G.O.A.T.s recognize G.O.A.T.s.
One day after Tom Brady confirmed he is retiring from the NFL, and deservedly drew praise from across the sports and entertainment landscape, his former head coach weighed in. Bill Belichick, in fact, offered about as big of a compliment as can be given to a player.
"I am privileged to have drafted and coached Tom Brady, the ultimate competitor and winner," Belichick said in a statement. "Tom's humble beginning in professional football ultimately ended with him becoming the best player in NFL history. Tom consistently performed at the highest level against competition that always made him the number one player to stop. His pursuit of excellence was inspirational. Tom was professional on and off the field, and carried himself with class, integrity, and kindness. I thank Tom for his relentless pursuit of excellence and positive impact on me and the New England Patriots for 20 years."
Brady responded on his Instagram account soon after: "Thank you Coach Belichick. I appreciate being coached by you. The Greatest Coach in NFL History."
The two cemented G.O.A.T. status in their respective roles with a two-decade-long partnership predominantly marked by winning. The New England Patriots won six Super Bowls, nine AFC championships and 17 AFC East titles with Belichick and Brady. No NFL dynasty before or during the Super Bowl era can match their success.
The iconic duo expressed similar sentiments about one another two years ago, when the Pats and Brady agreed to part ways before TB12 signed with the Buccaneers. Belichick called Brady the "greatest quarterback of all time," and Brady offered an extended thanks to his coach and the organization and deemed himself "forever a Patriot." While Belichick and New England were noticeably absent from Brady's retirement announcement Tuesday, their social media statements Wednesday demonstrate no hard feelings between the greatest HC-QB combo the game has seen.