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"I'd say probably after this year, it's 50:50 whether Belichick continues as coach"


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Since the year 2000, the Tom Brady and Bill Belichick axis has underpinned a period of consistent success for the New England Patriots.

In that time, the franchise has won five Super Bowls, including last year's epic comeback against Atlanta Falcons at Super Bowl LI.

But it appears cracks are appearing between key figures within the Patriots setup including the aforementioned ultra successful quarter-back and head coach.

Monday Morning Quarterback's Peter King joined Ger to discuss the issues at play and the impact they could have on the NFL side in the short, medium and long-term.

You can listen to the full chat with Peter on the podcast player: 

"I think it's natural to think that over time, it would be very difficult for the same owner, the same coach and the same quarter-back to exist in a placid way without having some issues between them and in fact with the history," said King.

"I mean, Bill Belichick is a crusty guy. He didn't last as the coach of the Cleveland Browns. He lasted one day as the head coach of the New York Jets in the year 2000 and then he moved to New England and in the same way, Robert Kraft the owner had Bill Parcells as a coach which is a Hall of Fame coach for only three years and then he had Pete Carroll, a Super Bowl winning coach later with the Seattle Seahawks, for only three years."

(From right to left) New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, tight end Rob Gronkowski, quarterback Tom Brady, running back James White, and running back Dion Lewis hold Super Bowl trophies prior to the Opening Day game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. USA TODAY Network/SIPA USA/PA Images

Yet 18 years on from January 2000, Kraft and Belichick have defied expectations by maintaining a partnership that has lasted so long.

"It's worked largely because they've had the best quarter-back of this generation and maybe of NFL history in Tom Brady," King added.

But have we reached the beginning of the end?

One of the supposed issues bubbling under the surface is that, "Brady's personal trainer and kind of fitness guru, Alex Guerrero, has driven a wedge between Brady and the team because Brady would rather get worked on by this guy than team trainers and doctors".

But King feels that is "a minor little conflict" in the grand scheme of things.

However, he also believes that a continuation of the partnership that has carried the Patriots to success for 18 years could still be in the offing.

"I'm not sure that it's going to end. I really am not," said King, although he added that "it's possible" rather than "overwhelming likely".

"I'd say probably after this year, it's 50:50 whether Belichick continues as coach but I do know this: that the Patriots are likely to lose to other NFL teams their top two assistant coaches.

"Smart money says, well, if Belichick feels like he's got to reinvent the wheel all over again in 2018, maybe he'll view this as a good time to make a clean break. But again, that's all speculation on our part."     

You can listen to the full interview on the podcast player.


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