Report: Tom Brady wanted specific coach to succeed Bill Belichick
Tom Brady seemingly grew tired of playing for Bill Belichick, and that is undoubtedly one of the reasons he left the New England Patriots two years ago. While Brady probably never expected Belichick to step down, the star quarterback apparently had a preferred successor in mind.
Albert Breer of The MMQB shared an interesting piece of information this week while discussing the rumors of tension between Brady and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians. Breer, who was appearing on NBC Sports Boston, said Brady would probably want Bill O’Brien to take over in Tampa if Arians were out. The NFL insider believes that because O’Brien supposedly would have been Brady’s choice to replace Belichick.
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“I think if it were up to him at this point, among the guys available (it would be) Bill O’Brien,” Breer said. “That’s who Tom Brady helped line up as the head coach if he had won the power struggle with Bill Belichick in 2017. If Belichick was out after everything that happened in 2017, I’m telling you Bill O’Brien would be the head coach.”
Brady and Belichick worked out their issues in 2017 — at least temporarily. They went on to win another Super Bowl together before Brady ultimately departed in free agency.
O’Brien, who is currently the offensive coordinator at Alabama, was an assistant on Belichick’s staff from 2007-2011. He and Brady once had a heated argument on the sideline, but Brady downplayed it and took the blame. Brady also publicly defended O’Brien after O’Brien was fired as the head coach of the Houston Texans.
Brady also had a seemingly close relationship with former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Some will be surprised to hear that McDaniels wouldn’t have been his top choice to replace Belichick in New England.
Of course, Belichick was never going anywhere. There have been rumblings through the years about him retiring, but none of them have seemed realistic.
A recent report claimed Brady was frustrated with Arians last season. One Bucs reporter emphatically shot that down, and Brady’s decision to return to Tampa is further evidence that the relationship is fine.
Photo: Aug 28, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) jogs off the field after a game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports