Fans don’t need to choose me or Bill Belichick

Tom Brady’s return to New England ended with a narrow victory over Bill Belichick and the Patriots, but the Buccaneers QB still doesn’t think fans should have to choose between him or his former head coach going forward.

“Why should they? Why do we do that?” Brady said on his weekly “Let’s Go!” podcast with Jim Gray. “That makes no sense to me.” 

The storylines leading up to Sunday’s game, a 19-17 victory by the Buccaneers, reflected the reported division between Brady, Belichick and the Patriots before and after his departure in free agency. Reports surfaced that Belichick decided to hold Brady’s departure meeting over the phone instead of in-person, though Brady told Peter King on Sunday night that it was due to a combination of Belichick being out of town and COVID-19 restricting travel. 

Gray had asked Brady on the podcast if he thought that fans needed this game, the 60-minute reunion — and weeks-long build-up — between the coach and his former star at Gillette Stadium where, together, they led the Patriots on a run of six Super Bowls. After the game, Belichick and Brady shared a quick embrace on the field, but Belichick then walked into the Buccaneers locker room and met with Brady for more than 20 minutes in a “quiet area,” something that Belichick reportedly reached out about before the game.

Brady and Belichick during their final year together in New England
Getty Images

Brady said that it’s “not my personality” to add to the division, and that “I try to encourage people to be positive, to look at the glass as always half full.”

“For 20 years, I saw him basically every day and since I left New England we’d never seen each kinda face-to-face,” Brady told Gray. “It was nice to catch up and exchange just some different thoughts that we had been having. It was a good way to end the night for both of us.”

The Buccaneers rebounded from their first loss of the 2021 season against New England, and Brady completed 22-of-43 passes for 269 yards — no touchdowns or interceptions. They secured the win when Nick Folk’s field-goal attempt bounced off the upright with less than a minute remaining.

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