FOXBORO -- While last week ended with a report detailing how Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft were allegedly at odds, this week ended with Brady calling Belichick "so great."
Fresh off of the practice field on Thursday -- the last workout of what players called a competitive week of practice -- Brady was asked if Belichick comported himself any differently this time of year. Even though the intensity is ramped up, even though the urgency is at another level, Brady quickly pointed to Belichick's consistency regardless of what the calendar says.
"I think what makes him so great is that he’s so consistent, just in his approach and week to week," Brady explained. "I think you get to these points, you start doing things different and you've got to think, 'Man, why were we doing those things all year if these are the things that are working?'
"We've done a good job of just sticking to what we've kind of done all season. The tough part is there’s a finality to all these games. You’ve got to earn it if you’re going to move on. You’ve got to earn it if you’re going to practice again next week. We've got to go out there and play well."
Brady's words echoed sentiments relayed by his teammates earlier in the week. The message is clear: Don't forget what got you here. Leaning on that routine, believing it will be enough when kickoff rolls around, is something the Patriots have done for years under Belichick. And because the results have been the results, there's little reason not to trust in the approach.
Back in November, Brady was asked about what stands out to him about Belichick's coaching style. The first adjective he used should come as no surprise.
"Well, he's just so consistent," Brady said at the time. "I think he has such an approach and an urgency to his coaching and how he gets the whole staff prepared and the players. Everything is important -- the walkthroughs, the OTAs, minicamp, training camp. I don’t think you’d notice many times between an OTA day and a Super Bowl week in the way that he approaches the preparations. He gets us all ready to go.
"That urgency helps us get ready and keeps us focused and hopefully leads to a good practice that we can put together day after day. You try to make a lot of improvements and those improvements really show up in the game. I think he’s just a great coach and . . . he's been my only coach so it's been a lot of fun."