FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- With the Boston Globe reporting that the New England Patriots have stripped privileges from quarterback Tom Brady's personal trainer Alex Guerrero, some have asked for any additional context.
@MikeReiss No articles or even tweets about Brady's trainer being banned from team plane and other restrictions? Seems like a pretty big story— warnerj33 (@jwarner33) December 20, 2017
Here are some thoughts:
Guerrero is around to help Brady: As noted in the story, Guerrero still has access to Gillette Stadium. He was seen in the locker room on two different days last week when reporters were present. He also was in Colorado when the team spent the week there between road games against the Broncos and Raiders (in Mexico).
Coach Bill Belichick resets boundaries: The Globe story notes that Guerrero is no longer on the sidelines during games or allowed to fly on the team plane. Guerrero wasn't always on the sidelines; he didn't attend every game. But that protocol change to prohibit his sideline/plane access, reported by the Globe, would represent a shift. One reason for Bill Belichick to do that would be if he believed the lines between the team's own medical/strength and conditioning staff and Guerrero -- with players other than Brady -- were being blurred. Taking this step would clarify to players that the primary message comes from the medical/strength and conditioning staff.
Brady-Belichick relationship: What would elevate this story to a higher level of importance is if the relationship between Brady and Belichick is strained. When Belichick was asked about the dynamics of their relationship Wednesday morning, he deflected the question, and wouldn't even confirm the two are still meeting on a weekly basis as they have over Belichick's coaching tenure. Brady has deflected as well, specifically when asked on sports radio WEEI's --Kirk and Callahan Show” this week.
Impact on Brady's on-field performance: While Brady has had some recent struggles (five of his seven INTs this season are in the last four games), he is still viewed by many as the leading MVP candidate. The performance still is top-shelf.