Tom Brady responds to reported fracturing in Patriots team


For a team that prides itself on an “us against the world” mentality, this is a dream come true.

The Patriots were off this week thanks to a first-round bye for the playoffs, but they sure weren’t out of the news.

In the wake of ESPN’s report Friday that the walls are crumbling inside the Patriots dynasty, Tom Brady took to the airwaves Saturday to say “not so fast.”

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The four-time Super Bowl MVP spoke during his weekly radio interview on Westwood One, airing at halftime of the AFC wild-card game between Kansas City and Tennessee, telling listeners all is under control in Foxboro.

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“I see it as I’ve seen it for the last 18 years: that we’re all there to do a job, and that’s to go out to do our best and help the team win,” Brady said. “That’s been very consistent here. That’s been a big reason why our team has been so successful, and I don’t see that any different going into this week.”

The ESPN report detailed the tension between Brady and coach Bill Belichick over the quarterback’s personal trainer, Alex Guerrero, who’s no longer allowed to fly on the team’s charter or stand on the sidelines.

But Brady says this week of preparation for the team hasn’t been any different than usual.

“I don’t think so. I think in so many ways, adversity that our team has faced over the years only makes us stronger. Everything is a great opportunity, and we have a great opportunity as a team.”

New England is favored to win its record-tying sixth Super Bowl, and the focus of that accomplishment overshadows anything else, according to Brady.

“We’ve worked very hard to get ourselves to this spot — to be 13-3, to have the No. 1 seed, to have the bye is a very hard thing to do,” he said. “So to let anything get in the way of that and all the hard work that people have really put into it and what we have achieved, to take away from that, it would be very unfortunate if we let this opportunity get away from us.”

The ESPN report said much of the tension came over the fate of then-backup quarterback and heir apparent Jimmy Garoppolo. According to author Seth Wickersham, Brady refused to mentor Garoppolo, and owner Robert Kraft forced Belichick to trade Garoppolo to San Francisco for the meager price of a second-round draft pick.

Garoppolo led the 49ers to five consecutive wins to close out the season.

Westwood One’s Jim Gray didn’t ask Brady about Garoppolo specifically, but did bring up his relationship with the owner.

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“He is a great person, man. He has been like a second father to me in so many ways,” Brady said. “I have a great relationship with Coach Belichick. We’ve worked together for 18 years. There’s no coach I’d rather play for, and I’ve loved my experience here. I certainly couldn’t be the player I am today without playing for such a great coach. So I see these as all positive things. That obviously doesn’t sell many newspapers, but to me, I have such gratitude toward my time here, and I’ve loved my experience. I continue to love my experience.”

The experience this season will likely include being named Most Valuable Player for the third time — at the age of 40.

But for the five-time Super Bowl champion, it’s about the team, not the player.

“I think there’s a humility that you understand that you’re not bigger than any of this, and I believe I’m certainly not,” Brady said. “And, you know, I love this team, I love this organization, and hopefully we can go out and make everybody proud by finishing the season the right way.”

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Mike is an 11-time Michigan Emmy Award winner who has spent nearly 30 years working in sports media.
Mike has spent nearly 30 years in all aspects of sports media, including on-air, 10 at ESPN and another 10 at Fox Sports Detroit. He now works as a TV agent, and lives with his family in West Bloomfield, MI.
Sudbury, Massachusetts
11-time Michigan Emmy winner
Emerson College
Books Written
The Longest Year: One Family's Journey Of Life, Death, And Love/If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Tigers/If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Lions
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