Chris Jackson/Associated Press
One week before the New England Patriots report to Gillette Stadium for the start of training camp, tension reportedly still exists between quarterback Tom Brady, head coach Bill Belichick and owner Robert Kraft.
Per Greg A. Bedard of the Boston Sports Journal, the bond between Brady and Kraft is at the heart of Belichick’s issues with the group:
“According to multiple sources, nothing has been hashed out between the three of them, at least at this time. That could certainly change as they come off vacation and ready for the season. But sources say the more likely scenario is that things are worked out slowly during camp—or not at all.
“Belichick continues to be irritated that Kraft has increasingly interjected himself into areas that were largely Belichick’s domain during his tenure with the Patriots. That includes the owner’s deference to Brady and his role in the retention of Josh McDaniels.”
In January, ESPN’s Seth Wickersham detailed the fractured relationship between Brady and Belichick that stems from four key issues, including the role of Brady’s trainer and business partner Alex Guerrero in the organization, Belichick’s style of coaching and who gets credit for the Patriots’ run of sustained success.
At the Milken Institute Global Conference in April, Brady said he’s had a “very respectful relationship” with Belichick during their time together:
“He has a management style of players that … He would say, ‘look, I’m not the easiest coach to play for’ and I agree, he’s not the easiest coach to play for, but he’s the best for me. I think what he’s proven is that whatever talent that he has he maximizes talent. I mean what more can you ask of a coach than that? That what I want as a player.”
Brady and Belichick’s rift didn’t prevent the Patriots from winning their eighth AFC championship together, though they were ultimately defeated by the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII.
New England has been the NFL‘s most successful franchise since Brady took over at quarterback in 2001, during Belichick’s second season as head coach, with five Super Bowl titles. The Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants are the only other teams with multiple championships during that span.