New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick answered questions Friday about his relationships with Tom Brady and the quarterback's fitness guru.
The Boston Globe reported earlier this week that Belichick had revoked the special privileges afforded to Alex Guerrero, Brady's personal trainer, raising questions about whether a rift might be developing between the coach and his star player. The Boston Sports Journal also reported that at least one player refused the Patriots' strength staff's orders to do squats because Guerrero told him not to.
Both Belichick and Brady refused to address the matter this week, but on Friday, Belichick did at least answer questions about the topic.
Asked if his working relationship with Brady has changed, Belichick went out of his way to praise the quarterback.
"I mean, he's great to work with," he said. "Nobody's better prepared than Tom. Tom's always ready to go, always on top of it. He really takes coaching well, and he's got a lot of good ideas."
Asked about the Globe's story about Guerrero's access being restricted and how this has affected his relationship with Brady, Belichick was more tight-lipped.
"Yeah, this is another (story) with no sources, right? Yep, I'm not going to get into that. Yeah, because there are none mentioned."
Asked specifically if Guerrero's access has been limited this season, Belichick answered as vaguely as possible.
"Look, we have a lot of people that work for our team outside of the team, and there are different relationships, different situations with dozens of other people. So, I'm not going to go through a case-by-case of what everybody does and so forth. That would be impossible to do, and I'm not going to do it."
Guerrero, a close friend of Brady's and the godfather of his son, worked with the quarterback to launch the TB12 Center near Gillette Stadium in 2013. Since then, the Globe reported, many of Brady's teammates trained with Guerrero, with the bill going to the Patriots. In what the Globe calls "a unique arrangement" within the NFL, by this season, the majority of the Patriots roster was on Guerrero's client list.
The trainer has an office near the Patriots locker room at Gillette Stadium. He is reportedly no longer permitted to treat players besides Brady there and has been banned from the sidelines.
Brady was also asked about Guerrero at his press availability on Friday, but said very little.
Asked how not having Guerrero on the sidelines will affect him, he said he doesn't think about it. And he bristled when he was asked how he reacted when Belichick told him he was restricting Guerrero's access.
"I don't really agree with your question, so I don't know what you're talking about. How do you know what he said?" Brady said.
He added that any conversations he has with Belichick are private, and said the discussion about Guerrero this week hasn't affected his relationship with Belichick at all.
"No, I just try to show up and do the right thing and try to win football games. I let my play do the talking," Brady said. "I try to go out there and I prepare hard every week and I put everything into it. That’s where my focus is. It’s not much beyond that."