PHOENIX — Bill Belichick gave Tom Brady tepid praise in the New England Patriots head coach’s final news conference before Super Bowl XLIX.
Belichick used phrases like “he can accurately throw the ball” and “his game is pretty strong across the board.” Belichick went all-in on Brady, however, after the Patriots quarterback beat the Seattle Seahawks 28-24, winning his fourth Super Bowl.
“Tom, a lot of things were said about him this morning. They’re all true,” Belichick said Monday morning. “He’s been a great player. It’s been a great privilege to coach Tom over the last 15 years, 14 years as the starting quarterback.
“We have a great relationship. We meet on a regular basis weekly, several times. I can’t think of a more deserving player than Tom to be the recipient of the accolades that he has over this week and particularly last night and today. He’s our leader. He competes as well as any player I’ve ever coached. He’s well-prepared, he’s got great poise, great presence. He might not always be perfect, but that’s true for any of us. We all have our moments.
“Tom, like many others on our team, is the guy that fights to the end, competes to the end. There’s no player that I respect more for that than Tom. He’s been a great pillar of strength for our football team over the last decade and a half, and I sincerely appreciate that, but I’d say the same about a lot of players on this team too. This is a hard-working team, this is a tough team, a competitive team, and they showed that last night.”
Brady completed 37 of 50 passes for 328 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. He went 13 of 15 for 124 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, dissecting the No. 1 pass defense in the NFL with short passes and the occasional well-placed deep attempt.
Brady tied Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana with four Super Bowl victories and three Super Bowl MVPs, and now the debate will rage on whether the Patriots legend is the greatest quarterback of all time.
There were murmurs throughout the season that Belichick could be looking to replace Brady with rookie quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo as soon as next season. It’s safe to put that idea to rest for at least one more year as the Patriots look to possibly build a new dynasty.
Thumbnail photo via David J. Phillip/Associated Press
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