“They Made Sure Everyone Saw They Had Fun”

March 9th, 2021

Damn, Joe just listened to a telling interview from a former Tom Brady teammate who is entrenched in local Patriots media.

Anyone remember Ted Johnson? The retired linebacker spent all his 10 of his seasons with New England, the final five with Bill Belicheat after being drafted during the Bill Parcells regime.

Johnson took his three Super Bowl rings and moved on to become a highly-intelligent sports radio guy; he’s also part of Patriots pre- and post-game shows on NBC Sports Boston.

In a telling interview recently on CBS Sports Radio, Johnson said Brady was driven out of New England by Belicheat’s “hubris” and the head coach’s desire to prove to the world he could win without Brady.

Brady really didn’t want to leave, Johnson said, but Belicheat left him no choice.

Look at Rob Gronkowkski quitting football and Brady bolting and bringing along Gronk to Tampa, Johnson said, as well as how the pair behaved there. Their off-field body language and behavior was meant to send a message.

“They went down there and they had fun and they made sure everyone saw they had fun and won in Tampa Bay. If I’m a player [considering the Patriots in free agency], I’m like, ‘Man, why did those guys want to leave that place so bad?'” Johnson said.

Who had the highest rates of COVID opt-outs on their 2020 roster? Johnson asked rhetorically. The answer is the Patriots, and Johnson said that was no coincidence, adding it spoke to a crumbling Patriots culture.

There was a lot more to the interview and it all left Joe thinking about how damn happy Brady must be in Tampa — and eager to keep squeezing lemon juice in Belicheat’s eye for multiple years.

Joe can’t wait to see what happens when the Bucs hit the road for New England during the 2021 season. Joe suspects that will be a Monday Night Football game in Week 2.

31 Responses to ““They Made Sure Everyone Saw They Had Fun””


    Initially yes, but IMO Brady and Gronk are beyond that now. If having fun is what you want, playing in NE is not the place. Belichick is going to have a hard time getting veterans to go there.

  2. adam from ny Says:

    tommy and gronkie might really have it in for bill belly…

    they might want to give him a 3-4 year jam sandwich

  3. Bird Says:

    Time will tell

    But the patriot way may actually be the brady way

    Patriots were irrelevant this year. In contention for nothing. And look at miami and bills rising to the top in that division. New england could struggle with the golden boy gone. Guys went there for rings …to play with the goat

    Bellichek as a personality cold coach is nit what players want if they cant win. Lets see if they recover

    Cause now players coming to tampa. Nice weather , sunny beaches , boat parades and likable coaches and you get to play with the goat

  4. Just Sayin’ Says:

    You get to have fun when you win. You don’t just get to have fun, especially when you’re getting creamed, Gerald.

  5. Mort Says:

    Wait, you mean players prefer a fun place to work over a dictator who after winning a SB LITERALY tried to start the chant of “No days off! No days off!”?


  6. BA4President Says:

    Well said Bird

  7. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    “and eager to keep squeezing lemon juice in Belicheat’s eye for multiple years.”

    Was that an intentional George Costanza reference?? VERY well done sir!

  8. PassingThru Says:

    I think the “Patriot Way” was 80% Tom Brady. He led by example, with exemplary self-sacrifice: long hours in the film room, offseason practices, staying positive, exhorting team mates on the sidelines, and of course that long, winning resume. Belichick simply wanted the two decade legacy of success in New England to be a function of his coaching.

    You could see it coming in recent years. Belichick was moving away from the passing game. He tried trading Gronk, he drafted a big-body, blocking wide receiver in the first round, a bust who cannot get open. After driving Gronk to retirement, he steadfastly refused to draft pass-catching TEs, and relied on stiffs who better served as blockers. He under-emphasized the receiver talent even more than usual, and ended up with the absolute worst collection of WRs in the NFL. And last, he franchise tagged a Guard, which is incredibly stupid as franchised Guards get paid Left Tackle money. Why? Because it financially squeezed Brady out of New England. It was by design to force Brady out. Only offering a single year contract to a QB who had taken less money for years and years in New England was the second to final insult. The final insult was having to watch the 2019 New England team offense, as the Patriot running game broke down and seeing Brady get frustrated at receivers who couldn’t get open or run proper routes.

    We’ll see what Belichick can do in the years ahead. He has his own vision, and I think there’s too much ego and hubris attached to it.

  9. lambchop Says:

    It’s pretty f’in clear that Tom Brady made that franchise tick for so long. He might have adopted Belicheat’s outlook, but not getting his cupboard full after following a toes-on-the-line dictator isn’t going to sit well.

    Brady could over come the lack of talent early on, but getting older, I’m sure he much prefers having other players share the burden to make his life easier. Ted Johnson is right, players opting out of the Covid season tells you all you need to know.

  10. Rayjay1122 Says:

    Brady wins 4 Super bowls back to back making Tampa the biggest dynasty and goes into the HOF as a Buc. Sounds good to me.

  11. DaBux Says:

    If you’re having fun, you’re playing better ball. Just 3 more rings to go for TB12 and then we have to ask:

    Where does he wear #11?

  12. BucEmUp Says:

    I really miss Realist right now…love to just see anything lol


    Sure looked to me like the whole team was having fun watching Wash, NO, GB and KC shat themselves. You could see the cohesiveness from BA down. Total respect for each other. The definition of team.

  14. Capt.Tim Says:

    Any coach that thinks Cam Newton, right Now, is your QB-
    Owes every ring he has to Tom Brady.

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    There can be no question that Brady & Gronk are having fun in Tampa….but notice how it was all business until the Championship victory…..

    I’m looking forward to 21…….teams will be ready for us….we won’t surprise anyone…but that’s OK…..I think our mixture of younger players and vets can handle most anything.

