Oct 1, 2021 - Sports

Book airs dirty laundry before big Bucs-Pats game

A headshot of author Seth Wickersham next to his book, "It's Better to be Feared: The New England Patriots Dynasty and the Pursuit of Greatness."

Phto courtesy of Chip Namias, Athlete & Event Sports Public Relations

The Bucs head to New England on Sunday to face Bill Belichick's Patriots just as a new tell-all book sifts through the rubble of what was one of sports' great dynasties. Most importantly, it sheds light on why Tom Brady brought his winning ways to Tampa Bay.

Wickersham told Ben that Brady wanted to play until he was 45, but couldn't get Belichick and Pats owner Robert Kraft to commit.

  • He also wanted more input on things like personnel moves.

Yes, but: "When he was there, they wanted him to be a quarterback and not a pseudo-administrative member of the team," Wickersham said. "The Bucs gave him an opportunity to be more than a quarterback."

In the end, Brady wanted to say goodbye in person to his old coach, but, according to the book, Belichick said he wasn't available and insisted on a phone call.

The rub: Belichick has refused to address the book's particulars.

What's next: Wickersham said Brady is taking aspects of New England's offense and melding them with more risky things that Bruce Arians loves to do, like going for it all.

  • "It speaks to Tom Brady's unrivaled skill set, but also to how much fun they’re having down there," he said.
  • That's why you sometimes get deep balls, and even a 44-year-old quarterback running a naked bootleg.

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