BOSTON (CBS) — Last week was a long one for Bill Belichick. He’s likely happy it’s over.

In addition to having to go up against Tom Brady, the Hall of Fame head coach also knew he’d have to answer a lot of questions about Brady, whom he let go to free agency after the 2019 season, only to see Brady immediately win a Super Bowl in Tampa Bay and then start the 2021 season looking like an MVP.

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Compounding that headache were some excerpts published from Seth Wickersham’s soon-to-be-released book, which promises to share some behind-the-scenes, intimate details of the relationships of Brady, Belichick and Robert Kraft, focusing on the dynamics that allowed them to win so many championships and the issues that ultimately led to their breakup.

Last week, Belichick dismissed one aspect of the book, noting that it was full of “second, third and fourth-hand comments.” On Monday morning, during his weekly interview on WEEI, Belichick called out Wickersham specifically to cast some doubts on his stories.

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“Yeah, well, I don’t think any of us are surprised by that type of media coverage,” Belichick said. “I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever even talked to the guy. So I don’t know — you’d have to ask him what his great sources are. I’m not sure.”

Specifically this week, Belichick’s relationship with Brady came into focus, with Wickersham’s book excerpt suggesting that Brady found it “telling” that Belichick wasn’t available to meet in person when the quarterback wanted to inform his coach that he was leaving New England. Brady has actually spoken on the record about that phone call with Belichick, and he’s spoken about it glowingly. Add in Belichick’s long postgame meeting with Brady in the Buccaneers’ locker room on Sunday night — something that has to be a first in the history of Belichick — and the head coach has gone out of his way to try to show that there’s no animosity between him and his former QB.

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“Yeah, I mean, all those are personal. We got a personal relationship, you know, for 20-plus years. He drafted me here,” Brady said after his Buccaneers barely edged the Patriots 19-17. “We’ve had a lot of personal conversations that should remain that way and are very private. And I would say so much is made of our relationship. As I said earlier this week, from a player’s standpoint, you just expect the coach to give you everything he’s got, and I’m sure as a player that’s what he was hoping from me. But nothing is really accurate that I ever see. It’s all kind of – definitely doesn’t come from my personal feelings or beliefs. I got a lot of respect for him as a coach and obviously a lot of respect for this organization and all the different people here that try to make it successful.”

CBSBoston.com Staff