One of the more talked about stories around the New England Patriots last season was the relationship between coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. Together for nearly two decades, since Brady was drafted with the 199th pick in Belichick’s first season as New England’s head coach in 2000, the two were reportedly not on good terms.
The tension centered mostly around Alex Guerrero, Brady’s body trainer, business partner and friend.
But things appear to be thawing.
Alex Guerrero allowed on team plane
Guerrero has been around the Patriots for years; Brady was introduced to the alternative medicine practitioner by former New England pass-rusher Willie McGinest.
Brady swears by Guerrero and the work he does to keep the now 41-year-old quarterback’s muscle pliable; he’s said in the past that Guerrero is “a huge, huge reason why I’m still playing.”
The two opened the TB12 Sports Therapy Center together, and the facility is in Patriots Place, the commercial plaza on the grounds of Gillette Stadium. Members of the public as well as other Patriots players have used the center.
Over the years, Guerrero was a fixture in the Patriots’ facility; was able to work with players in an office near the locker room, traveled with the team to and from games, and had sideline access – even though he’s not a New England team employee.
Last year, Belichick revoked all of those privileges, and Brady was reportedly unhappy with the decision.
There’s a change, however: multiple reports say Guerrero traveled on the Patriots team charter to Charlotte on Thursday, where they’re playing the Panthers on Friday night. But Guerrero won’t be on the sideline.
Involvement, methods questioned
A 2015 Boston Globe report said the Patriots’ medical and training staffs were unhappy with Guerrero and his methods, and that Guerrero, who has a degree in Chinese medicine, wanted players to do things counter to what they wanted and instructed.
But because of his relationship with Brady – Guerrero is godfather to Brady’s younger son and was shown extensively in the Facebook docu-series “Tom vs. Time” – the doctors and training staff felt their hands were tied.
Guerrero has previously been cited by the Federal Trade Commission for marketing a drink he said healed and prevented concussions; years later, he promoted a different drink, this one that he falsely claimed could help prevent or cure cancer, heart disease, arthritis and diabetes.
He was back in the spotlight again earlier this year, after Patriots receiver Julian Edelman, who is coming back from a torn ACL suffered last preseason, was suspended by the NFL for violating the policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
Guerrero released a statement after Edelman’s suspension, calling it “disappointing,” and Brady abruptly ended his first news conference of training camp when he was asked about Guerrero and his connection to Edelman.
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