  16. Karma Says:

    I want to believe the egg came before the chicken but we all know they needed each other at the time of their respective careers.

    The one year Brady went down they went 11-5 with Matt Cassell. I think with their Defensive players who opted out & coming back they will be competitive.

    Mike Glennon would even work well in the Bellicheat system.

    Sorry I had to make a shout out to the MG Mob. 🙃

    For selfish reasons I don’t want Bellicheat to win another one. He never even made the playoffs with out Brady. He may get to the dance floor but he ain’t winning it, hopefully.

  17. NDoGS burner Account Says:

    I’m curious to see if Gronk and Brady even end up retiring as Patriots

  18. Chris Says:

    So lame, that you don’t call Belichick by his name. What a stupid blog. You guys will be irrelevant next year.

  19. Chris Says:

    Karma, Belichick won a playoff game as coach of the Browns. Did Brady play back then? You guys had one good season and you act like you know football. My god, its not hard to google.

  20. Joe Says:

    So lame, that you don’t call Belichick by his name. What a stupid blog. You guys will be irrelevant next year.

    That’s what people have said year after year since Joe launched this site 13 years ago. Stronger today than ever. 🙂

  21. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    If anybody ever had “hubris” or a super massive ego (“My way or the highway”) it was Bill Parcells. Nevertheless, most of the owners of his time would have done almost anything to snag him for their franchise.

  22. SOEbuc Says:

    DUMP Donovan Smith. Draft a LT or RT round one.

  23. Kentucky Buc Says:

    @Karma. You do realize that the team Cassell inherited when Brady got injured went 18-1 the previous year. 11-5 no playoffs or 18-1 lost to Giants in Super Bowl is a helluva drop off without Brady. Debunked

  24. Colonel_mp Says:

    No way they go from opening night on Thursday to Monday the next week to start the season. So possibly Sunday Night Football for Week 2.

  25. PassingThru Says:


    Belichick’s ego and hubris surpasses Tuna’s, but he’s still a great coach. Two Super Bowls illustrate both traits. In Super Bowl 49, he (or more accurately his close friend Ernie Adams) identified a Seattle goal line play that involved three WRs, two on the right side that used a pick (technically illegal). The Patriots practiced defending that play. The result: Malcolm Butler intercepted Russ Wilson’s pass, ensuring the NE win.

    Belichick’s ego also affected a Super Bowl outcome in SB52. He sat his starting CB for the entire game (save for one special teams snap) even though Phili’s backup QB was picking apart the Patriot defensive secondary. New England was already down one starting CB, sitting a second starting CB (Malcolm Butler) made them an absolute defensive sieve. The rumor which found its way to the press was that Butler had mouthed off to an assistant coach, who just happened to be Bill Belichick’s son. For that offense (or something else petty), Bill Belichick decided punishment was worth losing a Super Bowl. That was pure ego on the part of Belichick, I cannot remember Parcells doing anything that destructive.

    Don’t get me wrong, Belichick is a brilliant coach but he also has some serious flaws.

  26. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    Ego, it is an intelligence killer.

    Belicheck is a great coach. BUT, as the saying goes, a coach is only as good as his players. Unfortunately, when ego kicks in, one says, “I am what makes the wheels go round. I can replace this guy, after all, we found him in the 6th rd of the draft. And we found Jimmy G. We are smarter than everyone!!!!”

    IMO, the Pat’s offense was basically the same guys from Brady’s last year where he got them to the playoffs, to last year with Cam. Brady is the one who makes the wheels go round. No Brady? Belicheck is not as smart as he once was.

  27. Steve Gaudreau Says:

    When the Bucs come to Gillette, It aught to interesting for sure. After practicing against Bill’s defense for 20 years, it should be a chess match. Can Bill plan for Brady like he did Manning? Will TB12 pick apart Bill’s defense? The Bucs D should have no problem against Billy’s offense…. Or lack there of. Can Bill plan to cover the all-star cast of receivers? And let’s be sure to watch GRONK STOMP TOO! I’m dreading watching as a Patriots fan. I definitely think Tom will join Payton and Brett in beating all the NFL teams now. And when he does beat the Patriots, and he will, him and Gronk are going to tap dance on Bill’s surface tablet.

  28. Sorryjackchuckiesback Says:

    Wow… Good article… That game next year man, whew!! It would be great to see Brady break the TDs in a single game against them.. it’s what? 7 I think? I think Brady could have beat that in the lions game this year if he’d played the whole game! .. I think Belichick is a hack and always thought it was Brady that made that team and made players want to come there… Belichick is really a GREAT defensive coordinator.. but as a head coach, he was a loser big time!!.. He I don’t think ever had a winning season as a head coach until Brady started? I could be wrong but I don’t think he ever had a winning season before Brady.. The browns kicked him out because he lost all the time there!! He blames it on the organization now!! Lol .. and then it was a winning season every year soon as Brady started and as soon as Brady leaves, he makes bad personnel decisions, players opt out and then he goes right back to 7 and 9 RIGHT where he left off before Brady started!! 🤣 …. he is a 7 and 9 head coach!!! . Like that one dude said “Brady is the best organization in football!!” … I pray he decides to coach when he retires! It would be amazing to see him take a coaching job in Tampa… But I doubt that’ll happen!! 😢

  29. ItzOK Says:

    Who Cares about the Patriot way. Sick of hearing about it. Itz a Pirates life for me

  30. Cantusepeoplesnamesjoe Says:

    “Stronger year after year” yea, because you are one of the only
    Sites that actually covers everything, it’s a shame you do it so poorly

  31. Ne+ bucs fan Says:

    Joe, don’t take the bait on some of your posters, when they go low you go high