Tom Brady reflects on Bill Belichick’s impact during their time with Patriots

Patriots

“We’re all better players for having him as our coach.”

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick won six Super Bowls together in New England. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

It’s a new era in New England.

With Bill Belichick formally parting ways with the Patriots on Thursday, both architects of a two-decade dynasty no longer call Foxborough home.

And while there’s been plenty of discourse over the last few days regarding the tumultuous relationship between Belichick and his longtime quarterback, Tom Brady, during their final years together, Brady has focused on the positives since Belichick split from the Patriots. 

During the latest episode of his “Let’s Go!” podcast, Brady reflected on how Belichick managed to get the best out of his teams en route to six Super Bowl triumphs over 24 years in Foxborough. 

“We’re all better players for having him as our coach,” Brady said of Belichick. “I think there was a level of accountability and discipline that he had. Maybe we didn’t always want to hear it, but when we reflect and look back, we’re happy that we did hear it and went through it.”

Brady did acknowledge that Belichick’s stern demeanor and exacting nature wasn’t reserved for just rookies or newcomers in New England’s locker room.

And while that tough love doled out against a future Hall of Famer like Brady might have eventually led to the fracturing of the Patriots’ dynasty, Brady believes that Belichick’s approach always kept him accountable.

“I think a lot of coaches are fearful of disciplining players these days. … One thing about Coach Belichick is he never had that fear,” Brady said. “He was gonna tell you what he thought the truth was. Even though we all disagreed at times to what that truth really was, there was no fear in his mind of correcting.”

“I love Coach Belichick … I was a guy that flourished off of tough love,” former Patriots receiver Julian Edelman added on the podcast. “I needed that. So it was the perfect place for me.

“Yeah, he was tough. Yeah, you hated him. Yes, he was a [expletive] ass[expletive]. But he made you better. … You never felt [you were in] a game where you were out-prepared, never. That’s a product of Coach Belichick and Tom, having Tom at quarterback.”

While Belichick’s football acumen and knowledge of the game were often singled out as hallmarks of his coaching strengths, Brady added that the tone his former coach set through tireless prep work rubbed off of his players — both on and off the field.

“He had a way that he was there, everyone saw his work ethic,” Brady said. “We all knew that it came from a place, a very educated place too. 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. … Culture is discipline and accountability.

“Without that, you have so many people without different agendas. The main agenda should be, ‘How do we win as a team?’”

Brady opted to hang up his spikes last February, but Belichick isn’t looking to ride off into the sunset just yet. 

With just 15 wins separating Belichick from the all-time wins record in the NFL, the 71-year-old coach will patrol another sideline in 2024 and beyond. 

 “Whatever he does, I’m sure he’ll go at it 100% like he always does,” Brady said of Belichick. ” This year, he was going at it as hard as he could, like he always had.”