Bill Belichick thought Tom Brady was done before another Super Bowl win


Nostradamus, Bill Belichick was not — in this particular case.

The longtime Patriots head coach, who mutually parted ways with the organization this week, apparently thought Tom Brady’s best days were behind him — before the legendary quarterback went on to win a Super Bowl with the Buccaneers.

According to ESPN’s lengthy postmortem on the Belichick era in New England, which saw the team win six Super Bowls and nine AFC titles, the head coach apparently felt Brady’s play on the field was diminishing as early as the early 2010s.

In 2014, Belichick even provided Patriots owner Robert Kraft evidence from a study that showed how quarterbacks see their play drop off as in the middle of their 30s.

Brady — who caused friction with Belichick over his training program — ended up winning three more Super Bowls with the Patriots.

Bill Belichick walks on the field during warm ups prior to a game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024. AP

But after losing in the wild card round in the 2019-20 season, Brady hit a highly publicized free-agent period and then joined the Buccaneers.

From there, at 43 years old, he threw 40 regular-season touchdowns before leading Tampa Bay to another Super Bowl, his seventh overall.

What we know about the split between the Patriots and Bill Belichick

The Patriots and Bill Belichick will reportedly part ways on Thursday after 24 years and six Super Bowl wins.

Rumors had swirled around Belichick’s future all season as the Patriots finished with a 4-13 record and missed the playoffs for the third time in four seasons. Belichick met with Patriots owner Robert Kraft over the past several days before reaching the mutual decision.

Bill Belichick and the Patriots parted ways in January 2024 after 24 seasons. Getty Images

Belichick notched a 266-121 overall record with the Patriots and has another 31 playoff victories.

The 71-year-old has no plans to retire, and needs just 15 more wins to match Don Shula’s all-time wins record — regular season and playoffs — by a head coach in NFL history.

Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo — who was the heir apparent — has taken over the job and become the next New England head coach.

“Bill had told me he couldn’t play anymore,” Kraft said after Brady won the title, per ESPN, “and then he goes out and wins the f–king Super Bowl.”

Brady played two more years, throwing 68 more touchdowns before calling it quits for good after his age 45 season.

Things have not worked out as well in New England, which has had just one winning season since Brady departed.

Tom Brady holds up the Vince Lombardi trophy after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl. AP
New England Patriots team owner Robert Kraft faces reporters after Bill Belichick parted ways with the organization. AP

This year, with more friction at quarterback with Mac Jones struggling, the team finished 4-13 after losing to the Jets in the season finale, Belichick’s last game with the club.

Now, Jerod Mayo inherits the team with plenty of question marks.

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