If you believe in the Patriot Way — which I do — then you have to side with Bill Belichick in the latest dramatic event to unfold down in Foxboro.
According to a Boston Globe report this week, Belichick has banned Tom Brady’s personal trainer, Alex Guerrero, from the Patriots’ sideline and the team plane.
I call him Brady’s “trainer” because, well, that’s what he is.
By now, you know about Guerrero’s history. You know about his relationship with the Patriots’ franchise quarterback. And you know that, whatever it is they’re doing, it’s working.
Brady is 40 years old. He leads the NFL with 4,163 pass yards this season and is most likely going to be crowned league MVP.
And now, Guerrero works with more than just Brady. He’s also working with other Patriots players, including Rob Gronkowski.
All of that said, it’s perfectly fine to side with Belichick for banning Guerrero, while at the same time, believe the relationship between Belichick and Brady is still strong.
This move by Belichick to put his foot down on Guerrero’s presence with the Patriots has been, and will be, perceived as the straw that broke the camel’s back. To some, it’ll be the reason that the greatest tag team in NFL history split up and went separate ways.
Belichick is Shawn Michaels. Brady is Marty Jannetty. One Patriot Place is Brutus Beefcake’s barber shop.
As Jannetty found out, broken glass is sharp. But those who’ll use Guerrero’s ban as a way to finally prove there’s a major rift between Belichick and Brady will be the ones who’ll ultimately get sliced by their own hopes and dreams.
They want Belichick and Brady to hate each other. They need that type of controversy in their lives. They pray that Brady has been blind-sided and wants out of New England.
Drama is good for ratings. It gets retweets and helps gain followers. But both Belichick and Brady know it doesn’t win Super Bowls.
So, allow me to introduce my theory, as to what happened with Belichick and Guerrero this season.
Belichick probably has never enjoyed Guerrero’s company on the sideline or on the team plane. But he understands what Brady means to the Patriots. If he didn’t value that, then Jimmy Garoppolo would not have been traded to San Francisco in October.
In fact, one part of the Boston Globe report that’s been overlooked is that Belichick will still allow Guerrero to work with Brady — and only Brady — in Guerrero’s “exclusive office” near the team’s locker room at Gillette Stadium. It makes me question the legitimacy of this “ban.”
Just how much work does Guerrero actually do on the sideline during games anyways? And if he doesn’t have a seat on the team plane, I’m willing to bet Guerrero has enough money to fly himself to wherever the Patriots are.
So, why the ban? And why now?
My theory is that other players began wanting their own personal trainers or advocates to have a presence with the team, to the point where it started becoming exactly what Belichick and Brady hate: a distraction.
It was time for Belichick to do something about it before things got out of hand. So he did the only thing he could do. He told Brady that Guerrero can no longer be on the sideline and that he can no longer fly with the team. But he also told him he can still be treated by Guerrero inside Gillette Stadium.
If it was all fire and brimstone in Foxboro, Guerrero would no longer have an office near the team’s locker room.
Belichick is simply reinforcing his winning philosophy by squashing any potential drama in sight. And as much as some might use it to describe a strained relationship between coach and quarterback, it’s hard to believe that Brady has suddenly stopped buying into the Patriot Way.
Listen to “The Danny Picard Show” at dannypicard.com. Follow him on Twitter @DannyPicard.