Kraft renews vows after a decade

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Bill Belichick has won seven AFC East titles (and finished in at least a tie for first in each of the last nine years), four AFC championships and three world titles in 10 years in New England.

So the thought that he’d ever be on shaky ground with the Patriots seems silly. But a decade of coaching the same club in the NFL is almost unheard of (only Jeff Fisher and Andy Reid have longer runs with one team currently), so it’s worth asking where the team and Belichick stand.

During our breakfast with Robert Kraft this morning, the Patriots owner re-affirmed his position. The big news coming out of the Boston media corps’ time with Kraft was on his team’s plan to vote in favor of the overtime proposal, and his confidence that Tom Brady’s contract situation will be taken care of. But it’s worth passing along the owner’s statement of commitment to his coach.

“We have an understanding,” Kraft said. “He’s here, he’s coaching. He loves what he does. There’s not another head coach I would prefer to have over him. It’s working. It’s like a marriage, you know? And there’s an ebb and flow, and it’s not always straight-lined, but I think we’ve got something pretty good here and we want to keep it going.”

In September 2007, when the “stuff” was hitting the fan, news leaked out that Belichick’s contract had been extended through “at least the 2013 season” by ESPN football man (and former Globie) Michael Smith.


At the very least, it’s pretty clear that Kraft sees his coach the same way he did then, and the same way he always has. Which is to say he holds him in high regard.

“He’s pretty steady, and one thing is he has a great work ethic, and a great football intellect,” Kraft said. “He stays pretty level, which is unusual in this business. He’s pretty even keel and I appreciate that. There’s no doubt in my mind, everything he’s doing, he’s trying to put the team in the best position to win, and that’s the most important thing to me.

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“What our brand is about is trying to have a certain excellence on the field, and try to do it in a way that people are proud to be associated with. That’s our mantra and I think he works very hard at trying to do that.”

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