That hasn’t taken the onus off the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick relationship, though, with all eyes still on the pairing moving forward.
Who’s more responsible for the Patriots’ legacy? Who’s in a better position moving forward? Who hates who, and why? Was their 20-minute private discussion at the end of Sunday night’s game just a catch-up session or something more?
Will Brady really consider retiring in New England on anything longer than a one-day contract? Will Brady really consider retiring … period?
Rational fans are still more interested in Mac Jones’ development and the clear strides he made in a rainy primetime showdown with the Ghost of Dynasties Past on Sunday night, but the national media will always prefer the Brady-Belichick narrative, especially with Seth Wickersham’s book due any day now.
For what it’s worth, all Brady did in the aftermath of that game was work as hard as possible to make it clear there was no great rift, and nothing had developed beyond the natural end of a two-decade working relationship.
He took to Instagram yet again following the final whistle, posting a simple, yet emotional message to his former coach.
Tom Brady sent an Instagram message to Bill Belichick and the Patriots.
No, the hug didn’t last that long … but again, that’s only what the public saw. Belichick sought Brady out following the game, and the two stayed together for far longer in private.
“Appreciate you, Coach” might not be anything earth-shattering, but there’s nothing sinister going on here.
Brady made that much obvious when he waxed poetic about just how much the fans in New England would be “seeing him” in the community once his retirement arrives, whenever that may be.
Let Brady’s dad go on and on about how angry his son was, and how much he wanted to “stick it to” his old coach last year. Once retirement arrives (in 2028?), Brady will be in the stands in Foxborough again, a Forever Patriot.
We’re looking forward to his Patriots Hall of Fame Induction and eventual ceremony in Canton.
Until then, every reunion will involve the heat of competition, and that was … very awkward on Sunday night.
Appreciating TB12’s contributions will feel good one day when we’re not also laser focused on beating him. Surely, Coach Belichick agrees.