‘I’d say all that’s in the past right now’

Bill Belichick, to no surprise, did his best to steer clear of Tom Brady talk during his media session Wednesday.

The Patriots head coach was cordial, complimentary of Brady when needed, but for the most part, dodged the questions.

Belichick wouldn’t answer if he had wanted to keep the longtime Patriots quarterback, saying: “I’m just planning on getting ready for the game.”

He was asked what he would tell fans as to why Brady will be on the other sideline Sunday night.

“I’d say all that’s in the past right now,” said Belichick. “I’m looking forward to the game.”

Asked if he might have some contact or communication with Brady before the game, Belichick replied: “Yeah, I’m just planning to get ready for the game. I don’t know.”

Belichick did say his relationship with Brady was “good, it’s always been good.”

Asked about defending Brady, and how tough he was to defend, Belichick initially scoffed at the question before answering.

“He’s as tough as any quarterback there is or ever has been,” said Belichick. “Enough said. His numbers are incredible, he’s about to pass the all-time passing record, he’s done more than any other player at that position, at any rate measurement you want to take, whether it’s yards, completions, touchdowns, championships, you name it.”

Rob Gronkowski’s name came up in context of Belichick talking about knowing some of the Tampa players well, recognizing both Brady and Gronk.

“Certainly Rob and Tom have done a lot for this organization, a lot for me and I appreciate everything they’ve done,” said Belichick. “I have a ton of respect for them. But this Sunday, we’re on opposite sides of the field. We’re going to do all we can to not make them enjoy the night. I’m sure they’ll do the same to us.”

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