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Tom Brady opens up about locker room meeting with Belichick

/ by Darren Hartwell
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Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have reached some form of closure, it appears.

The Buccaneers quarterback and Patriots head coach shared a very brief embrace at midfield Sunday night after Brady led Tampa Bay to a 19-17 win over New England at the stadium he called home for 20 years.

But what cameras didn't capture was Belichick entering the visitors' locker room later that night to have a private conversation with Brady that lasted at least 15 minutes, according to those at Gillette Stadium.

Patriots Talk Podcast: The Aftermath: The night Tom Brady officially became an ex-Patriot | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

So, what did the two talk about? Brady's much-ballyhooed departure from the Patriots in 2020 free agency, perhaps?

While Brady didn't get into specifics, he insisted the two had a positive discussion.

"It was a nice conversation," Brady said on SiriusXM's "Let's Go! with Tom Brady and Jim Gray" podcast. "It's not like we'd been -- I've been really focused on what I need to do for the Bucs and he's focused on his role for the Patriots.

"So, for 20 years I saw him basically every day. And since I left New England, I just, we'd never seen each other kind of face to face. And it was nice to catch up and exchange just some different thoughts that we had been having. And it was a good way to end the night for both of us."

 

When Brady initially left the Patriots, much was made at the time of Belichick not meeting his longtime quarterback in person for a final conversation, especially after Brady met face-to-face with team owner Robert Kraft.

But Brady told NBC Sports' Peter King that him and Belichick not linking up was more a matter of logistics.

"When I left here, we just didn’t have a chance—he was out of town—to meet," Brady told King. "When I went down to Tampa it was Covid. I was thinking about my season and so was he. It was just, we’ve known each other for a long time, and we didn’t have a chance to talk, and (Sunday night) we did, and it was great."

Curran: Sunday night was a necessary step for all parties involved

Brady and Belichick may not have separated on the best terms, and there's been plenty of reporting about the tensions between the two during Brady's final years with New England. The QB and head coach had a highly productive relationship for the majority of their time together, though -- as six Super Bowl titles and nine AFC titles can attest -- and Brady was quick to acknowledge Belichick's role in his individual success.

"He's been a great mentor for me," Brady told Gray. "(When) I showed up in Foxboro, I didn't know anything about pro football. I showed up as a kid from California, went to Michigan and he was an incredible mentor for me, incredible coach for our team. And a lot of guys would say that.

"When you're with someone for 20 years you know him pretty well. And he's still doing a great job and I'm trying to do a great job and we're very competitive people. And I appreciate everything he's done for me as a coach, as I've said numerous times. And I know he feels that same way about me."

It sounds like Brady and Belichick have moved past whatever transpired in New England, with Sunday night helping to provide that closure. If the two ever meet in the Super Bowl as a opponents, though, don't expect either to play nice.