There’s palpable tension between Tom Brady and the Patriots’ coaching staff and multiple sources told Chris Mortensen of ESPN they believe it could influence whether he finishes his career with the team. Meanwhile, two sources say that rookie quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was drafted as Brady’s successor and the move could happen “sooner than later,” though none of the sources suggested that change could happen during the 2014 season. For his part, Brady refuted the notion of a rift between him and management after last night’s game.
“I love all those guys, my coaches,” Brady insisted. “I’ve never had any tension with them, truthfully. It’s unfortunate that some things get said and talked about, especially when they don’t come from me, and I think that’s the — when you’re in the middle of an especially tough week with our team to deal with things that are really outside football that are very personal — very personal relationships that I’ve built up for a long time.”
Meanwhile Mortensen writes that Brady is upset over the questionable personnel decisions that led to the downsizing of the Pats offense and the retirement of longtime offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia after the 2013 season. With Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins being traded before the season, Brady’s input into game plans and pre-snap adjustments has significantly diminished in favor of a more conservative approach that’s easier to follow for the novice linemen. Internally, a source says some have cited Brady’s declining performance as the reason for the conservative line strategy.
The Patriots are now 3-2 after last night’s 43-17 win over the Bengals, which may help to ease tensions all around.