With the 2018 NFL season exactly three months away, teams across the league are already deep into their preparations.
A few of them have even begun their mandatory minicamps – one of which are the New England Patriots.
It probably won’t come as much of a surprise that Bill Belichick has started preparations for next year much earlier than some of his rivals. Because, well, that’s what he does.
Losing to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl 52 was no doubt tough to take, so the Pats are probably going to come back even stronger in 2018.
Before mandatory camps, NFL teams also schedule a number of offseason workout sessions – and these are completely voluntary to attend.
It’s no shock then, that some players choose to miss these camps and extend their holidays for a few more weeks – they are voluntary workouts, after all.
So, for the Patriots, it’s not surprising that two of their biggest stars – Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady, have only just returned to training – for the mandatory minicamps.
BRADY AND BELICHICK
The relationship between two of the most important faces of the New England franchise – Brady and Belichick, is said to be rocky – and has apparently been so for some time.
In fact, after losing to the Eagles in February, there were rumours suggesting that the veteran quarterback may even call time on his career.
Of course, this didn’t happen – and Brady was present at Tuesday’s session. However – after what Belichick did to him on his first day back, the 40-year-old may have wished he’d stayed away.
According to USA Today, Belichick suddenly halted yesterday’s session to direct a furious rant at Brady and his offense, claiming that they were far too sloppy for his liking.
After screaming at them, he ordered the entire offense to sprint a lap up and down the field – with Brady leading the pack. They had to do that, while the defense rested.
Welcome back, TB12.
Of course, that type of punishment is classic Belichick – and it proves exactly why he’s already won five Super Bowls.
But to demand a high-level performance from his veteran QB and the offensive unit on their first day of practice – and punishing them for being sloppy, is perhaps a tad harsh.
But, if it gets the team whipped into shape, ready to hit the ground running next season, Brady will look back and laugh about what happened yesterday. Although, he’s probably feeling a little hard done by right now.