If there ever really was tension between Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, the two New England Patriots stalwarts have done an amazing job of moving past it.

Brady expressed admiration for Belichick after New England’s AFC Championship Game win over the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Patriots coach further brushed aside any talk of friction between him and his quarterback Monday by chalking up previous reports of such as “gossip” he simply was unwilling to entertain.

“Some of these people — I have never met them, never talked to them,” Belichick said on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni & Fauria,” as transcribed by WEEI.com. “I am not going to get into a bunch of gossip.”

While Belichick’s stoic demeanor and sometimes terse responses often rub people the wrong way, Stephen A. Smith has no issue with how the coach has handled the rumors of tension in Foxboro. In fact, as Smith explained Tuesday on ESPN’s “First Take,” Belichick gets a bad rap but actually should be lauded for his approach to the situation.

It’s certainly possible, if not likely, that Brady and Belichick have had some disagreements over the years. Such is life when you work together in a high-stress environment for nearly two decades. It sure seems like reports of their relationship being rocky were overblown, though, and any discord definitely hasn’t impacted either individual’s ability to do his job.

The Patriots, who defeated the Chiefs 37-31 in overtime, will face the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII. It’ll mark New England’s third consecutive Super Bowl appearance, its fourth in five years and its ninth since the 2001 season with Belichick and Brady working side by side.

Thumbnail photo via Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports Images