Among the many players who have expressed their admiration and appreciation for Bill Belichick and his influence on them during their NFL careers, we hadn't heard much from some of the more prominent names from the Patriots dynasty. A few made social media posts to send out their thankfulness, but most of them weren't in too much detail.
Tom Brady was one of the players most wanted to hear from since their relationship has been speculated about since the quarterback was still on the team.
Although he did post on his Instagram the day the announcement of Belichick's departure was made, he took time on his "Let's Go!" podcast this week to go into more detail about how much the coach meant to him and his career.
Brady emphasized how different Belichick was as a coach compared to others, stressing his fearlessness in critiquing players if he felt it was right and would help them. Several players have mentioned that when discussing how things were done in New England, with a few sharing their shock when Brady was called out in team meetings for what Belichick believed was a bad performance.
But the quarterback believed it was for the best, even if they didn't always agree on everything.
“I think we're all better players for having him as our coach. And I think there was a level of accountability and discipline that he had that maybe, we didn't always want to hear it, but in the end when we reflect back, we're happy that we did hear it and that we went through it."
"I think a lot of coaches are fearful of disciplining players these days because players have social media presence and if they don't like it or hurt their feelings, you know, they can lash back out and then it becomes a popularity contest between the players and the coaches.
"But I'd say one thing that was great about Coach Belichick: he never had that fear. You know, he was gonna tell you what he thought the truth was, even though we may have, you know, all disagreed a little bit at times to what that truth really was."
Tom Brady's honesty is what stands out most about his comments on Bill Belichick
It's fascinating to hear this from Brady, who has mostly been painted as holding a grudge toward Belichick since rumors have suggested he wanted to trade the quarterback as early as 2017. Despite his efforts to play down the gossip, it remains a talking point even now, which has become more popular in the last week since Belichick and the Patriots parted ways.
The best part about his comments is his honesty, which isn't necessarily new. However, many have tried to avoid criticizing Belichick much unless they have made their negative feelings toward him public (a.k.a. Danny Amendola).
Brady continued with his thoughts by citing Belichick's work ethic as something he respected most, saying he knew the coach was one of the most knowledgeable people to critique his game, so he took what he had to say seriously.
"I respected his work ethic so much because I knew he was combing through every single bit of film, every single week to try to put us in a position to succeed. So when someone critiques you, ‘OK, I'll embrace that.’ Now, if you're not putting the work in and you're critiquing me, ehh. I may not listen to it. But I think we all respected the work ethic therefore we took the coaching."
Regarding what Belichick's plans are post-Patriots, Brady says he's sure he will be at his best, and despite concerns regarding his dedication to the job, he's sure he will be going about it as hard as he is known to do.
"…I obviously express my gratitude toward him a lot, as I should. And whatever he chooses to do, I'm sure he'll go at it 100%. Like he always has. I'm sure this year, you know, he was going at it as hard as he could, as he always has.”