It’s been an odd six months for the New England Patriots.
In between (unsuccessfully) vying for their sixth Super Bowl championship, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick found themselves in the midst of an alleged power struggle. First brought to light by an ESPN feature, the rumors of a Brady-Belichick was enough to completely dominate any offseason of undeniable change in Foxboro. It only intensified when Brady made the seemingly out-of-character decision to skip out on the Patriots’ voluntary offseason workout programs, and both parties failed to fan the flames as they essentially opted not to answer questions about the other.
But Brady reported to camp — and earlier than required, at that — which was completely in line with what Belichick expected.
And it was Belichick that provided exactly what you expected when pressed on Brady before Thursday’s on-field session behind Gillette Stadium.
“Well, all the quarterbacks are required to report [today], and they all did like they always do,” Belichick said on Thursday when asked about Brady’s early arrival to training camp. “So, Tom’s never missed anything that’s been required.”
When asked about his relationship with Brady, Belichick once again opted to look at it from the overall team scope.
“I feel like I have a good relationship with all of our players,” Belichick said. “I hope so.”
And asked if he was ever concerned that Brady was no longer committed to playing, Belichick responded with a quick, “No.”
Another quick no from Belichick came when he was asked if Brady’s personal trainer, Alex Guerrero, was part of his staff.
The polarizing Guerrero, of course, was Brady’s go-to guy on the sidelines up until the Patriots reportedly revoked his access last year. Belichick was also asked if there’s concern with Guerrero’s methods due to Julian Edelman getting popped for using a performance-enhancing drug. A violation that will leave Belichick, Brady, and the Pats without their No. 1 wide receiver for the first four weeks of the season. And it was with that question that Belichick provided his lengthiest non-answer.
“We instruct all of our players the same way, and we’ll continue to do that. I mean, we never want to do anything that we’re not allowed to do,” Belichick offered. “We always want to play and abide by the rules, and we want to, at the same time, do what’s best for the team. So, we’ll continue to instruct all of our players that way in every area.”