For the better part of a year, we have heard constant whispers about the deteriorating relationship between the architects of the New England Patriots’ dynasty.
Tom Brady and Bill Belichick’s supposed icy bond appeared like it would eventually bring Rome to ruin, but with Week 14 of the NFL season here, the Patriots stand at 9-3 and have a chance to clinch their 10th consecutive AFC East title.
There have been no rumors of discontent or palace intrigue for quite some time, and ESPN’s Jeff Darlington reported Sunday, citing sources, that Brady and Belichick have made amends and their relationship has improved vastly from a year ago.
“Speaking of relationships, I’ve had a number of conversations with people closely involved with the relationship between Bill Belichick and Tom Brady,” Darlington said, via WEEI. “And then, I come out here 90 minutes ago and we see Belichick and Brady on the field right behind me having this exchange that puts it all into perfect words. Basically what’s happening here, a year ago there was strain on this relationship, there were issues between Belichick and Brady that were ongoing. But now, suddenly, something has changed. Based on the conversations I’ve had, there’s been no watershed moment, but suddenly these two guys are communicating better and getting along this year.
“As one person put it, ‘They are vibing much more. If got to a point where it wouldn’t have lasted this year if it went like it did last year. Better communication. He’s treating Tom more like a 41-year-old man.'”
New England’s season hasn’t been without its bumps, but if Belichick has indeed changed his coaching tactics to treat Brady more like the five-time Super Bowl champion he is rather than just another player, that could mean the extension of Brady and Belichick’s run for a few more years.