Next Sunday, the Patriots host the Buccaneers in Tom Brady’s first game back in New England since he left the franchise in 2020.
On Monday morning, Belichick gave his weekly interview to WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show. After talking about Sunday’s loss to the Saints, the conversation naturally veered toward speaking about Tom Brady.
Belichick was asked about all the times over the years he said there was no quarterback the Patriots would rather have than Brady.
“It never changed,” Belichick said.
He then was asked if wanted the franchise to re-sign Brady after the 2019 campaign.
“Yeah, well I think we’ve been through all the dynamics of that. There were a lot of things there that … he looked at his options and made his decision. We weren’t as good an option as Tampa, so I mean, you’d have to ask him about all of that,” Belichick said. “But that’s really … it wasn’t a question of not wanting him. That’s for sure.”
Brady signed a two-year contract with Tampa Bay and promptly led the franchise to a Super Bowl title.
“Tom and I had a, I feel like a good relationship and a lot of production, obviously, while we were together. And I enjoyed coaching Tom, and he was a great player for us,” Belichick said Monday. “Sunday night, we line up across from Tampa—not just him, but the entire team. They’re obviously a good team. So it’s all about our team competing against Tampa’s team.
“…Certainly Tom is a special player, I’m not trying to put him in the same category as a guy who was here for a year or something like that. But at the same time, you’re competing against the team you are playing against, and that’s what you do.”