Patriots coach Bill Belichick showed the public a rare side of himself Monday morning while saying goodbye to long-time Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi.
Choked up and with his voice cracking with emotion on every word, Belichick made it clear he holds Bruschi in special regard.
“I’ve had the privilege of coaching a lot of great players and great leaders in Natl Football League and . . . I’ll . . . . I’ll just put Tedy up there with all of them and above all of them.”
Belichick lauded Bruschi’s work ethic and said more than once that “he always did the right thing.”
Bruschi was his usual upbeat, energetic self throughout his comments and seconded the mind meld he had with his coach.
“I’m in that team meeting sometimes and I hear [Belichick] speak,” Bruschi said. “And I swear it’s the same thing I would say.”
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At the end of his talk, Belichick gave Bruschi the highest compliment possible.
“If you ask me to sum it up – how I feel about Tedy Bruschi in five seconds,” Belichick said. “He’s the perfect player. He’s the perfect player.”
Bruschi was later asked about the comment, “That’s something you’ll never hear during your career,” he said before laughing. “That’s probably the best compliment you could give me.”