There’s even more tension between New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick than had been initially reported, according to a new book on the team from Seth Wickersham titled “It’s Better To Be Feared,”
Kraft and Belichick’s relationship struggles were initially unveiled by ESPN’s Seth Wickersham in his bombshell column.
There were clearly issues brewing over the period of two decades between three of the most prominent figures in NFL history — Kraft, Belichick and Tom Brady. Ultimately, for his own reasons, Brady found his way out of the organization and is enjoying his time as the reigning Super Bowl champ with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
This excerpt from the book details the frustration Kraft reportedly has with Belichick.
“As for Kraft, in late September, he was in Aspen (Colorado) for a conference and bumped into a few friends in the hotel lobby early one morning. He told them he was leaving later for Detroit, where the Patriots were playing their next game. ‘I hate leaving here. 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.’
“‘Bill was an idiot savant. I gave him this opportunity.’”
That’s a serious claim for an owner that appeared to have an extremely close relationship with his head coach. But, the writing was on the wall with Wickersham’s original piece — as he noted the disagreements that were openly present.
They differ on Brady’s trainer, body coach and business partner Alex Guerrero; over the team’s long-term plans at quarterback; over Belichick’s bracing coaching style; and most of all, over who will be the last man standing. Those interviewed describe a palpable sense in the building that this might be the last year together for this group.
Kraft was reportedly in favor of keeping Brady around for as long as possible and Belichick was ready to move on and ultimately keep Jimmy Garoppolo as the future of the franchise. These were decision-making disagreements that didn’t appear to strain the relationship.
If these reports are true, there’s more to work on in Foxborough than just the roster at hand.