BOSTON (CBS) — Like his head coach, Tom Brady didn’t read the ESPN The Magazine story about a rift inside the Patriots organization.
But like Bill Belichick, who said the article was full of “random” and “baseless comments” during a conference call on Monday, Brady dismissed much of what was written.
“Everyone has different truths,” Brady told WEEI’s Kirk & Callahan on Tuesday. “When you talk about the way I see things, the way you guys see things, the way the writer may see things, the way Coach Belichick may see things, everyone has different truths based on their perspectives. I feel like I go about my business like I have every year, and again, I like to speak for myself, because that’s how — I don’t want to speak on someone else’s behalf or what their experiences are. I try to do the best I can do, like I’ve always done.”
When asked if stories like this bother him, Brady said he’s going to keep doing what he’s been doing the last 18 years.
“I think there are a lot of things that are said. I think you can go about your life, and certainly here with this team, and try to do what I’ve always done for a long time, and be a good teammate, and work as hard as I can to help the team win, and then somebody can write something to contradict that, and I think it’s up to everybody to believe what they want to believe,” he said. “I don’t put too much thought into it, really. I feel like I have a great relationship with my teammates. If others don’t feel like they have a great relationship with me, that’s one thing, but I try to do what I’ve always done and be the best teammate I can be. I don’t think that’s ever really changed in my mind.”
Seth Wickersham’s piece painted a picture of a dysfunctional and fractured trio atop the organization, and much of it centered around backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. It stated that Robert Kraft ordered Belichick to trade Garoppolo away (which Kraft has denied), something Belichick certainly didn’t want to do as he viewed Garoppolo as Brady’s eventual successor. Once Garoppolo was traded to the San Francisco 49ers in October, the story says Brady became a different person around the New England locker room, feeling “liberated” because of the move.
The quarterback said that simply is not true.
“I think that is such a poor characterization,” Brady said. “In 18 years I have never celebrated when someone has been traded, been cut. I would say that is disappointing to hear that someone would express that, or a writer would express that because it is so far from what my beliefs are about my teammates and I think I am very empathetic about other people’s experiences. I know those situations aren’t easy.
“I have never been traded or released, but I can imagine how that might feel. I would never feel that way when Jimmy got traded, or Jacoby [Brissett] got traded. I have kept in touch with all those guys,” Brady continued.
“When Matt Cassel was gone — all these guys I’ve worked with. I feel like I have had such great relationships with all the quarterbacks I have worked with. I have kept him touch with basically everybody. To characterize that as a certain way is just completely wrong.”
Brady also said it was not true that Garoppolo was locked out of the TB12 facilities when he arrived for an appointment last season.
“It’s so far from any truth that I know, or any characterization of my relationship with my teammates. I have never denied anybody anything in regards to TB12,” he said. “I have always found it very flattering when teammates go there.
“Again, I think this speaks to someone whether it is the writer himself, or whoever he spoke to, what agenda they might have in painting some type of picture,” said Brady.
Another part of the article that Brady disputed was his anger over not being awarded the Patriot Player of the Week award. Brady confirmed the award does exist, but denied ever being upset that he did not receive it.
“I can’t imagine me every saying that or me talking about that. It’s hard to even answer that question,” said Brady, adding that he’s won the award plenty of times. “There’s really no basis for it. It’s hard to — I don’t know. I just shake my head.”