ESPN – New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady felt trapped this past offseason and was not sure he wanted to play anymore for the only NFL coach he has ever had, Bill Belichick, according to a new book on Belichick’s life.
“If you’re married 18 years to a grouchy person who gets under your skin and never compliments you, after a while you want to divorce him,” a source with knowledge of the Brady-Belichick relationship told ESPN’s Ian O’Connor, author of “Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time,” after the 2017 season. “Tom knows Bill is the best coach in the league, but he’s had enough of him. If Tom could, I think he would divorce him.”
What is dead may never die.
In the latest bombshell to drop in the Belichick (sources) vs Brady (sources) war of words comes this new book from ESPN’s Ian O’Connor that has quite a few juicy excerpts. Before people try to discredit this book or start holding their breath until they pass out like a child, O’Connor has been at ESPN as a senior writer for years and is generally pretty favorable towards the Pats despite being a longtime NY guy.
So lets get to it shall we?
“Based on interviews with 350 people (Belichick did not cooperate), the book, due out Tuesday, reports Brady was so upset with his coach that he still wasn’t certain in late March if he would return to the Patriots.
“But in the end, even if he wanted to, Brady could not walk away from the game, and he could not ask for a trade,” O’Connor wrote. “The moment Belichick moved [Jimmy] Garoppolo to San Francisco, and banked on Brady’s oft-stated desire to play at least into his mid-forties, was the moment Brady was virtually locked into suiting up next season and beyond. Had he retired or requested a trade, he would have risked turning an adoring New England public into an angry mob.”
If Brady felt painted into a corner it’s because he was, but that’s mostly through his own doing. By continuously saying he wanted to play until he was 45 and (allegedly) complaining about a contract extension he essentially told the team I want to be here for the long term. And by elevating his play to levels of success never seen before the Patriots had zero choice when it came to keeping or trading Brady. A victim of his own success it would seem if he does indeed hate working with Belichick that bad.
“New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman recalled in the book that Belichick told him years earlier about a disagreement Brady had with a Patriots strength coach over equipment. “Belichick said, ‘If Tom Brady wants it, Tom Brady gets it,‘” Cashman said. “If you get a player at that level, you get him what he needs, even if the strength coach says otherwise.”
This is a little disingenuous from Cashman because you’re telling me that Jeter, A-Rod, Mariano, Posada, Sheffield, CLEMENS, and other star players didn’t get special treatment? Bull. Shit. The top performers get special treatment in every team or 9-5 office.
According to the book, Brady’s family long felt Belichick would push out his longtime franchise player before he was ready to retire. Brady’s sister Nancy is quoted telling people that her brother believed “Belichick will definitely do to him someday what the Colts did to Peyton [Manning].“
Brady started worrying for his job almost immediately after Belichick cited his age and contract status –– and the coach’s desire to be “early rather than late at that position” — when the Patriots drafted Garoppolo in 2014.
100% valid concern from Brady because Belichick absolutely
will would have done this when he felt it was best for the team in the long run. However, Brady winning Super Bowl XLIX, and Super Bowl LI, and Super Bowl MVP in both, and league MVP at the age of 40 kind of blew that plan to smithereens though. Still, it’s not a great look for Brady if true because it essentially admits to something we’ve all known for years; Brady’s late career resurgence is due almost entirely to his fear of being replaced by Jimmy G.
Don’t get it twisted, thats not a knock on Tom Brady, thats just human nature. As much as Brady would hate to admit it; thats just great coaching. Bill knew what buttons to push as Brady would either double down and work even harder to improve from a dip in production….or he wouldn’t and Bill would push Brady out for Jimmy G.
“One New England assistant said the general feeling among staff members around that time wasn’t that Belichick’s system could make Super Bowl quarterbacks out of all 32 NFL starters. “But if you gave us any of the top 15, we could do it,” the assistant said. “I don’t think the coaches view Tom as special as everyone else in football does. Mr. Kraft thinks Tom is the greatest gift ever, but the coaches don’t.”
