The New England Patriots are looking to turn the page from exaggeration and speculation to Saturday’s Divisional Round matchup with the Tennessee Titans.
On Monday, the ‘man in charge’ made sure that would be the case. He also indicated that he would continue to be the ‘man in charge’ for, at least, a little while longer.
Last Friday, ESPN reported that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was “furious” and “demoralized,” particularly after a meeting with owner Robert Kraft regarding the team’s future at the quarterback position. At this meeting, ESPN reported that Belichick was given a “mandate” to trade backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, despite his desire to hold on to the young quarterback.
During a Monday morning conference call with the media, Belichick gave the following response when asked about this report by ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss:
“First of all, I don’t really know what you’re talking about; I haven’t read the article. I don’t know what that refers to. Look, Mike, I know we’ve been through this before. I know you want to report on things that are inaccurate and un-attributable. I’m not really interested in responding to all those random, and I would say in a lot of cases, baseless comments.”
HC of the NYG???
In addition, Belichick declined to lend any credibility to the reports that his being disgruntled could lead to his exit from Foxboro. When directly asked about his future with the organization, Belichick responded that he “absolutely” intends to be back as New England Patriots head coach next season.
Any speculation to the contrary stemmed from ESPN’s report that internal tension within the Patriots organization could lead to their long-time head coach leaving after the season. Building on that, the New York Daily News reported Belichick ‘saw an opening’ and ‘had interest’ in filling the Giants’ head-coaching void.
“Right now, my interest is in trying to do the best I can for our football team to get ready for Saturday night against Tennessee,” Belichick said when asked about the Giants rumors.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft said over the weekend that reports of a front office “mandate” to trade Garoppolo were ‘false.” He also advised that the team has “no interest” in trading their head coach, who reportedly has years left on his contract, to another team.
As for quarterback, Tom Brady, he appears to be content to do his talking on the field. Brady posted the following cryptic, but poignant, message on Instagram on Monday morning.
The Patriots take on the Titans on Saturday night at 8:15 p.m. at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
They will be ready.
–Mike D’Abate is a Managing Editor and National Columnist for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. He covers the New England Patriots and the AFC East. Follow him on Twitter @mdabateFPC