Bill Belichick went out of his way to gush over Peyton Manning in January, saying: "There's no player off our team that I have any more respect for than (him)."
"He's been just a tremendous leader and tremendous player for our organization," Belichick said, per ESPN.com's Mike Reiss.
Belichick's comments came Friday during the 2016 Salesforce World Tour in Boston, not an event we expected the coach to leverage for high-octane comments about the most important position in sports.
The debate over the NFL's greatest quarterback is likely to spin on forever, but Brady has made a tremendous case for the title.
As Chris Wesseling pointed out after Super Bowl XLIX, Brady holds the edge over Hall of Famer Joe Montana in career winning percentage, regular-season statistics, postseason statistics, division titles and Championship Game appearances. Manning is fully embedded in the conversation too, but Hall of Fame passer Joe Namath believes Brady has surpassed anything he's ever seen.
Belichick and Brady have emerged as the best coach-and-quarterback duo of all time. Still thriving at 38 -- and planning to play deep into his 40s -- Brady isn't finished, either. His career is far from over, but it isn't too soon to appreciate what he's done.