By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — A conference championship game with a trip to the Super Bowl hanging in the balance represents the biggest moment of many players’ careers.
For Tom Brady, it was a fun little Sunday.
That’s at least what the Patriots quarterback said to his counterpart, Blake Bortles, after narrowly escaping the late-January meeting in Foxboro with a win.
Bortles appeared on the podcast “Pardon My Take,” and he was asked about his postgame meeting with Brady in the middle of the field.
“I did, I shook his hand as hard as I could. I was trying to pop those stitches,” Bortles joked.
“First of all, I’m walking out there, right? And playing him, in that environment, in Foxboro, there’s so many cameras around, and I’m not used to doing that. There’s not a whole lot of cameras that go out to the quarterback meetings usually in the games I’m involved in. But that one there was a lot. He’s in the middle with the cameras all around him, and I’m like outside, standing behind all the cameramen and trying not to get trampled by ’em. So I’m trying to move people to get to him.
“And then I get in there, give him a nice firm handshake, looked him in the eye and said, ‘Good luck,'” Bortles continued. “And I think he said … I want to say he said, ‘That was fun.’ And I was just like man … what a statement. I’m glad I could entertain you a little bit.”
Bortles said he still feels as though the officiating was “interesting,” and he addressed the major offseason storyline that everyone in the NFL is talking about: Was he actually crying on the sideline?
“No! And I didn’t even know about it,” Bortles told PMT, saying that his mother sent him the picture with a nice message. “She sent that picture. Like, ‘You know I’m not crying in that picture?’ I’m not really sure what happened. Maybe I missed my mouth with the water bottle. But it definitely did look like tears.”
Bortles also shared what took place in his only interaction with Jaguars executive VP of football operations Tom Coughlin since the season ended. It was a perfectly Tom Coughlin moment.
“Our exit interview consisted of … he came into the locker room, we had a team meeting Monday morning [after losing the AFC Championship Game],” Bortles said of Coughlin. “I’m sitting in the locker room, kind of cleaning my stuff out and throwing some stuff away, and he walks by. And he said, ‘Hey that was a good first half you played the other day.’ I said, ‘Oh, thank you.’ He turned around and walked away. So that was my exit interview.”