New England Patriots fans are getting adjusted to no longer seeing Tom Brady under center. The six-time Super Bowl champion announced he will not be back with the team this fall and he will join another team when free agency begins on Wednesday. When Brady made the announcement, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reacted to the news.
"Tom was not just a player who bought into our program. He was one of its original creators," Belichick said in a statement on the team's official website. "Tom lived and perpetuated our culture. On a daily basis, he was a tone setter and a bar raiser. He won championships in three of his first four years on the field and in three of his final six seasons with us, while competing for championships in most every season in between. This is a credit to Tom's consistency and what separates him. He didn't just perform. He didn't just win. He won championships over and over again."
Belichick went on to talk about their relationship he has with Brady as they both joined the Patriots in 2000.
"Tom and I will always have a great relationship built on love, admiration, respect and appreciation," he added. "Tom's success as a player and his character as a person are exceptional. Nothing about the end of Tom's Patriots career changes how unfathomably spectacular it was. With his relentless competitiveness and longevity, he earned everyone's adoration and will be celebrated forever. It has been a privilege to coach Tom Brady for 20 years."
Belichick ended the statement by claiming that no other NFL quarterback is better than Brady, past or present.
"Examples of Tom's greatness are limitless, going back even before he was drafted," Belichick said. "We witnessed how he prepared when he wasn't playing, how he performed when he got his opportunity, what he did to continuously improve, his leadership, his mindset, the example he set, and, of course, the person he is. I am extremely grateful for what he did for our team and for me personally."
"Sometimes in life, it takes some time to pass before truly appreciating something or someone but that has not been the case with Tom. He is a special person and the greatest quarterback of all-time."
Brady and Belichick are the best QB-head coach duo in NFL history. The two led the Patriots to nine Super Bowl appearances and six Super Bowl wins. Brady and Belichick also led the Pats to a 16-0 regular-season record in 2007.