After the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the New England Patriots, and Tom Brady had retreated from the field at Gillette Stadium following the game, his longtime head coach Bill Belichick walked into the Buccaneers locker room and stayed there to talk with the quarterback for over 20 minutes.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, Brady and Belichick went to a “quiet area” for their discussion. ESPN reported that Belichick had coordinated the meeting with Brady by reaching out before Sunday night’s game. The pair made headlines earlier in the week over Belichick’s reported decision to hold Brady’s departure meeting through a phone call because he wasn’t available for an in-person meeting, but Brady told NBC Sports’ Peter King postgame that “we didn’t have a chance … to meet” because Belichick was out of town and then when Brady arrived in Tampa “it was COVID.”
Brady also said via NBC Sports that he “loved my relationship here, loved my relationship with [Belichick].” The pair had shared a quick embrace postgame on the field — just like Brady did with other former New England teammates and coaches, like longtime offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels — when the two teams converged minutes after Nick Folk’s field-goal attempt hit the upright and sealed Tampa Bay’s 19-17 win. Brady said postgame that “we just said we’ll catch up for a little bit.”
“I mean, all those are personal,” Brady said in his press conference. “We’ve had a personal relationship 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.”
Against his former team, Brady completed 22-of-43 passes for 269 yards without a touchdown or interception, using a late field goal by Ryan Succop to regain the lead with less than two minutes left. New England quarterback Mac Jones — who completed 31-of-40 passes for 275 yards, two touchdowns, one interception and 19 consecutive completions at one point — then led the Patriots into field-goal range, but Folk’s 56-yard attempt hit the left upright.
“We went against Tom Brady everyday in practice defensively, so it’s not like we’ve never seen Tom Brady before,” Belichick said postgame. “… They’re a good football team, he’s a great quarterback, I think that all goes without saying.”