Tom Brady and Bill Belichick Met in Private for 20 Minutes After Bucs’ Win

Surprisingly, it was Belichick who sought out his longtime quarterback so that the two could connect

Bill Belichick and Tom Brady chat before a preseason game in 2017
Bill Belichick and Tom Brady chat, maybe not so amicably, before a preseason game in 2017.
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Following a public embrace at midfield in the aftermath of Tampa Bay’s 19-17 win against the Patriots at Gillette Stadium on Sunday night that was brief and appeared to be a bit frosty, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady met privately for 20 minutes in the Buccaneers‘ locker room.

Surprisingly, it was Belichick who sought out his longtime quarterback so that the two could connect without the world watching. Asked afterward about what was said in the bowels of the stadium, Brady was elusive.

“I mean, all those are personal,” Brady told reporters after the meeting. “We got a personal relationship, you know, for 20-plus years. He drafted me here. We’ve had a lot of personal conversations that should remain that way and are very private. And I would say so much is made of our relationship. You know, as I said earlier this week, from a player’s standpoint you just expect the coach to give you everything he’s got, and I’m sure as a player that’s what he was hoping from me. But nothing is really accurate that I ever see. It’s all kind of — definitely doesn’t come from my personal feelings or beliefs. I got a lot of respect for him as a coach and obviously a lot of respect for this organization and all the different people here that try to make it successful.”

Belichick also spoke about Brady following what was likely the last time the pair will ever square off in a game unless the Bucs and Pats meet in a Super Bowl or the 44-year-old quarterback lands on a different team.

“We went against Tom Brady every day in practice defensively, so it’s not like we’ve never seen Tom Brady before,” Belichick said. “They’re a good football team, he’s a great quarterback. I think that all goes without saying.”

Now that the most-hyped game of the NFL season is over, perhaps there will be some closure for Brady, Belichick and their respective supporters and fans. Brady, who completed 22-of-43 passes for 269 yards without a touchdown or interception in the win, and the Bucs are 3-1 and appear well on their way to making another run at a Super Bowl. Belichick and the Patriots now sit at 1-3 on the season, but might be in decent shape moving forward as it appears New England has a good quarterback in rookie Mac Jones, who completed 31-of-40 passes for 275 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

Expect the Brady-Belichick debate to begin anew when ESPN senior writer Seth Wickersham‘s It’s Better to Be Feared: The New England Patriots Dynasty and the Pursuit of Greatness comes out on October 12, but at least there should be a one-week respite from the topic.

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