By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — On Wednesday, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick dismissed a claim from the forthcoming Seth Wickersham book that suggested he intentionally didn’t make time to meet with Tom Brady when the quarterback decided to leave the Patriots.READ MORE: Boston To Remove Tents At 'Mass And Cass' Homeless Encampments; Public Health Crisis Declared
On Thursday, it was Brady’s turn.
The 44-year-old quarterback delivered his weekly press conference to the Tampa media, and he was asked about the detail in the book which said that Belichick did not want to meet with Brady on the night that the quarterback informed Robert Kraft that he was going to leave in free agency.
“All those things are super personal,” Brady answered. “We had a great relationship. I think everything was handled the right way. We handled everything as gracefully as we could. It was an amazing time and it was handled perfectly I think everyone understood where we were at, the people involved in the situation. And things worked out for the best for all of us and we’re all trying to do the best we can do now. It’s what happens in life. You go through these experiences, you don’t know where life’s gonna lead. And I think the only thing I know how to do is give it all I can, in every day, moment.”
Last year, Brady did describe the night in question when he was interviewed by Howard Stern. Brady told Stern that he had spent so much time at Kraft’s house, that he didn’t have time to visit Belichick. So, Brady simply told Belichick over the phone that he was moving on from New England.
“I wanted to tell him right away in the moment,” Brady told Stern in April 2020 regarding Belichick. “I would say I’m a very emotional [person] … because I have a deep caring for the people that I’ve worked with. And I wish nothing but the best for him.”READ MORE: Plane Headed To ALCS Game In Boston Crashes In Texas, No Serious Injuries Reported
As for Thursday’s press conference, Brady was full of warm words about his former boss, but he also transitioned those discussions into how happy he is in his current situation.
“The people who really bet on me, I want to do really well for them,” Brady said. “And Jason [Licht] and Bruce [Arians], I think them coming into my life and saying, ‘Hey we really want you to to be here,’ it’s been an amazing thing for me. So I’m just excited to go up there and try to beat a really great football team. That’s ultimately what this week’s about. It’s not about the quarterback, it’s not about the fans or the home crowd or relationships of 20 years. It’s about two good football teams going at it, and we’ve gotta do a great job.”
Brady was also asked about what he appreciates about his time with Belichick. And while Brady offered many compliments, he likewise steered the conversation back to him being happy in Tampa.
“I mean, he’s a great coach — obviously a great coach,” Brady said of Belichick. “And he has everyone prepared, does a great job of that. And honestly I said before, he taught me a lot, was a great mentor for me for a long time. And I really enjoyed my time in New England, but at the same time, I’m super excited about what we’ve done here. I got a great group of coaches here, an amazing group of guys that still motivate me and inspire me to be the best I could be for this team and this organization. I just had a great — the last 18 months have been very fulfilling in a lot of different ways. And I love my football experience here as well.”
Unsurprisingly, the ever-positive Brady focused on all the positives throughout his football career, instead of any negatives.MORE NEWS: Products In Your Medicine Cabinet May Soon Be Getting More Expensive
“I’ve been very blessed. I went to high school football, where I fell in love with it,” Brady said. “I went to Michigan, which was amazing for me — had its challenges, but I learned a lot. Twenty years in New England was incredible. I learned a lot. Coming down here for a year and a half, I’ve learned a lot. So I have nothing but incredible thoughts, memories, emotions towards all the football experiences I’ve had. And that’s obviously one that was the longest, and I still have a lot of great friends there, but they know I want to kick their butt this week, so they’ll know exactly how I’m feeling once I’m out there.”