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There are the two Patriots icons engaged in their well-worn routine of seeking small improvements and slight advantages; a future Hall of Fame quarterback and a future Hall of Fame coach, 13 seasons together and counting. Both are slugging it out with the same single-minded focus that's generated so much success here.
Same as it ever was.
"It's been great," Belichick said of getting all those seasons with Brady. He was talking as he was walking out to practice. While he isn't a man quickly prone to public sentiment, he understands how special it is to get to work with not just a great player, but perhaps his equal as a competitor.
"It's been awesome," he said. "I've been very lucky."
Sometimes it's happenstance, sometimes it's fate. Sometimes, shared greatness in lifting both parties up and occasionally through the history of the NFL, there is a near perfect marriage of coach and QB.
Lombardi and Starr. Landry and Staubach. Griese and Shula. Noll and Bradshaw. Walsh and Montana. Careers and legacies become so intertwined, it's a challenge to think of one without the other as they won championships and defined eras.
Sunday will be Brady and Belichick's 171st regular-season game together, more than any of the above coaching-quarterback tandems. ...