Had Bill Belichick been willing to alter the way he treated his Hall of Fame-bound quarterback, Tom Brady might never have left the New England Patriots.
At least, that’s what Brady’s longtime trainer, Alex Guerrero, believes. Ahead of next week’s showdown between the Patriots and Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Guerrero explained his view of the Brady-Belichick divorce in conversation with the Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian.
“The interesting thing I think there — and this is just me, an outsider looking in — it was like Bill never really … I think his emotions or feelings never evolved with age,” Guerrero told Guregian in an article published Thursday. “I think in time, with Tom, as Tom got into his late 30s or early 40s, I think Bill was still trying to treat him like that 20-year-old kid that he drafted. And all the players, I think, realized Tom was different.
“He’s older, so he should be treated differently. And all the players, none of them would have cared that he was treated differently. I think that was such a Bill thing. He never evolved. So you can’t treat someone who’s in his 40s like they’re 20. It doesn’t work.”
Earlier this week, Tom Brady’s father, Tom Sr., said on Tom E. Curran’s “Patriots Talk” podcast that Belichick “wanted (Brady) out the door” and “it was pretty obvious that the Patriot regime felt that it was time for him to move on.” Asked whether he felt vindicated by his son’s immediate success in Tampa Bay — Brady won a Super Bowl in his first Bucs season — Tom Sr. replied: “Damn right.”
“People could have made different choices, and they could have rode out into the sunset together,” Guerrero told Guregian. “That could have been a pretty cool story, too. At the end of the day, when we prepare to play, we have a lot of drive and determination and will. I don’t know that we prepare or have the drive and determination or will to win through vindication. … We have the drive and the will and the determination to win because we love winning.”
Brady, who’s now seeking his eighth Super Bowl title, has shown no signs of decline at age 44. Through two games — both Bucs wins — he leads all NFL quarterbacks with nine touchdown passes.