So there’s this new book soon to be out called “Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time” written by Ian O’Connor, one of the nation’s top sports columnists.
And judging from the book’s title, one might assume it’s an homage from stem to stern about the New England Patriots head coach, even though the subject himself decided not to participate, which isn’t surprising because Belichick tends to view interviews as interrogations and only he gets to ask the tough questions.
But when books like this are written, it’s customary for snippets of scintillating excerpts to be floated by the publishing house to whet the appetite of potential readers before its released. This book comes out on Tuesday.
And good gracious, this book seems to have a lot in that’s certain to create a lot of conversation.
The top item deals with the relationship between Belichick and Tom Brady, the Rodgers to his Hammerstein for almost two decades.
Here’s what one of O’Connor’s 350 sources said about Belichick and Brady: “If you’re married 18 years to a grouchy person who gets under your skin and never compliments you, after a while you want to divorce him.
“Tom knows Bill is the best coach in the league, but he’s had enough of him. If Tom could, I think he would divorce him.”
The idea that the relationship between the two has become strained is not new. It was widely reported last year that a schism had developed over Belichick’s decision to limit the access Brady’s trainer, BFF and business partner Alex Guerrero had to the team.
To this day, the best way to end an interview session with Brady is to ask him about Guerrero.
It seemed no coincidence that Brady, coming off last season’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl, was the only starting quarterback to blow off voluntary workouts in the spring.
During an interview with ESPN’s Jim Gray, Brady was asked if he felt the love from his coach and owner Robert Kraft.
“I plead the Fifth,” Brady said. “Man, that is a tough question.”
The book is jammed with interesting pieces of gossip, as if there is any other kind. Brady’s sister Nancy admits her family suspects Belichick will force the quarterback to step down before he is ready to quit. The suggestion is made that some of the Patriots coaches believe Belichick’s system, and not so much Brady, is responsible for the five Super Bowl championships.
Still, there is much more to the book.
Belichick was apparently suspicious that Brady had more to do with Deflategate than the quarterback admitted and that Brady was upset when the coach suggested to the media that they ask him how he liked his game balls prepped.
Apparently, Urban Meyer, then the head coach at Florida, urged at least one NFL team to be wary of Aaron Hernandez before the NFL Draft.
According to the book, Meyer told his players: “Look, this guy’s a hell of a football player, but he f—ing lies to beat the system and teaches all our other guys to beat the system. With the marijuana stuff, we’ve never caught this guy, but we know he’s doing it. … Don’t f—ing touch that guy.”
Of course, Belichick took Hernandez in the fourth round and now history has proven Meyer correct about Hernandez.
Belichick and Alabama coach Nick Saban have been longtime friends, dating back before Saban was Belichick’s defensive coordinator on the Cleveland Browns. The book says Saban was upset that Belichick would not allow his assistants to talk to the media.
“Nick was so pissed with Bill,” defensive end Rob Burnett told O’Connor. “He wanted to do so many things and he was hamstrung by Bill. I used to meet with Nick all the time, and Bill would not bend as far as changing defenses. He stayed as vanilla as ice cream. … To Nick I was like, ‘Oh, man, remember in training camp when they couldn’t block us on this blitz?’ He goes, ‘I know, I know. But sometimes I put it in the game plan and Bill won’t run it on Sundays.’ … At the end, it wasn’t the best relationship.”
And if you were wondering why Belichick did not end up coaching the Giants after Bill Parcells left, it was because former Giants general manager George Young forbade it.
“I was there when [Young] said it,” Chris Mara, one of Wellington Mara’s sons, said to O’Connor. “He [Young] said, ‘He’ll never become the Giants’ head coach.’ … George, like others, said, ‘This is an ex-lacrosse player. He’s a disheveled-looking mess most of the time.’ George was big on that other stuff as far as appearance, which is why he was so high on Ray Perkins, who took command of everyone around him and was a born leader. I just don’t think he saw that in Bill Belichick.”
It sounds like something every Patriots fan will want to read. But don’t expect Brady or Belichick to offer any elaboration or endorsement.
That’s not The Patriot Way.