Bill Belichick still isn't in any mood to talk about Tom Brady.

Monday, the New England Patriots coach held a pre-draft conference call, the first time he'd spoken to reporters since Jan. 5 – the day after the perennial AFC East champs' wild-card loss to the Tennessee Titans. 

That playoff ouster also will represent the final time Brady, now a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Belichick deemed his departure "water under the bridge" – suited up for the team that he led to nine Super Bowls and six Lombardi Trophies after New England drafted him in 2000.

"It would be of course impossible to sum up everything that Tom did in 20 years into a comment, then or now," said Belichick, "and I’m sure we’ll be talking about him for years and decades to come. For right now, we’re moving forward and focused on the draft here for this call, and that’s really where our attention has been and will continue to be is to put the best team (together) in 2020."

Back in January, Belichick – Mr. "We're on to Cincinnati," his mantra intended to keep the Patriots always looking ahead – wanted to talk about the loss to the Titans, not Brady's future. Now it's all about the draft, not reflecting on Brady's contributions over two stellar decades in Foxborough. 

In between, on March 17, Belichick did say this of Brady, after he announced his intention to leave the Patriots: "Tom and I will always have a great relationship built on love, admiration, respect and appreciation. Tom’s success as a player and his character as a person are exceptional. Nothing about the end of Tom’s Patriots career changes how unfathomably spectacular it was. With his relentless competitiveness and longevity, he earned everyone’s adoration and will be celebrated forever. It has been a privilege to coach Tom Brady for 20 years.

"Sometimes in life, it takes some time to pass before truly appreciating something or someone but that has not been the case with Tom. He is a special person and the greatest quarterback of all-time."

Yet now, Belichick is unsurprisingly planning for life after Brady, second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham currently the only quarterback listed on the team's roster. Veteran Brian Hoyer has agreed to return to the team in 2020, however his signing has yet to be officially announced.

Stidham threw only four passes in three brief appearances as a rookie but seems likely to get first crack at taking over for TB12.

Belichick admitted Monday that the team will have to alter its approach after designing the offense around Brady for so many years.

"Over the last two decades, everything we did, every single decision we made in terms of major planning, was made with the idea of how to make things best for Tom Brady," said Belichick.

"Each quarterback has a different skill set, and whatever things that particular player does well, we’ll try to work towards and feature, or at least give him an opportunity to do those. And the things that either he doesn’t do well or needs more experience at or whatever the case might be, then we’ll try to minimize or until those things improve, work around them."

The Patriots hold the 23rd pick of next week's NFL draft but don't pick again until No. 87, deep in the third round. Among this year's top passing prospects, Oregon's Justin Herbert and Utah State's Jordan Love are the most realistic targets, but either might require a move up in Round 1.

Predictably, Belichick spoke in generalities about this year's incoming crop of passers, which includes LSU's Joe Burrow, Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa, Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts, Georgia's Jake Fromm and Washington's Jacob Eason.

"There’s quite a range of players and some of the systems that they play in in college are different, either than what we run or what traditional NFL systems would look like," said Belichick.

"There are always a variety of things you have to try to put together and look at, but certainly there’s a lot of interesting players and guys who have really good arms, can really throw the ball and some very athletic players, some players that have won a lot of games and have shown their competitiveness and instinctiveness. So, interesting group and probably one that has decent depth to it."

Burrow is expected to be the first pick off the board to the Bengals, while Tagovailoa is widely projected as a top-five selection.

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Follow USA TODAY Sports' Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis