Tom Brady was willing to let loose on a wide-ranging number of topics during his two-hour conversation with Howard Stern on Wednesday morning. He didn’t spill any beans on head coach Bill Belichick, however.

If anything, Brady was defensive when Belichick came up, sticking up for his former head coach.

“I think he has a lot of loyalty,” Brady said Wednesday morning. “I think he and I have had a lot of conversations that nobody’s ever been privy to and nor should they be. So many wrong assumptions were made about our relationship or how he felt about me. I know genuinely how he feels about me. Now, I’m not going to respond to every rumor or assumption that’s made other than what his responsibility is as Coach is to try to get the best player for the team not only in the short term but in the long term, as well. What I could control was trying to be the best I could be in both of those situations also.

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“I got into unchartered territory as an athlete because I started to break the mold of what so many other athletes had experienced. So, I got to a point where I was an older athlete, and he started to plan for the future which is what his responsibility is. And I don’t fault him for that. That’s what he should be doing. That’s what every coach should be doing. Not that I would ever coach, but if I’m ever in a position of authority, I would understand that too. I recognize that. We’ve talked about it.”

Stern really tried to dig up some dirt on Belichick and asked Brady if he had any resentment toward the head coach.

“No,” Brady said. “Absolutely not. No, because this is a part for me, in my life, to experience something very different. There are ways for me to grow and evolve in a different way that I haven’t had the opportunity to do — that aren’t right or wrong, but just right for me.”

A popular sentiment Wednesday morning was that we’ll just have to wait for Brady to really open up on his relationship with Belichick. Maybe he just did. Maybe the issues really were relatively overblown. Maybe it was a mutual decision for Brady to leave and Belichick to move on from his longtime QB. If it wasn’t mutual, then one side probably would have caved at some point. — Belichick would have given Brady a competitive offer or Brady would have accepted another below-market one-year deal.

Not everything is black and white nor a scripted drama. This was the most honest version of Brady we’ve heard in years, if not ever. And when the subject of Belichick came up, Brady fought back. He could have pleaded the fifth or gave a non-answer. Instead, he stuck up for Belichick and agreed with the Patriots’ decision to not only draft a quarterback in 2014 but get younger at the position in general.

Brady’s comments on Belichick won’t drive any ratings on sports talk radio, but they seemed genuine. Brady acknowledged he cried when he told Belichick and Patriots owner Robert Kraft that he was leaving the Patriots.

Brady and Belichick surely had some issues in 20 years. But when it came down to it, Brady defended his head coach. And that was telling.

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