Iconic NFL quarterback Tom Brady, who just announced his retirement, spoke of his long-time coach Bill Belichick, with whom he won six Super Bowls, revealing that he gave Belichick permission to chew his butt in front of teammates in order to set an example.
Belichick joined Brady’s SiriusXM podcast, “Let’s Go,” where they reminisced about old times and noted Belichick’s talent for creating an egalitarian structure for the team.
“That was as much a part of Tom as it was me,” Belichick said, as Mass Live reported. “There were a couple meetings where I would say something to Tom after the meeting. Like, ‘Hey, I didn’t really think that was that bad, but I just wanted to include you in there with everyone else.’”
“Tom would say, ‘Coach, you have to. If you don’t yell at me, then what am I going to do with all the rest of my teammates?” Belichick continued. “I’ve gotta be in there with all the rest of them and say, ‘Hey, he’s yelling at all of us and we’ve all gotta do better.’ But if you leave me out of it, then I don’t really have a platform to work from. So yeah, go ahead and rip my ass, too. Go ahead.’ I got the green light on that, so I went ahead and took it.”
“Players, they’d always come back to me and say, ‘Hey, the first meeting Belichick got on Brady. I’m like, Christ, if he’s going to talk to Brady like that I’d better be straight. I know what’s going to happen to me,’” Belichick added.
Belichick said he got the idea from legendary basketball coach Bobby Knight when Knight coached the 1984 Olympic basketball team led by Michael Jordan.
“Where I got that from was Coach (Bobby) Knight, because Coach Knight told me that’s what he did with Michael Jordan on the Olympic team,” Belichick recalled. “He said, ‘Michael, I’m going to rip your (expletive) because I can’t rip some of those other guys without ripping you.’ Jordan said, ‘Bring it on, because I need that and it’ll help me with my teammates.’”
Jordan, who played for another legendary coach, Dean Smith, at the University of North Carolina, joked, “The only different thing is the vocabulary. From Coach Smith I learned the four-corner offense. From Coach Knight I learned the four-letter word.”
Belichick summed up Brady’s contribution on the field: “The greatest player, the greatest career. A great, great person. It was such an opportunity and an honor for me to coach Tom. I guess it’s gotta end at some point. But it’s the greatest one ever. So, congratulations, Tom.”