Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have been around long enough to not let distractions have an effect on them before the biggest game of the season, but the two future Hall of Famers may not be on the best of terms as they try to win their sixth Super Bowl together.
As he reported last month, Ian Rapoport reiterated on Sunday that Brady, Belichick and Patriots owner Robert Kraft intend to get together after the season to work through some “issues” that have come up.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 4, 2018
One of the topics that will be discussed, according to Rapoport, is how the relationship between Brady’s personal trainer Alex Guerrero and the team should be handled. There is also said to be some lingering “angst” over the way Jimmy Garoppolo was traded. Rapoport also noted that Brady could be in line for a contract extension, as he is signed for just two more seasons and is showing no signs of slowing down or wanting to retire.
There have still been some rumblings that one or both of Brady and Belichick could decide to retire after the season, but we’ve already explained why there’s virtually no chance of that happening. History tells you they will work through whatever problems they’ve had and continue to focus on winning.
Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are set to take part in their eighth Super Bowl together on Sunday, and the rumblings that it could be the final game with the New England Patriots for one or both of the future Hall of Famers have not completely disappeared. But they probably should.
As ESPN’s Dianna Russini noted on Sunday morning, there are still some people around the NFL who believe both Brady and Belichick could retire after Super Bowl LII.
Right now on @espn NFL Countdown it’s brought to light about what many in the league have been hearing which this game could possibly be both Bill Belichick and Tom Brady’s final games. Both could be hanging it up. Post game could be incredible tonight if this becomes truth.
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) February 4, 2018
There are a number of reasons why that makes virtually no sense. The most obvious is that the Patriots just traded Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers for a second-round draft pick. If they were less than 100 percent certain that Brady would return in 2018, why would they have unloaded Garoppolo?
Also, Brady’s entire personal brand now hinges on him playing well into his 40s. He and personal trainer Alex Guerrero plan to run the TB12 performance institute well after Brady’s playing days are over, and the brand becomes stronger and the methods more trusted the longer Brady plays at a high level. Brady has said in the past that he will retire when he feels he’s not getting the job done, and he was just named the NFL MVP.
Belichick seems more likely to leave the Patriots after the season than Brady, but all indications have been that he’s not going anywhere. While Brady and Belichick riding off into the sunset together would make for a dramatic storyline, there’s almost no chance it is going to happen.
Bill Belichick took a break from gameplanning on Thursday night and decided to attend the Minnesota Timberwolves-Milwaukee Bucks game.
Belichick was seated courtside with his girlfriend Linda Holliday.
— Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) February 2, 2018
— Master Tesfatsion (@MasterTes) February 2, 2018
Belichick is friendly with Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau, who is a Connecticut native and Patriots fan.
“I grew up in Connecticut, so obviously I’m a Patriots fan,” Thibodeau said in a piece for ESPN that ran this week. “When I was in Boston I had an opportunity to watch them very closely. I had the good fortune of going down [for] a day and watching practice and getting a chance to visit with him. His record speaks for itself. He’s one of the all-time greats, if not the greatest. What he’s done is simply amazing, and as a New Englander I don’t take that for granted. I appreciate every moment.”
It’s nothing short of shocking to see Belichick at an NBA game three days before the Super Bowl. Typically known for being laser-focused on the job at hand, it’s surprising to see Belichick enjoying himself at any time, let alone days before the New England Patriots’ biggest game of the season, which will be played in Minnesota on Sunday.
- Bill Belichick
While there may have been more issues than usual going on behind the scenes with the New England Patriots this past season, it does not sound like the relationship between Bill Belichick and Tom Brady’s personal trainer is at the center of them.
Alex Guerrero, Brady’s body coach, spoke with WEEI’s Kirk Minihane on Tuesday night about the bombshell ESPN story that claimed there is a major power struggle going on within the Patriots organization. Guerrero says he and Belichick shared a laugh and a high-five over the Seth Wickersham piece.
— Kirk & Callahan (@KirkAndCallahan) January 31, 2018
One of the most shocking anecdotes from the story claimed former Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo went to the TB12 performance center at Gillette Stadium — which is owned by Brady and run by Guerrero — and was denied treatment. Guerrero insists that is not true.
Breaking: @kirkmin spoke with Alex Guerrero last night and Guerrero said that he and Belichick get along great and have no issues. Guerrero also told Kirk that he never locked Jimmy G out of the TB12 facility.
— Kirk & Callahan (@KirkAndCallahan) January 31, 2018
While it is true that Belichick has limited Guerrero’s access to the team in recent years, the coach said earlier this month that he feels he has a good relationship with Guerrero. He probably would have just declined to speak on the matter if there were some sort of major rift.
There’s almost certainly some truth to Wickersham’s reporting, but even he has seemingly backtracked from one of the major takeaways of the piece. Despite the supposed power struggle, the Patriots are one win away from capturing their sixth Super Bowl in the Belichick-Brady era.
Bill Belichick had no interest in holding the Lamar Hunt Trophy after his New England Patriots’ 24-20 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
Belichick was handed the trophy in the postgame ceremony after the Patriots won the AFC. The head coach quickly handed off the hardware to someone else:
Bill Belichick’s utter contempt for the AFC Championship trophy remains legendary pic.twitter.com/9TDv96qxde
— Jason Schwartz (@JasonSchwartz) January 21, 2018
Though many found the sequence to be humorous, it should not be interpreted as a sign of how little Belichick cares about winning the AFC yet again. All one needs to see is how emotional Belichick was after the Patriots iced the game to know how he felt.
- Bill Belichick
Tom Brady’s performance in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday proved that all of the concern about his hand injury was overblown. But just in case anyone still wants to harp on it, Bill Belichick tried to put things in perspective after the 24-20 win.
When a reporter asked Belichick about Brady’s hand, the coach praised his quarterback for his toughness but pointed out that “we’re not talking about open-heart surgery.”
— Joe Giza (@JoeGiza) January 21, 2018
That’s one way to look at it.
While some will interpret that as a shot at Brady, Belichick was clearly just annoyed with how many questions the Patriots faced about the injury all week. Given some of the latest reports we heard about Brady’s hand, it’s pretty impressive that he was able to play so well against one of the better defenses in the league.
It’s not often you see Bill Belichick let his emotions run wild, but he let loose after the New England Patriots clinched the AFC title.
Dion Lewis’s 18-yard run on third and long ensured that the Jacksonville Jaguars wouldn’t get the ball back before time expired, and Belichick went crazy — at least by his standards. He broke into a huge smile and cheered and applauded his team.
— Barstool Sports (@barstooltweetss) January 21, 2018
He also shared a bear hug with outgoing defensive coordinator Matt Patricia.
When your son is leaving for college, but you’re really excited for finals week.
Bill Belichick hugged Matt Patricia as the Patriots are off to another Super Bowl. pic.twitter.com/tx1x31UFmv
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) January 21, 2018
This is a meaningful win for the New England coaching staff, and it shows. Patricia and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels were likely coaching their last games in Foxboro, as Patricia is headed to Detroit and McDaniels to Indianapolis. This was a very tough one and another dramatic comeback, so the emotions were certainly on display.