Tom Brady posts emotional tribute to ex-Patriots coach Bill Belichick

Tom Brady posts emotional tribute to ex-Patriots coach Bill Belichick originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will forever be the faces of the New England Patriots franchise, and there's no doubt they have an enormous amount of respect for each other.

The latest example came Thursday.

The Patriots and Belichick announced they have decided to mutually part ways after a 24-year partnership from 2000 through the end of the 2023 season that included six Super Bowl titles in nine appearances.

Many former and current players have posted tributes to Belichick on social media. Brady chimed in Thursday afternoon with a photo of him and Belichick, as well as a message for his former head coach.

"I’m incredibly grateful to have played for the best coach in the history of the NFL," Brady wrote.

"He was a great leader for the organization, and for all of the players who played for him. We accomplished some amazing things over a long period of time, many of which will be hard to replicate. He worked every day to help us achieve the ultimate goal, in the ultimate team sport. And, although we were successful, some of the greatest lessons, I learned, were in the moments where we faced the most challenging adversities. He set the tone for the organization, to never Falter in the face of adversity, and to do what we could do, and what was in our control, which was to go out and do our job.

"I could never have been the player I was without you Coach Belichick. I am forever grateful. And I wish you the best of luck in whatever you choose next."

You could make a strong case that Brady and Belichick are the greatest player/coach combo in the history of team sports.

The success they enjoyed together was unprecedented. They shared each other's incredible desire to win, and that mindset helped create a consistent winning environment that saw the Patriots make the playoffs 17 times in their 19 years together (and in one of those years Brady played only one game). The Patriots remain the most recent team to repeat as Super Bowl champions (2003 and 2004), and they won three Super Bowl titles in a five-year span in two different decades.

Brady left the Patriots in 2020 when he joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a free agent. Belichick is gone as of Thursday. The most successful era in modern NFL history is now officially over, and it's hard to envision any franchise duplicating what we saw from the Patriots during that span.