Tom Brady shows Bill Belichick, ex-Patriots teammates love on Instagram

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Brady shows love for Belichick, Pats players in heartfelt IG posts originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Now that Tom Brady isn't focused on kicking the Patriots' butts, he'd like to show them a little appreciation.

Two days after leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a narrow 19-17 win over New England at Gillette Stadium, Brady used his Instagram story to express his gratitude for several members of the Patriots.

Yes, that includes head coach Bill Belichick.

Instagram/@tombrady

"Appreciate you coach," Brady captioned a photo of his brief hug with Belichick at midfield after the game.

Brady and Belichick also shared a lengthy conversation in the visitors' locker room following that hug, so it appears they've moved beyond whatever animosity led to Brady leaving New England in 2020 free agency.

Curran: Sunday night was a necessary step for all parties involved

Brady also had some very kind words for Patriots special teams ace Matthew Slater, his teammate for 12 seasons in New England.

Instagram/@tombrady

"One of the best football players I've ever shared a locker room with, and an even better man," Brady wrote of Slater, who sought out Brady just before the QB boarded the Bucs' team bus for one final goodbye (as discussed in the video player above).

Brady's Instagram story Tuesday included some shout-outs to his Bucs teammates who played a role in Sunday's win, but it was mostly a tribute to the franchise where he won six Super Bowl titles over two decades.

Here are Brady's Instagram story posts highlighting safety Devin McCourty, running back Brandon Bolden, team owner Robert Kraft and, of course, the fans.

Instagram/@tombrady

Instagram/@tombrady

Instagram/@tombrady

Instagram/@tombrady

While Brady's Bucs got the win, his final stat line -- 269 passing yards, no touchdowns and a 51.2 completion percentage, his lowest since arriving in Tampa Bay -- suggests he may have been battling nerves in his "homecoming" game.

The 44-year-old QB joked about the strange feeling of coming out of the visitors' locker room in Foxboro for the first time.

Instagram/@tombrady

It sounds like Brady is relieved the weekend is over, and after paying proper respects to his old team, he'll likely turn his focus to getting the Bucs to 4-1 next weekend.