Patriots

‘I don’t think I’ve ever even talked to the guy’: Bill Belichick on Seth Wickersham’s new Patriots book

Belichick was also asked about his postgame conversation with Tom Brady.

Bill Belichick
Bill Belichick during the Buccaneers-Patriots game on Sunday night. AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Hours after the Patriots lost to Tom Brady’s Buccaneers 19-17 on Sunday night, Bill Belichick was already back at it on Monday morning for his weekly interview on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show.”

Asked about the decisive moment in the game — the Patriots’ decision to attempt a 56-yard field goal instead of going for it on fourth and three at the Tampa Bay 37-yard line with 59 seconds remaining — Belichick noted his confidence in the New England kicking game.

“I was thinking we were going to make it,” said Belichick of the field goal attempt, which hit the upright and bounced out. “It was within a couple of inches. Nick [Folk’s] a really consistent kicker. [He’s] been hitting the ball well, hit that one well, just missed by a couple inches.”

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Here are a few other takeaways from Belichick’s conversation:

Thoughts on Seth Wickersham’s sourcing

In excerpts released from his upcoming book about the Patriots’ dynasty, “It’s Better to Be Feared,” ESPN reporter Seth Wickersham chronicled the friction in the relationships Belichick has with both Brady and Robert Kraft.

Other anecdotes in the book include Belichick almost getting into a fight with former Patriots assistant and then-Jets head coach Eric Mangini at the 2008 league meetings.

But when asked about Wickersham’s reporting, Belichick downplayed the book’s legitimacy.

“Well I don’t think any of us are surprised by that type of media coverage,” Belichick explained. “I mean I don’t think I’ve ever even talked to the guy, so I don’t know.

“You’d have to ask him what his great sources are,” Belichick added. “I’m not sure.”

This would appear to go against what Wickersham writes in the book.

“I have covered all aspects of their careers as a writer at ESPN,” Wickersham explained in one passage. “I had visited Brady’s home and had late-night conversations with Belichick.”

Talking with Tom Brady

In the aftermath of one of the most hyped games in recent history — with the heavily scrutinized relationship of Belichick and Brady at the center of it — the Patriots’ coach was asked if he thinks media coverage blew things out of proportion.

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“I don’t know what everybody else thinks,” said Belichick. “I know what my relationship is with Tom. It’s been a great one for over 20 years.”

Following the game on Sunday night, Belichick went into the Buccaneers’ locker room for a conversation with Brady.

But when asked about it, Belichick didn’t reveal what was said.

“I’ll keep all my conversations with Tom personal like I always have.”

Advice for Alex Cora

The Red Sox face an “NFL-style” one-game playoff on Tuesday (8:08 pm) at Fenway Park against the Yankees to determine the American League wild card team.

Belichick was asked if he had any advice for Boston manager Alex Cora.

“I love Alex,” said Belichick. “I’ve had some great interactions with him and I really respect the job that he does.

“I don’t think he needs any help from me,” Belichick added. “He’s doing fine.”

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