-- Speaking as a guest at the 2016 Salesforce World Tour event in Boston on Thursday, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick shared his opinion that Tom Brady is the "greatest quarterback of all time."
Belichick, who has often said over the years that there is no other quarterback he'd rather have than Brady, praised Brady in the context of mentioning a group of "special guys" he's felt privileged to coach. The remarks came as part of a keynote question-and-answer session.
"He's been just a tremendous leader and tremendous player for our organization," Belichick said of Brady.
At the event, Belichick was asked about the Patriots' sustained success and some of the ways the franchise has been able to stay on top.
"One of the things we've tried to do is be an outlier in some respects," Belichick explained.
In detailing one way in which the Patriots have done that, Belichick pointed out that when he arrived as Patriots coach in 2000, his team was one of only two to run the 3-4 defense. But by 2005, after the Patriots had won three Super Bowls, half the league was playing the 3-4 defense, making it harder to find players.
"We've had to find different ways to capitalize on the talent that's available. Otherwise, we're going to get like the fifth-, sixth-, seventh-best guy at whatever the position is. So we've tried to take more of our way in areas that are less populated," he said, adding that it comes down to having "great players" on a team to win.
Belichick also said that the "hallmark" of the Patriots has been that everyone is committed to a common goal and there is "great leadership with the Kraft family up at the top."
When asked how he keeps a varied group of players motivated, Belichick talked about how much he enjoys football, saying "it beats working." He naturally looks for players who have a similar mindset, though he said it can be challenging because players come from so many different backgrounds.
"If you like football, and you like to come in and work on football, then the New England Patriots is a great place to be," he said. "If you don't, if it's a job, if you'd rather be doing something else, honestly you'd be better off with another team.
"I think it starts there -- a love of the game, the passion for the game, a passion to be part of a team, be part of a group, be part of a commitment to perform at a high level, and be unselfish and to give up some of your own personal goals and desires for the good of the team for the opportunity to be part of something special in a team environment. I think those are the things that help us."