10 things we learned from section 8


Brady, Rob Gronkowski and Alex Guerrero discussed the difficult 2017 season.

Brady documentary

Tom Brady after fumbling against the Eagles in Super Bowl LII. AP Photo / Eric Gay, Phil

In the eighth episode of the Tom Brady documentary, “Man in the Arena,” the story of the 2017 Patriots season unfolds amid growing discontent.

Brady, along with teammate Rob Gronkowski and coach Alex Guerrero in the episode, offered a more direct commentary than in previous chapters of the show. Specifically, both Brady and Gronkowski discussed being dissatisfied with the Patriots that year. For Brady, much of his criticism fell on the media.

And in the end, after the loss to the Eagles in Super Bowl LII, he alluded to a feeling that would lead to his eventual Patriots exit in free agency.

Here are a few notes from episode 8, “Nobody’s Business”:

In previous sections, Brady refrained from diving too deeply into specific criticism. But looking back at how the Patriots were covered in 2017 – after yet another Super Bowl – he took issue with what he called “nitpicking.”

“When you’re in successful places, a lot of people try to tear us apart,” Brady said. “We had all been, I think, spoiled. Sometimes when you have a lot to do for yourself, you lurk in things that are relatively indifferent.

“People need the drama,” Brady added. “People need ‘real housewives’ conversations. And I think that’s so much of what happened in a very short time because there were people who created division.”

Guerrero’s response to criticism

In 2017, Brady’s brand, “TB12”, started to become more mainstream. In the episode, he recounts how a positive experience working with Guerrero in 2008 led him to become “holistic and natural” with his regular training and recovery regimen.

“People thought I was full of ass and that I could not play that long and my methods were crazy and the way I trained was crazy,” Brady remarked.

In response to an ESPN clip from the time calling Guerrero a “glorified snake oil salesman,” Brady’s business partner said he “never really gave much energy to those words.”

“I just never wanted to give them much power,” Guerrero added regarding criticism. “The reality of it is that in the end, I knew Tom knew who I was. I know who I am, so we worked together, just like a coach and a player would do. It’s a really good collaboration. . ”

Brady called his connection with Guerrero “unbreakable.”

Brady and Guerrero were motivated by the “cliff” talk

“I was going into a really unprecedented time,” Brady recalled of 2017. “I was about to turn 40 years old.”

Not for the first time, Brady was motivated by his critics. Interestingly, Guerrero also acknowledged being motivated in part by Brady’s doubters.

“There was more talk of him ‘falling off the cliff’ than of his ability to perform, and that really drove us,” Guerrero said.

“I want to prove them wrong again,” Brady said of those who thought he would soon decline. “Of course, they did not learn their lesson last year. Either they did not learn their lesson the year before, or they did not learn their lesson the year before.”

A “dark cloud” season

One of the themes of the episode was definitely that both Brady and Gronkowski do not remember 2017 with joy.

“It was a tough season, it was definitely a tough season,” Gronkowski said. “Let me tell you, it was not really that fun a year. It was just a little creepy, the atmosphere with the Patriots. ”

Brady noted that despite the team’s improved record after an up-and-down start, media perception still felt negative.

“Every day it felt like there was some kind of dark cloud over what we were trying to achieve for one reason or another.”

In a later passage he elaborated.

“Even though we were very successful, even though I played well, it did not matter because I still had to deal with the constant negativity,” Brady said. “The media should create division, get people to take sides. I think the noise just got louder.”

“I think more and more that the joy was taken away because it was not about my football performance anymore, it was about so many other things,” Brady continued. “I think people always choose the word ‘humanize’. ‘Oh, you’re such a human being,’ and I say, ‘No f ****** s *** I’m a human being!'”

Brady had a direct response about being held accountable by media coverage.

“Everyone feels they have the right to everyone’s thoughts and opinions all the time,” he explained. “Take care of your own fucking case, do you know what I mean?”

How Brady felt about the reports after the Jimmy Garoppolo deal

By the 2017 trade deadline, Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo sent the 49ers in exchange for a 2018 draft pick in the second round.

“I think a lot of people were confused,” Brady said of the deal.

“Unfortunately, there were a lot of false stories being spread about his relationship, my relationship, or how it all went downhill,” Brady said of the coverage after the deal. “It was just drama. It was just soap opera stuff. “

Gronkowski’s reaction to being suspended

After his late hit on Bill’s cornerback Tre’Davious White in a December victory that season, Gronkowski was suspended in a match.

The 32-year-old tight-end said his frustrations over lack of punishment call to his advantage over time, leading to the incident with White.

