As Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski prepare for their first Super Bowl without the Patriots, it’s hard not to reminisce about the past.
The two took part in Super Bowl “Opening Night”, the unofficial kickoff to Super Bowl week, on Monday, and they both fielded questions about their former coach, Bill Belichick.
Brady was asked what his “message” to Belichick would be. The now Buccaneers quarterback didn’t trash his former coach, opting to say how “grateful” he was for him.
“I have a great relationship with him,” Brady said. “I’m just incredibly grateful for what he’s meant in my life as a coach. He’s everything you could ask for as a player. I loved my time and two incredible decades there. My football journey took me to a different place.
“I certainly could never have accomplished the things in my career without his support and his teachings. Incredible coach and mentor for me, had a lot of those in my career, but obviously he’s at the top of the list.”
Brady certainly he many reasons to be grateful for Belichick. The pair won six Super Bowls together over 20 seasons, more than any quarterback-head coach duo in NFL history. With the Patriots going 7-9 and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008 (when Brady missed nearly the entire season due to a torn ACL), some have debated who is more responsible for the Patriots’ dynasty. It’s apparent that Brady doesn’t want to involve himself in those debates.
Gronkowski also spoke highly of Belichick.
“I’ve always had a great relationship with Bill (Belichick) but ever since I got to the Bucs, there hasn’t been any contact,” Gronkowski said.
Over his first season in Tampa, Gronkowski has made some remarks about how much he’s enjoyed playing for Bruce Arians compared to Belichick. Speaking to former Patriot Willie McGinest for an NFL Network interview in January, McGinest asked Gronkowski the biggest difference between playing for Arians and Belichick.
“The freedom. The freedom to be yourself,” Gronkowski replied.
Brady and Gronkowski will look to win their fourth Super Bowl title together on Sunday, when the Buccaneers face the Chiefs in Super Bowl 55 in Tampa Bay.
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