The Tom Brady and Bill Belichick saga is sure to reach its apex on Sunday night when the Buccaneers travel to Foxborough to take on the Patriots at Brady’s old stomping grounds, but now comments made by Patriots owner Robert Kraft shows it’s always been a three-ring circus of hostility.
ESPN senior writer Seth Wickersham is set to release his new book, It’s Better to Be Feared, which examines the Patriots dynasty and includes hundreds of interviews from those around the team over the years, on October 12. The book tells the story of Kraft leaving a conference in Colorado to go to Detroit for a Patriots game and telling a group of friends how he felt about having to be around Belichick.
“I hate leaving here,” Kraft said, per ESPN. “You leave here, and you leave some of the most brilliant people you’ve ever met. You pick up so much knowledge from all these brilliant minds. And I have to go to Detroit to be with the biggest f—–ng a–hole in my life — my head coach.”
Kraft then allegedly called Belichick an “idiot savant,” a real glowing assessment of the six-time Super Bowl champion head coach. It’s also reflective of the behind-the-scenes drama that existed in the final years of the Brady/Belichick era.
Many have taken a second look at Belichick’s treatment of Brady, especially now that Brady’s trainer, Alex Guerrero, has come out and said that Belichick’s relationship never evolved with Brady. Guerrero said Brady was often treated like he was 20 years old when he was 40.
The book touches on Brady’s departure from New England and the day he decided to bolt for Tampa Bay. You’d think after 20 years and six Super Bowls, the two parties would have a sit-down conversation, right? Think again.
Belichick told Brady he was unavailable to talk in person and insisted the two talk over the phone instead. Brady told a friend that was telling of how the relationship had soured through the years. The two had a conversation and that was it. Brady joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers soon after.
Sure, there were rumblings that Kraft wanted to keep Brady and Belichick didn’t, but neither Kraft nor Belichick has confirmed that. Belichick was even asked about it directly by the Boston media during his Monday press conference. Belichick shrugged off the questions and gave a vague response.
“We made a statement when Tom left, and that covered it,” Belichick said.
While Belichick said he didn’t want to rehash anything in the past, NBC Sports Boston insider Tom Curran rightfully pushed back and said that Belichick had never addressed Brady’s departure to the media.
The way Belichick has handled it has been suspect at best. And it’s likely he will never spill the true story of why Brady left. Hopefully we get something from Brady once he hangs ’em up, whenever that may be.
Until then, we have the first-hand experiences from those in the book to go from.