HOUSTON -- If you measure greatness in Lombardi trophies, Super Bowl LI could become a coronation for one of the most accomplished power couples in the history of the sport.
Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are in their record seventh Super Bowl together as quarterback and head coach. They are 4-2, including a victory in February 2015 over the Seattle Seahawks, whose defensive coordinator was current Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn.
Even for Belichick -- as he began the week surrounded by a media contingent packed tightly near an interview booth Monday night -- playing on football's greatest stage doesn't get old.
"This is where you want to be at the end of the year," Belichick said at the opening of his interview session during Super Bowl Opening Night at Minute Maid Park. "A lot of work has gone into this. A lot of games under pressure. A lot of hours together."
Brady can set a modern-era record with his fifth ring, an idea he said he is beginning to digest.
"It's a great game to watch. Imagine what it's like to play," Brady said before a throng of 150 reporters in a 60-minute interview session. "I've loved it since I was a kid watching, growing up in the Bay Area, watching my idols Joe Montana and Steve Young. Running out there on Sunday ... it never gets old."
Brady said getting to another Super Bowl means only that he's "been a part of some really great teams," not that he belongs at or near the top of the pantheon of great passers -- including Montana, who went 4-0 in Super Bowls.
"I really don't, that's not even why I got into this game -- to be the best," Brady said of consideration to his own legacy. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I've had seven chances at. I'm going to do everything I can to make sure it's a win."
The Patriots barely let out a hoorah during the AFC Championship Game celebration in their postgame locker room, with the exception of tight end Martellus Bennett, who has tried and failed to reach this point with three other franchises (Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Chicago Bears). Belichick brought up a saying "No Medals for Trying" that applies to the 2016 team and the goal it set in preseason.
"Competitors, you win and you aren't satisfied until you get the next one," Belichick said.
Brady, research and analytics mastermind Ernie Adams, offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia and Belichick are the lone remaining Patriots from their previous Super Bowl at Houston, in February 2004, when they beat the Carolina Panthers.
Belichick owns the record for postseason wins and is tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Chuck Noll for the most Super Bowl victories by a head coach with four. As an assistant or head coach, Belichick has participated in 19.6 percent of all Super Bowls.
"He's the greatest coach of all time," Brady said of Belichick. "He's a great motivator. He doesn't take any days off. He sets a great example for us, dependability, what it means to be a Patriot."