Tom Brady and Bill Belichick had a private 15-minute meeting in the Bucs locker room after their dramatic face-off




Tom Brady. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Tom Brady. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images  
  • Tom Brady and Bill Belichick met in private for 15-20 minutes after the Bucs beat the Patriots.

  • Brady didn't divulge details, calling it "a very personal, private thing."

  • It was the first face-to-face meeting between the two men since Brady left the Patriots.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick had more to discuss after their dramatic battle Sunday in Foxborough.

After Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the New England Patriots, 19-17, in Brady's homecoming, the quarterback and coach met in private in the Bucs locker room, according to NBC's Peter King.

The meeting followed a brief, terse postgame handshake minutes after the Patriots' go-ahead, 56-yard field goal with one minute to play clanged off the uprights, securing the Bucs' victory. While several members of Patriots stuck around to chat with Brady, Belichick's postgame handshake lasted all of one second.

According to King, one Buccaneers source estimated the locker room meeting lasted 15 minutes. ESPN's Seth Wickersham reported the meeting lasted about 20 minutes.

Brady called it "a very private, personal thing," then shot back at the numerous reports over the years that he and Belichick's relationship had fractured in the later years.

"It was a very personal, private thing," Brady said, via King. "We've always had that type of relationship where we can say things to each other. You know, whoever characterizes our relationship is completely wrong. People want to focus on so much stuff that's so unimportant. You know? We were together for 20-plus years and we were so productive and successful and I learned so much from him. Loved my experience here, loved my relationship with him."

Of course, Brady has admitted most of what he says publicly to the media isn't reflective of his true feelings. His personal trainer and business partner Alex Guerrero recently told the Boston Herald that Belichick never adapted to handling Brady over the years.

King reported that Belichick walking into the locker room caught members of the Bucs off-guard, with backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert saying he and some teammates thought, "Did we see what we all think we just saw?"

It appears to have been Brady and Belichick's first face-to-face meeting since Brady left the Patriots in free agency in 2020. Wickersham has reported that when Brady called Belichick to inform him of his decision, Belichick said he was unavailable to meet in person, and the two only spoke over the phone.

In the lead-up to Sunday's game, Brady and Belichick complimented each other and spoke fondly of their time together.

But both may have come away from Sunday's game with new appreciation for each other, too. Belichick witnessed how hard it can be to suppress a Brady-led offense for four quarters. Brady only completed 51% of his passes for 269 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions, but he did enough to get the win, especially in leading the Bucs on a game-winning field goal drive with 4:34 left to play.

Meanwhile, Brady experienced what it was like to face one of Belichick's ever-evolving defensive schemes.

"God, is it hard to come in here and win a football game," Brady said after the game.

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