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Among Tom Brady’s greatest traits, up there with his accuracy, competitive fire and penchant for clutch throws, was his ability to take hard coaching in stride.
As we now know straight from the horse’s mouth, Brady even gave coach Bill Belichick the leeway to rip him in front of his teammates just like the coach would anyone else who made mistakes.
If you can take the GOAT to task, after all, you can get your point across to anyone.
Former Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount, who played in New England for two separate stints, says he learned that lesson very early.
Blount, who came to Foxborough for the first time via trade in 2013, told The Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday he knew from the beginning that the respect level in the organization was “high” from the moment he joined the team. That’s why he was surprised to see Belichick mercilessly scold him for mistakes.
“The first time I heard him yell at [Brady] – I don’t remember what game it was -- he had a wide open guy running down the sideline, and he missed him. Bill’s basically saying, ‘You’re an NFL quarterback. You’re supposed to be this Pro Bowl guy, all high and mighty. If you’re the best quarterback, all these people s—ing you off…there’s a 100 other football players, college guys, even high school guys, that can hit this wide-open guy on a throw.
“Once I seen that, I’m like, ‘Oh s—t.’ There’s nobody exempt from this considering the fact he just talked to ‘12’ in that manner.”
Little did Blount know, displays like that toward Brady were all part of the plan.
In Blount’s case, that level of accountability helped a player who came into the league as an undrafted free agent due to past suspensions for fighting in college stick to the program. Additionally, players like Randy Moss and Trent Brown, who came to New England after being disgruntled in other situations, played some of their best football with Brady and Belichick by buying into the culture.
Over time, the Brady-Belichick partnership yielded six Super Bowl titles and an unprecedented run of dominance in the AFC East. Whatever strife sometimes arose between them, they couldn’t have done it without one another – and the ability to call each other out when they needed to.