This is probably the single most disrespectful thing thats ever been said about Tom Brady. Listen, I love Bill Belichick, he’s hands down the greatest coach in the history of the league, but even for him this is cocky. I hate getting into the sports talk radio debate of how many Super Bowls would Bill or Brady have without the other? Would Bill win 2, 3, or all 5 without Brady and vice versa? Its a fortuitous situation for both that built the greatest dynasty the league will ever see. But for Belichick to completely discount Brady’s all-time talent, football IQ, work ethic and clutch ability is just nonsense. Could the Patriots probably be a pretty decent team with Matt Stafford or Philip Rivers or Ben Roethlisberger? Yea probably. Are they winning 5 Super Bowls with any of those guys? Doubtful. But to say that the Patriots would be a consistent Super Bowl team with the Andy Daltons, Dak Prescotts, and Case Keenums of the world is just spitting in TB12’s face and I will not stand for it.
“One person close to Brady said his entire family was “miffed” at Belichick for telling reporters to ask the quarterback about his preferences on game balls and “very miffed” at Kraft for reluctantly announcing in 2015 that he wouldn’t fight Brady’s four-game ban…Brady told friends that his weak answer to the news conference question about whether he was a cheater — “I don’t believe so” — didn’t betray a consciousness of Deflategate guilt, but rather thoughts of the earlier Spygate conviction and his belief that at least some of the suspicions over the years about alleged Patriots black-ops tactics were likely true.
I think years from now we’ll look back and point to Deflategate as the beginning of the end for the Brady Belichick relationship. According to all reports, Brady still outright denies doing anything shady in Deflategate so he feels, whether it’s accurate or not, that he did nothing wrong. Belichick however already had one huge black mark on his resume with the whole Spygate scandal. Despite Spygate being the most overblown story of the past quarter century, Belichick knew what it would mean for him and his legacy if he was blamed for a second league scandal though. So yup, he dumped that shit right in Brady’s lap.
Now if you’re Brady you have to feel like you’re getting hung out to dry *solely* because your coach was fucking around with cameras and filming rules 10 years prior and tossed the hot potato to you. That has to have destroyed any semblance of trust remaining between the two sides. Hell, Brady probably felt like he was paying for Bill’s past crimes as the team felt it had to distance itself from Tom and the Deflategate scandal just to save face as an organization and a coach.
Now we get to the juicy stuff when it comes to past relationships with his former mentor in Bill Parcells.
“[Bill] Parcells is quoted in the book questioning why his former defensive coordinator’s game plan in the Giants’ Super Bowl XXV upset of the Bills ended up in Canton. “I don’t know whose idea that was to put it in the Hall of Fame,” Parcells said. “If anything should be in the Hall of Fame, it should be [offensive coordinator] Ron Erhardt’s game plan. We had the ball for 40 minutes and some seconds. That takes work, consistent play. We were only on defense for 19 minutes. To me, we had a good game plan against them. It was well thought out, a couple of things we did, the two-man lines in that game. But I’m not diminishing anything. I’m just telling you. I don’t know how that happened. I’m not knocking anyone here.”
Bill Parcells remains the saltiest man in the history of the league. If you haven’t seen The Two Bills documentary it is a must watch for any Patriots fan. It details the “repairing” of a fractured relationship between a mentor and mentee, but it sure as shit didn’t feel that way watching it. Parcells came off as a guy who thinks Belichick got lucky in a great situation and all but says he would have won just as much if he had Tom Brady too. I mean I get it, I guess. In an environment you could never win in your younger protege comes into the same exact environment and wins FIVE Super Bowls. Thats gotta sting. So you tell yourself what you need to tell yourself to sleep at night.
There’s also some great tidbits on Belichick’s relationships with Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, Aaron Hernandez, the unlikelihood of Bill ever getting the Giants head coaching job in the late 80s/early 90s, and Belichick’s father being an awesome dude.
Great, now I have to buy ANOTHER book.