That meeting has taken place, Kraft said here Monday, since the Patriots’ season ended with their Super Bowl defeat to the Philadelphia Eagles.
“We’ve had the meeting,” Kraft said, speaking to a group of reporters at the annual league meeting. “And just to be clear … we have meetings all the time. We’re not a big, bureaucratic organization. We’re a private company. We don’t have boards we answer to. We answer to the fans the best we can.
“We met. And I meet individually with each of them. But the thing that I don’t know if it’s completely understood, but Bill and Tom communicate and meet a lot and spend a lot of time communicating. I think the residual of this loss was really hard on everyone. But I sort of see that as a high-class problem because I sat in the stands when we never were in the playoffs at home for 20-odd years.”
The union of Kraft, Belichick and Brady has produced five Super Bowl titles and, now, three Super Bowl defeats. There was speculation that last season could be the end of the trio’s time together in New England. But it appears that all three will remain in place at least through the 2018 season.
“I think about tension, I think about my first year as an owner,” Kraft said Monday. “And I love Bill Parcells. But if you knew him as a coach, the players walked on eggshells. And maybe ownership did, as we went down the learning curve of how to get along. There was a great lesson for me to learn and train and try to understand how to be a good owner and at the same time how to work with a very strong and powerful coach.
“The so-called tension gets greater when you lose. We were 10-6 our first year. The second year, at 5-11, we really had tension. … In any successful business, in a marriage, if you have a good relationship, there’s gonna be things where you disagree. But hopefully you come together and you have a meeting of the minds and you discuss things. If everyone’s all on the same page, usually things don’t go as well.”
Kraft also expressed support for Belichick, who has drawn some rare — for him — criticism of a coaching strategy for his decision to bench cornerback Malcolm Butler in the Super Bowl. Butler has since left the Patriots in free agency to sign with the Tennessee Titans.
“With my fan hat on, you can come up with all kinds of reasons or things,” Kraft said. “But here’s the deal: We in New England are privileged to, I believe, have the greatest coach in the history of coaching. … I have faith in Bill as a coach that I don’t think there’s anyone who has the football knowledge and expertise combined with understanding personnel, no one can merge those two worlds [better]. And he’s done pretty well for us over the last 18 years. So, as a fan, I can question some of the moves. As someone who’s privileged to be the owner of this team, I encourage him to keep going with his instincts and doing what he thinks is right.”
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