“I just lost it,” Gronkowski said of his feelings at the moment. “And just as I was going down, I thought, ‘Oh, I’m not going to do this.’

Although he expressed remorse over the hit, Gronkowski admitted he had a different reaction to the suspension.

“I was happy,” Gronkowski said. “I was finally happy. I was like, yes, I’m away from football for a week, I’m getting my body restored. I mean, when you drive full speed into people, it definitely took a toll on me.”

“We spent every day during his suspension together,” Guerrero said of Gronkowski. “It was not just helping him through his physical problems, it was also talking to him through some of the mental [and] emotional things he experienced. “

Gronkowski credited his strong performance later in the season against the Steelers for having had time to recover.

Guerrero-Belichick Gorge

The 2017 season was the time when Bill Belichick revoked Guerrero’s access to team facilities. When the episode brought up the subject – and how the story was broken off Boston Globe Reporter Bob Hohler-Brady reiterated his desire to keep things private.

“I think we are in such an era of life where everyone thinks they need to learn everything to know,” Brady said. “The reality is, I do not think you should. I think there are things about relationships that are just private. When two people have conversations that are in a private space, they should remain private.”

A notable aspect of the documentary’s coverage of the subject was that Brady and Guerrero had to find alternative frameworks for their treatments.

“I had always had my treatments with Alex, my flexibility treatments, in the locker room, but at the time, we had to find unique places to do it,” Brady recalled.

“We were put into a maintenance shed,” Brady said. “So I was in there with the John Deere tractors and I got some pretty funny laughs with Alex. It was just a perspective on how things changed.”

Brady also offered an unspecified quote about his development situation in New England.

“Every time you’re in a 20-year relationship with different people, a year or an experience doesn’t shape my relationship,” he said. “And then some relationships got strained. It was just what they were. ”

The hand injury prior to the AFC Championship

During training ahead of the AFC Championship match against the Jaguars, Brady received a large wound in his hand.

“Rex [Burkhead] thought we were driving the piece to the right, I had changed the piece, we were driving the piece to the left, ”Brady remembered. “We ran into each other. After I gave him the ball, I felt this enormous pain. The ball came squeezing against my body and the thumb was bent so far back that it tore the skin of my thumb up.

“I looked down at my hand and it was just this bloody palm, like a pool of blood,” Brady said. “And I was just like, ‘I’m f *****.’ That’s what I thought. I thought that was it. “

Guerrero said Brady looked “desperate” afterwards.

“He thought this was it,” Guerrero explained. “This is the end for me. This may be over.”

After several “long nights,” in Guerrero’s words, Brady began to feel better. Friday before the match he was able to grab the football.

“I could start to see the confidence come back in him,” Guerrero said. In the end, the Patriots were able to rally in the match and defeat the Jaguars 24-20 to reach yet another Super Bowl.

“They performed to perfection”

“From the moment the game started, it was tough,” Brady said of Super Bowl LII against the Eagles. “All the things we had prepared for, they had chosen to do some different things. Not that we were not productive against it, but we never really had them on the ropes because we could never get a head start. ”

Gronkowski admitted he started the first half “slowly.”

“I did not feel it all the way,” he admitted.

On his lost pass – a play called “Clemson” when it was the source – Brady explained that he did not have time to take a glove on his throwing hand and simply could not get hold of it.

“I run out to catch it, and man, I’m in the room,” Brady remembered. “Danny [Amendola] literally throwing a perfect ball. I look up for the ball, and I see it, and I reach out, and just as I reach out to catch it, I do not come down with it. ”

“Out of all those moments for me to make a game to help us win, that was the moment I really look back on in that match,” Brady said.

Later in the game, the Eagles famously scored on a touchdown pass thrown to quarterback Nick Foles.

“They performed to perfection,” Brady admitted.

“Hard season, hard fight”

“It ends pretty quickly,” Brady said of the post-match stage after a season-ending loss.

For Gronkowski, he was happy that the 2017 season was over.

“Just going into the bath and talking to a couple of players, like a great season, but I’m glad it’s over,” Gronkowski told teammates. “It had to be over. It was long. It was creepy all year round. The energy, the atmosphere was just always off. It felt good to walk off the field and know I had no game next week.”

“Hard season, hard fight,” Brady summed up.

But when he shut out the 2017 season, Brady admitted he was heading for a crossroads.

His last quote from the episode seemed to plant the seed for his eventual departure from the Patriots.

“I learned a lot about people that year, learned a lot about relationships and who’s in your corner and who wasn’t,” Brady said. “Based on how things went, I kind of held out in the hope that I would start getting a different type of feeling from going to work every day, that I might be able to find more joy. “But I knew that if things went their way, I could not do it again.”

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