Following the news on Tuesday that Tom Brady would retire after 22 years in the National Football League, the tributes poured in.
Former teammates, coaches, and members of the NFL Hall of Fame all shared their thoughts on Brady’s illustrious career, but one very important character in the career of Brady was missing — Bill Belichick.
The famously ornery coach of the New England Patriots had yet to share his thoughts on Brady’s retirement, which was especially interesting considering Brady did not mention the Patriots — his team for 20 years — in his lengthy Instagram post announcing the end of his playing days.
Belichick has finally weighed in, and did so with effusive praise.
“I am privileged to have drafted and coached Tom Brady, the ultimate competitor and winner,” Belichick said in a statement posted to the Patriots website on Wednesday. “Tom’s humble beginning in professional football ultimately ended with him becoming the best player in NFL history. Tom consistently performed at the highest level against competition that always made him the number one player to stop. His pursuit of excellence was inspirational. Tom was professional on and off the field, and carried himself with class, integrity, and kindness. I thank Tom for his relentless pursuit of excellence and positive impact on me and the New England Patriots for 20 years.”
Under Belichick, Brady and the Patriots built the greatest dynasty in the history of the NFL, winning six Super Bowls in nine appearances in the 20 years they worked together. While the marriage did end on a relatively sour note, neither side has had anything negative to say about each other in the two years since the divorce.
Brady officially announced his retirement on Tuesday, days after reports surfaced over the weekend that the three-time MVP would be taking off his shoulder pads for good.
“I have always believed the sport of football is an ‘all-in’ proposition – if a 100% competitive commitment isn’t there, you won’t succeed and success is what I love so much about our game,” Brady wrote in an Instagram post. “There is a physical, mental, and emotional challenge EVERY single day that has allowed me to maximize my highest potential. And I have tried my very best these past 22 years. There are no shortcuts to success on the field or in life.”
“This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore,” Brady continued. “I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention.”
Brady finishes his illustrious career with seven Super Bowl rings — the most by a player in NFL history — and as the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards, completions, and passing touchdowns. Those close to Brady have believed that his 22nd season would be his last following the Bucs loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Divisional Playoffs.
At 44-years-old, Brady led Tampa Bay to a 13-4 regular season, and led the league in passing yards (5,316) and passing touchdowns (43), though the Bucs were upset in the divisional playoffs by the Rams.
Brady was drafted by the New England Patriots with the 199th pick of the 2000 NFL Draft, and took over as the starting quarterback during the 2001 season after an injury to Drew Bledsoe. He would go on to lead New England to the organization’s first championship, and win five more Super Bowls with the Patriots in his 20 seasons under head coach Bill Belichick.
He left New England following the 2019 season, and won his seventh Super Bowl in his first season in Tampa Bay.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to email@example.com.
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