Alex Guerrero, not Tom Brady, had some pointed comments earlier this week about the manner in which Patriots coach Bill Belichick mishandled Brady. Belichick understandably was asked about it on Friday during his most recent press conference.
“I appreciate the question,” Belichick said, his standard response to questions he doesn’t really appreciate. “I know there’s a lot of interest for obvious reasons in next week’s game, but we’re focused on Saints here, and on Monday we’ll get to next week.”
Technically, that means that he should be asked the question again next week. Chances are that, if he is, he’ll find another way to avoid the topic.
The truth is that, like plenty of other coaches, Belichick believes that positive reinforcement will make a player soft or complacent. Thus, praise is withheld no matter the player’s accomplishments. Until he retires or becomes an opponent.
Next week, Belichick undoubtedly will praise Brady. Criticism would serve only to rile him up. No, Belichick will go over the top in his praise of Brady, possibly talking about how emotional it will be for Brady to be back. And hopeful that Brady will have that emotion keep him from being at the top of his game.
That was indeed one of the concerns about Brady during his time with the Patriots, that if he became too emotional in a given game it possibly would affect him in a negative way. The Patriots hope that Brady will be emotional, that the emotions will knock him a little wobbly.
Regardless, don’t expect Belichick to respond to Guerrero’s comments, next week or ever.