Michael Lombardi explains why Tom Brady might be missing Bill Belichick after Bucs’ playoff run

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Tom Brady expressed his gratitude for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization and the fanbase on Tuesday, but a former New England Patriots executive thinks Brady might have an increased level of appreciation for coach Bill Belichick after the Buccaneers’ playoff run.

Michael Lombardi, who worked in New England’s front office, thinks Brady might have missed Belichick — even for just one play — during the divisional round of the playoffs last weekend. Lombardi honed in on Rams receiver Cooper Kupps’ game-saving 44-yard reception in the final seconds of the game that set up a field goal to win it.

“Every Friday of his career, Brady would go into a meeting and sit on the lower seat of the left side of the room and he would watch Belichick go through the ‘gotta have it’ players,” Lombardi said on his latest “The GM Shuffle” podcast episode. “And Belichick would spend time saying, ‘When they need to make a play, it’s Cooper Kupp. They need a third down, it’s Cooper Kupp. Where’s the ball going? It’s Cooper Kupp.’

“So, for Brady to see that Cooper Kupp had 64 yards on the final drive when they gotta have it, he’s gotta be saying to himself, ‘This probably wouldn’t have been the case in New England.’ “

It’s such a significant hypothetical that it’s hard to agree. There’s no saying whether that thought even crossed Brady’s mind — or whether Belichick’s defense would have actually been able to defend Kupp in a similar situation. Alas, it does make for interesting conversation, which is why Lombardi brought it up. Yes folk, it’s a hot take.

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