Since Tom Brady announced his plans to leave the New England Patriots in free agency Tuesday morning, the team he spent 20 years with published statements from owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick.
Now, the man closest to Brady on the Patriots’ staff has reflected on his time with the 42-year-old quarterback.
“I have so much gratitude for Tom Brady,” offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels said Tuesday, per the Patriots.
“He has made me a better coach and more importantly a better person. He has always been genuinely kind and caring to me and my family. Yet, at the same time, I have never met anyone as demanding and relentless in his pursuit of improvement, perfection and championships. His work ethic and drive propelled our offense and our team to perform at the very highest level throughout his career. He represented all of us with class and integrity. We will miss his passion and intensity, his character and wisdom, and his preparation and diligence. I will miss all the meetings, FaceTimes, emails and texts in our pursuit of a good play. He always performed his best in the most critical times under the most significant pressure. I have never coached a tougher player in my career.”
McDaniels’ relationship with Brady likely was a huge reason why the offensive coordinator backed out of a head coaching job with the Indianapolis Colts after the 2018 season to stay with New England.
“Although I feel a great sadness knowing that he is leaving the Patriots, I am grateful for the years we were together and beyond blessed to call him my friend,” McDaniels said. “He has made an indelible impact on my life and career and I will forever be in his debt.
“He defined what it means to be a ‘Patriot.’ He is the best quarterback to every play in the NFL. I wish him nothing but great happiness and success in all that he does. There will never be another Tom Brady.”
McDaniels joined the team in 2001 as a personnel assistant, climbing the ladder to the team’s offensive coordinator in 2005. After leaving to try his hand as a head coach in 2009 for the Denver Broncos and then the offensive coordinator for the Rams, he returned to call the offense in New England in 2012.
Without Brady next year, McDaniels’ offense as he knew it, is changed forever.