Former Patriot Plays Down Brady-Belichick Drama
Photo: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
The entire 2018 offseason has been one huge rollercoaster of emotions for Patriots fans.
New England lost key players on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, as well as their defensive coordinator Matt Patricia. Perhaps the worst news of the offseason has been the reported division between the triumvirate of the NFL’s premier dynasty.
Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick, and Tom Brady are rumored to be at odds, with Belichick mad at Kraft for siding with Brady. Belichick could be mad because he was forced to trade the next franchise quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo, as well as the fact that Kraft has rumored to have flexed more muscle in football-related decisions now than ever before.
As for Brady, many columnists came out after Super Bowl LII saying that he was upset that Belichick revoked his personal trainer Alex Guerrero’s access to the Patriot’s facility. With all the reported strife, as well as the fact that Brady skipped mandatory minicamp, many Pats fans were fearing the worst with just days remaining until training camp officially starts. One former Patriot, however, may have provided the Patriot version of Aaron Rodgers’ ‘R-E-L-A-X’ speech.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots linebacker James Harrison made the rounds on sports talk shows this past week. When appearing on UNDISPUTED, as well as ‘The Herd’ with Colin Cowherd, the 40-year-old Harrison tried to dispel any fairy tales surrounding the Patriots. Harrison freely admitted that going into Foxborough, he was anxious to see the supposed cracks in the wall the Patriots had built after almost two decades.
As a newly released Steeler, the loss in Week 15 where Ben Roethlisberger threw a fatal interception to lose the game in the closing seconds was fresh on Harrison’s mind. Even though he was now a Patriot, his heart and mind were still at least partly with the Pittsburg and he still bore enmity towards New England. Harrison would have been looking with an eagle eye to see any signs of weakness. However, Harrison was adamant that he saw no dissension in the ranks in Foxborough.
Brady and Belichick seemingly went along their day-to-day business as per usual, with nothing out of the ordinary. Harrison was so confident in his statement, he doubled down, saying that he believed the Patriots were leaking these stories to make themselves seem more vulnerable.
It’s true that the current offseason was the strongest in the Brady-Belichick era. The disconnect is probably there, but it’s just not as big as we are all making it out to be. Harrison might be right that the best coach and quarterback ever aren’t at odds, but the truth is probably somewhere in between that and the columnist’s proclamations that the Pats dynasty is over.
One thing is for sure, the Patriots have been able to compartmentalized problems like no team ever seen, and come January and February, be ready to see their familiar faces playing deep into the postseason.