GLENDALE, US: Fifteen years into their remarkable partnership, with their fourth Super Bowl crown secured in dramatic style, Patriots coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady have no plans to slow down.
“I’m still in the midst of my career,” the 37-year-old Brady said Monday, not ready to talk about his place in National Football League history.
“I just love the game. I love playing. I love representing our team.”
In a league whose salary cap discourages dynasty building and promotes parity, Brady and Belichick have endured to become arguably the most successful coach-quarterback pairing ever.
With their 28-24 come-from-behind triumph over Seattle in the NFL’s title showpiece, the Patriots ended a 10-year title drought, easing the bitter memories of two Super Bowl losses to the New York Giants in that span.
They also denied the Seahawks the second straight Super Bowl crown that would have established a young Seattle team as the NFL’s newest dynasty.
It was an impressive end to a season in which Brady and the Pats looked to be showing their age, and accusations of cheating in the “Deflategate” controversy dredged up memories of the 2007 “Spygate” illegal videotaping affair for which Belichick and the Pats were punished.
With the NFL still probing whether the Patriots purposely used under-inflated footballs to gain an edge in a playoff win over Indianapolis, Brady said he’s not concerned if the issue will shadow his achievements.
“I just haven’t had much thought into that,” he said Monday. “We’ve just been focusing on our game and I’m sure that stuff will take care of itself over the next however long it takes.
“It was a great accomplishment by our team last night. It was a great victory. We should all be proud.”
Although Brady snagged his third Super Bowl Most Valuable Player award, it was an unknown — cornerback Malcolm Butler — who made the play that saved the Patriots.
It was Butler who recognized the formation being used by Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson and intercepted the short pass in the waning seconds that would have given Seattle the victory.