The New England Patriots are not happy with the ESPN report released last week and head coach Bill Belichick shared his feelings.
The New England Patriots were the center of attention this past weekend despite not playing a game. The Patriots earned a bye week in the Wild Card round but were not out of the news.
The ESPN report regarding the relationship between Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft has generated a lot of talk throughout the past week. Bill Belichick claimed on Monday that he never even read the report.
"“I haven’t read the article,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said in a conference call. “I’ve already commented at length about (the Jimmy Garoppolo trade). Nothing’s happened since then, so I don’t have anything to add to it.”"
Robert Kraft and Tom Brady also disputed the comments within the report. Kraft stated that the report of a meeting with Coach Belichick is “a total fabrication and fiction. I am telling you, it’s fiction.”
He went on to add that he “absolutely” believes Belichick will be coaching the team next season.
Brady laid out his opinion during his weekly appearance with Jim Gray on Westwood One Sports Radio. He mentioned that the relationship between the three is the same he’s “seen it for the last 18 years.”
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But now, according to the MMQB’s Peter King, the ESPN report has the Patriots more furious than anything since the DeflateGate scandal in 2015.
"“The Patriots haven’t been as angry about anything since the Tom Brady deflated footballs scandal,” King wrote. “Apoplectic might be a better word.”"
One topic King focuses on is the apparent “mandate” that Kraft issued Belichick to trade quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The alleged “mandate” left Belichick “furious and demoralized.”
Kraft told King in an interview that the “mandate” was falsely reported and never occurred. King noted that he “never heard Robert Kraft more strident about anything — and that includes Spygate and Deflategate” than he was in refuting that report.
"“Kraft’s voice rose, his ire clear sentence after sentence, as he insisted he did not tell Belichick to make the trade,” King wrote. “I have known Kraft since soon after he bought the team in 1994, and the one thing that sets him off is someone questioning his word. That’s why this set him off.”"
As Belichick was asked whether or not he was “furious and demoralized”, he quickly shut the rumor down.
"“First of all, I don’t really know what you’re talking about; I haven’t read the article. I don’t know what that refers to. Look, Mike [Reiss], I know we’re been through this before. I know you want to report on things that are inaccurate and un-attributable. I’m not really interested in responding to all those random, and I would say in a lot of cases, baseless comments.”"
Belichick added later that he “absolutely” plans on coaching the team in 2018. On a later appearance on DaleHolleyWEEI, the coach stated that he had a “great relationship” with owner Robert Kraft and quarterback Tom Brady.