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Bill Belichick says his desire to have Tom Brady as his QB ‘never changed’

The Patriots coach remained diplomatic about his old quarterback as he prepares to face him Sunday.
In this Feb. 7, 2017, file photo, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady holds up Super Bowl trophies along with Coach Bill Belichick, right, and team owner Robert Kraft, left, during a rally in Boston to celebrate the come-from-behind win over the Falcons in Super Bowl 51.
In this Feb. 7, 2017, file photo, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady holds up Super Bowl trophies along with Coach Bill Belichick, right, and team owner Robert Kraft, left, during a rally in Boston to celebrate the come-from-behind win over the Falcons in Super Bowl 51. [ ELISE AMENDOLA | Associated Press (2017) ]
Published Sep. 27

As one of the most anticipated game weeks in NFL history dawned Monday, Bill Belichick was in midseason, monotone form.

Which is to say, the Patriots coach wasn’t about to add a droplet of gasoline to the bonfire of buildup surrounding his reunion Sunday night with Tom Brady when New England hosts the Bucs at Gillette Stadium. To the contrary, during his weekly radio spot Monday on WEEI-FM, Belichick attempted to downplay the widespread belief he wasn’t interested in re-signing Brady following the 2019 season.

When asked by one of the hosts when his desire to have Brady as his starter changed, Belichick said, “It never changed.”

So did he want Brady to re-sign with New England after the 2019 season?

“Yeah, well I think we’ve been through all the dynamics of that,” Belichick said. “There were a lot of things there that, he looked at his options and made his decision. We weren’t as good an option as Tampa, so you’d have to ask him about all that, but it really wasn’t a question of not wanting him, that’s for sure.”

Related: Is Tom Brady vs. Patriots the NFL's most hyped regular-season game ever?

Belichick’s statements came less than a week after Tom Brady Sr. told another Boston media outlet that Belichick wanted his son “out the door” at the end of 2019, adding that the younger Brady felt vindicated by leading the Bucs to a Super Bowl crown.

Late last week, Brady spoke fondly of his 20 seasons in New England, adding that family members have “protective feelings and emotions” regarding his career. Similarly, Belichick remained diplomatic when asked to reflect on his two decades — and six Super Bowl titles — with Brady.

“Tom and I had, I feel like, a good relationship and a lot of production obviously while we were together,” Belichick said.

“I enjoyed coaching Tom and he was a great player for us. Sunday night, we line up across from Tampa, and not just him but the entire team. They’re obviously a very good team, so that’s all about our team competing against Tampa’s team. That’s like it is every week.”

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.

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