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Tom Brady tries to bury great Patriots debate once and for all: ‘It was us’

At least one NFL debate may live on forever – was Tom Brady or Bill Belichick responsible for the success of the New England Patriots in the 2000s and 2010s?

Brady, who was at his Patriots Hall of Fame induction ceremony with Belichick among those in attendance, attempted to bury the debate once and for all in his speech.

“To coach Belichick, thank you for your tireless commitment to develop and push me to be my very best. It wasn’t me, it wasn’t you, it was us,” Brady said, via Pro Football Talk. “Our hard work, our love of the game, and the way we worked for one another, that’s what it was all about. Let me make this crystal clear – there is no coach in the world I would rather play for than Bill Belichick.”

Brady and Belichick won six Super Bowl titles together when the two were in New England. Brady went off to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after his time with the Patriots came to an end. Belichick only made the playoffs one more time before he parted ways with the team.

The NFL legend also had his No. 12 retired from the organization.

Bill Belichick and Tom Brady

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“Nothing of significance in life is accomplished as an individual,” he said, via NFL.com. “Nobody individually hangs those six banners up there. The team does. Here in New England it’s always about ‘we’ and ‘us,’ not ‘me’ or ‘mine.’ Relationships are built on shared experiences, and the most meaningful thing in my life are relationships. I truly wish I had more time. I wish I had more time to give you all.

“How do I sum up two decades in New England in one short speech? The answer is simple: you can’t. It’s hard for me to properly express my gratitude and my appreciation for how my time here has added to my life. There are too many lessons learned, too many stories to be told, too many incredible moments and achievements we all experienced together. It would take me 30 days to get through it all, not 30 minutes. There are so many people to thank, and I apologize in advance if I leave anybody out.”

Tom Brady waves to the crowd

New England selected Brady with the No. 199 overall pick in the 2000 draft. He became the starter when Drew Bledsoe went down with an injury early in the 2001 season. Brady would not relinquish the job until he left for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020.

He guided the team to six Super Bowl titles, helping lead two dynastic eras in his career. He had 74,571 passing yards and 541 passing touchdowns as a member of the Patriots.

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