FOXBORO, Mass. — Tom Brady and Bill Belichick (very) briefly hugged at midfield after Sunday night’s game between the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
However, shortly afterward, the two met for much longer.
Before Brady took the podium for his postgame interview, multiple media members covering Sunday’s game at Gillette Stadium reported that Belichick had entered the Bucs locker room after speaking with assembled media. ESPN’s Jeff Darlington added that Brady and Belichick were meeting inside a “private” area within the visitors’ locker room.
Brady eventually confirmed the meeting took place.
“Yeah, I mean, all of those (interactions) are personal,” Brady said after his Bucs closed out a 19-17 victory over the Patriots. “We had a personal relationship for 20-plus years. He drafted me here, and have had a lot of personal conversations that should remain that way and they’re very private.
“I would say so much is made of our relationship. And, as I said earlier this week, from a player standpoint, you just expect the coach to give you everything he’s got. And I’m sure as a player, that’s what he was hoping from me.”
Brady then referenced the incessant reporting on his and Belichick’s relationship.
“Nothing’s really accurate that I ever see,” he said. “… It definitely doesn’t come from my personal feelings or beliefs. I got a lot of respect for him as a coach and obviously a lot of respect for this organization and all the different people here that try to make it successful.”
The 44-year-old also noted that, during their midfield embrace, Belichick told Brady they’d “catch up” in a little bit. So, Belichick’s arrival in Tampa’s locker apparently didn’t take Brady by surprise.
Brady and the Bucs will host the Miami Dolphins next weekend, while Belichick and the Patriots will visit the Houston Texans.