FOXBORO, Mass. — Bill Belichick and Tom Brady comprise arguably the best head coach-quarterback tandem in NFL history. One hand seemingly washes the other.
Belichick heaped praise on Brady following the New England Patriots? 45-7 AFC Championship Game win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday at Gillette Stadium. The duo is heading to its sixth Super Bowl since the Patriots drafted Brady in the sixth round in 2000.
?All one guy can do is do his job, and Tom does his job as well as anybody,? Belichick said. ?I?m so thankful that he?s our quarterback. There?s nobody I?d rather have.
?He does everything well. He manages the running game, gets us out of some bad looks that the defense will occasionally show up in on a play. (He) executes well in critical situations like third down and the red area.?
Brady, appearing in his ninth AFC Championship Game, completed 23 of 35 passes against the Colts. He threw for three touchdowns, giving him an NFL record 49 career postseason TD tosses. Brady also moved past Peyton Manning and became the first player in league history to pass for more than 7,000 yards in his playoff career.
?Tom just does his job well, and that?s really all he can do,? Belichick said. ?With a lot of other people doing their jobs well, then you have a good team. We?re fortunate that we have that this year.?
Brady is a special player, no matter how you slice it. His leadership is undeniable, his preparation is impeccable and his success over the last 15 years is unprecedented. Amazingly enough, the 37-year-old hardly has regressed. In some respects, he?s playing as well as ever.
?Tom?s a good player. (He) works hard, is in good condition. He?s obviously very smart and experienced,? Belichick said. ?He doesn?t get fooled very often. He works as hard as any player we have. He comes in early, studies a lot of film, knows our game plan, knows what the defense is doing and spends a lot of time on the practice field and after practice working on his timing (and) execution.
?When a guy is as talented as he is and works as hard as he does, those results aren?t that surprising.?
Perhaps nothing the Patriots do under Belichick and Brady should surprise anyone anymore. They?ve won more conference championships than any other head coach-quarterback pair in NFL history, and their 20 playoff wins together are far more than the 14 racked up by the second-ranked Chuck Noll/Terry Bradshaw duo.
It?s difficult to describe just how important Belichick and Brady have been to the Patriots’ organization. But it’s become even more obvious in recent years that there’s a great appreciation within the New England locker room.
Belichick sure understands the significance of his future Hall of Fame signal-caller.
Thumbnail photo via Charles Krupa/The Associated Press