Historic pairing: Tom Brady, Bill Belichick in 7th Super Bowl

    New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady celebrate after advancing to Super Bowl LI.

    Story highlights

    • Belichick and Brady enter their 7th Super Bowl together, the most for any head coach and starting quarterback duo
    • They are finishing their 17th season together

    Houston (CNN)The greatest NFL head coach-quarterback combination began 17 years ago. But before Bill Belichick and Tom Brady could get started, Brady was going to need some directions.

    Belichick was hired as the New England Patriots head coach on January 27, 2000. Shortly after, on April 16 -- which happens to be Belichick's birthday -- the Patriots selected Brady 199th overall in the 2000 NFL Draft.
      "When they picked me, I had to look on a map to see where the New England Patriots played, because I had never been this far east," Brady, a California native, said. "But it was a magical day in my life, and I know for Patriot fans having Coach Belichick come to this team was the best thing for this franchise."
      The rest, at least for Patriots fans, is glorious history. Sunday will be Belichick and Brady's seventh appearance together in the Super Bowl, a record for both a head coach and player.
      Should they win their fifth Super Bowl together, Belichick and Brady will surpass another legendary head coach-quarterback duo: Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Chuck Noll and quarterback Terry Bradshaw, who have four.