Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick teamed up 21 years ago to help the New England Patriots become one of the greatest dynasties in sports history. The six Super Bowl titles speak for themselves, but it hasn't always been roses behind the scenes for the duo.
In an upcoming tell-all book titled "It's Better To Be Feared," ESPN's Seth Wickersham delves into some of the drama that took place in New England during the organization's unprecedented run. Excerpts from the book cover Malcolm Butler's infamous benching in Super Bowl LII, Tom Brady deciding it was time to move on from Belichick, and much more.
One of the more eye-opening excerpts sheds light on the tension that existed between Kraft and Belichick with an anecdote from 2018.
"As for Kraft, in late September, he was in Aspen [Colorado] for a conference and bumped into a few friends in the hotel lobby early one morning. He told them he was leaving later for Detroit, where the Patriots were playing their next game. 'I hate leaving here,' Kraft said. 'You leave here and you leave some of the most brilliant people you've ever met. You pick up so much knowledge from all these brilliant minds. And I have to go to Detroit to be with the biggest f-----ng a--hole in my life -- my head coach.'
'Bill was an idiot savant," Kraft told a confidant, according to the book, alluding to Belichick's reputation before he hired the former Cleveland Browns coach in 2000. 'I gave him this opportunity.' "
Kraft and Belichick ultimately were able to put their reported grievances aside as the Patriots won their sixth Super Bowl months later. Still, Kraft expressing his true feelings about his longtime head coach is noteworthy.
Wickersham's book is set to be released on Oct. 12.