A new book written by ESPN's Seth Wickersham about the Patriots' dynasty details the tension between key figures in the franchise, including owner Robert Kraft and coach Bill Belichick.
At one point in 2018, Wickersham reports, Kraft called the team's longtime coach the "biggest f------ ass---- in my life."
"As for Kraft, in late September, he was in Aspen [Colorado] for a conference and bumped into a few friends in the hotel lobby early one morning. He told them he was leaving later for Detroit, where the Patriots were playing their next game. 'I hate leaving here,' Kraft said, per ESPN. 'You leave here and you leave some of the most brilliant people you've ever met. You pick up so much knowledge from all these brilliant minds. And I have to go to Detroit to be with the biggest f------- ass---- in my life—my head coach.' "
"Bill was an idiot savant," the book says Kraft told a confidant, according to ESPN, when discussing Belichick's reputation before he hired him in 2000. "I gave him this opportunity."
Since joining the team in 2000, Belichick—a three-time AP Coach of the Year—has helped lead the Patriots to six Super Bowl wins. Despite the team's success with quarterback Tom Brady, Kraft reportedly felt that Belichick was disrespectful.
"Kraft sometimes groaned to confidants that Belichick didn't show him the respect he deserved, but he was in no rush for life after him," Wickersham also writes, according to ESPN. "Brady, though, seemed ready for it. ... 'I don't want to play for Bill anymore,' he told people close to him in 2017."
Brady departed the team in 2020, joining the Buccaneers. The Patriots finished last season 7–9, their worst record since 2000, and have started the 2021 campaign 1–2.
Brady won the Super Bowl—the seventh of his career—last season with Tampa Bay.
The Bucs are set to visit New England this Sunday at 8:20 p.m. ET in Brady's first return to Gillette Stadium since he left the Patriots.
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