Robert Kraft says some tension can help ‘make great things happen’

Robert Kraft New England Patriots
Rex Burkhead, Robert Kraft, and Cody Hollister stand on stage during Super Bowl LII Opening Night in St. Paul. –TANNEN MAURY/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

Robert Kraft maintains there’s no dysfunction within the Patriots organization, but the team owner recently acknowledged there has been some tension.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, however, according to Kraft.

“I think a certain amount of tension helps make great things happen,” he told NFL Network’s Andrea Kramer in an interview ahead of Super Bowl LII.

The 76-year-old businessman, along with his son and club president Jonathan, sat down with Kramer to discuss several topics, including the internal state of the Patriots — a popular talking point of late. The Kraft’s immediately shot down reports of “dysfunction,” and instead, offered their interpretation of the situation.


“You have tension,” Robert said.

“Dysfunction is when people take energy and use it to think about how to undermine other people and that does not happen.” Jonathan added. “If it happens in this organization, I haven’t seen it.”

The Patriots have repeatedly rebuffed the reported turmoil within the organization following ESPN Seth Wickersham’s story on the team’s changing dynamic. While there was some speculation this season may be the last for the leading trio of Kraft, coach Bill Belichick, and quarterback Tom Brady, the three men have all publicly expressed interest in continuing their Patriots tenure after Super Bowl LII.

As for how Kraft learned how to manage such a prominent franchise?

“There’s no training course,” he said. “It’s like no other business.”