundamentals, we’d go over game plans, we’d go over situational football, watch other teams play through situations, and I remember so many situations that came up in games where Tom would refer back to, ‘Yeah, that’s what we talked about a few weeks ago when we watched the Detroit/Atlanta game’ or ‘Yeah, remember when they ran this play in this situation two years ago?’ I mean, the memory and the capacity that Tom had to remember play situations and finer points like hard counts and getting out-of-bounds plays and things like that from years before in the exact same situation and timeframe was remarkable.”

“You know, we all have decent memories, but to be able to process it that quickly in a matter of literally seconds and split seconds on the field or during a timeout or going back on the field with however much time is left … ‘Yeah, this is what we talked about. This is that situation we had in training camp. We had 0:39 and the ball was at midfield.’ … So those are the things that I learned from Tom as a quarterback was how to see the game as a quarterback instead of as a coach. Tom would say, ‘You know, I can’t see that, I’m not really looking at that.’ Like, O.K., well I’m going to stop coaching that then. Because if you can’t see it, nobody else is going to see it, so let’s see how you see the game and let me learn from you. And Tom was great about that. We had a really good relationship, especially in the film room and talking football and all that, that I’ll always treasure, and I learned so much from. Because nobody sees the game better than Tom Brady sees it or saw it and I was so lucky to learn from him and his vision, no other coach will get that experience because it was, I mean, it was incredible.”

Brady went on to say later that despite all the talk and the whispers, their relationship wasn’t always perfect, but that he appreciates the mutual respect the two always had for each other, which he believes helped him become the player he ultimately turned out to be

“I think for me, there’s nobody I’d rather be associated with. And I think that, from my standpoint, I think it’s always such a stupid conversation to say, you know, ‘Brady vs Belichick’ because in my mind, that’s not what partnerships are about,” said Brady.  “Coach couldn’t play quarterback and I couldn’t coach. And I think the best part about football is, and coach says it a lot, ‘Do your job,’ and he asked me to play quarterback, he didn’t ask me to coach. You know, I didn’t want him playing quarterback, I just wanted him to coach. I had seen him throw, so he definitely wasn’t playing quarterback.”

“I think it’s such a stupid, in my view, it was just people always trying to pull us apart and I don’t think we ever even felt that with each other. We never were trying to pull each other apart. We actually were always trying to go in the same direction. And I think when we were in New England for 20-years together, they get tired of writing the same story. Once they write all the nice things and championships and this, and then they just start going, ‘Well this works, let’s try starting to divide them.’ And I think I never really appreciated those ways that people would try to do that.”

“He and I always had a great relationship and we met all the time. Did we always see everything exactly the same way? Who does in life? What close relationship can you have where everything goes like a bright sunny day? No, there are moments that … you know, it was never intolerable. I mean, but it was always just, I would say, healthy debates about certain things, and we always talked about them face to face and I think there’s one thing I appreciate about coach Belichick in life is he’s not afraid to have a hard conversation too.”

“And we didn’t always agree, but we always respected each other. I know he respected me for the job that I did, and I certainly did the same. And I think even when you go away from each other, you respect each other probably that much more, I certainly did. Because I realize the commitment that he was trying to make to get our team to win. And that’s the purpose of sports is to try to go compete and win. And when you have someone that believes in winning as much as you do, you want to be a part of that. And when people try to get in the way of that, they become the enemy. So I always think the people that tried to drive us apart actually brought us closer together.”

Posted Under: Patriots Commentary
Tags: Bill Belichick Tom Brady

  • Subscribe For Patriots Content Delivered by 6:30am Each Day

  • guest

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments

  • More News Headlines:

    An Open Competition?  Belichick’s Comments Extend Beyond QB

    An Open Competition? Belichick’s Comments Extend Beyond QB

    By: Ian Logue
    Bill Belichick made a variety of comments during his annual press conference at the NFL Coaches Breakfast, which took place on Monday in Arizona.  However,…
    5 days ago
    Bill Belichick’s Press Conference Transcript From 3/27 NFL Coaches Breakfast

    Bill Belichick’s Press Conference Transcript From 3/27 NFL Coaches Breakfast

    By: Ian Logue
    Here's what New England Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick, had to say during his press conference on March 27, 2023
    5 days ago
    MORSE: Patriots Team Priorities as We Head into the Draft; Stanley Morgan for Hall of Fame

    MORSE: Patriots Team Priorities as We Head into the Draft; Stanley Morgan for Hall of Fame

    By: Mark Morse
    The Patriots have finished the 1st phase of Free Agency and have improved their roster significantly.  It is time to re-assess the teams’ priorities as…
    5 days ago
    Patriots News 03-26, Two Greats From The 2nd Dynasty Retire

    Patriots News 03-26, Two Greats From The 2nd Dynasty Retire

    By: Steve Balestrieri
    Very few players were capable of as much as Dont'a, who could win from multiple positions with power, athleticism, and his mind.
    7 days ago
    VIDEO: S**t Pats Fans Say – The 2023 Offseason

    VIDEO: S**t Pats Fans Say – The 2023 Offseason

    By: Robert Alvarez
    Patriots fans Fitzy and Kipp share their thoughts on their team's offseason so far in an all-new "S**t Pats Fans Say".
    1 week ago

  • Share via
    Copy link
    Powered by Social Snap
    Search For Links: - CLOSE
    For searches with multiple players
    add commas (Ex: "Bill Belichick, Devin McCourty")