Okay, boys, fun’s over. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Bill Belichick all missed the cut at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, so it’s back to the grind of preparing for the next grab at the Lombardi Trophy for the three NFL superstars who found, as Belichick noted on Saturday, that playing golf is far more difficult than flinging around a football.
"There is a lot more pressure here playing golf because it's just you," Belichick, in comparing the two sports, told Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis before he and PGA Tour partner Ricky Barnes shot a 12-under to miss out on Sunday’s final round action.
"I was talking to Tom and Peyton, actually, I played with both of them this week, we were just commenting on how much easier it is to play football where we sort of know what we're doing versus coming out here, where it's just you, no teammates," Belichick, who coaches Brady and the New England Patriots, added. "It’s just you standing over the putt or you standing on the tee and everybody watching. It’s a lot more pressure."
Brady and Belichick, as the winningest coach-QB duo in history, have reached five Super Bowls and won three of them but they haven’t teed it up together all that frequently. Brady, who one-putted the par-5 second hole at Pebble for his eagle, said playing with Coach was a treat.
"It’s been great," Brady told CBS Sports’ Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo during a weather delay on Saturday.
"He doesn’t yell at me out here like he does during the weeks of practice," Brady said, sparking guffaws all around. "We haven’t had too many chances to do things like this so this is a really special week for me to be with him."
Brady, who’s learned the ins and outs of championship football as well as how to handle the media from his oft-hoodied Sensei, made a point of saying he had his sights set on next season and would not dwell on the most recent campaign that ended three weeks ago at the hands of Manning and the Broncos.
"There’s no point in [looking back] because the season's over and it’s time to move on," Brady said. "For our team, it’s about the 2014 offseason and see what we can do to improve and be raring to go. It’s great when the Super Bowl for me ends because I know that I can put that season in the books and really start looking forward."
Belichick, who was happy to talk golf with the guys, agreed with his signal caller and then lapsed into the Bill-speak he usually reserves for reporters seeking anything of substance from him about the Patriots.
"I’m really proud of our team, proud of the way the players competed this year," Belichick said. "It didn’t turn out quite the way we wanted it to but they played hard, they played tough, they were aggressive every week, and I think everybody that we played felt like we were pretty competitive."
For Belichick, who said his offseason started two weeks ago at the Senior Bowl, it’s back to work on trying to get the Pats back to the big game that eluded them for the second straight season after Manning bounced New England out of the AFC Championship game.
For sure, the comfort zone for the coach, looking somewhat out of place in a visor and jacket but no hooded sweatshirt, is on the sidelines, despite what the crowd hurls at him, rather than inside the ropes, where spectators tend to be more genteel.
"The difference is in football, if it's third-and-five, and we gain four yards at home, the fans boo," Belichick said. "Here, no matter how far into the woods you hit it, probably the worst you'll get is an, 'Ooooooooohhh.’"