Monday, May 20

Julian Edelman recalls tense backstage moment between Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick at Tom Brady’s roast

There was a noticeable amount of tension in the air before Netflix’s “The Roast of Tom Brady” kicked off, according to former New England Patriots star Julian Edelman.

Edelman was joined by Drew Bledsoe, who was the Patriots starting quarterback before Brady took the reins, on a recent edition of the “Games with Names” podcast. The two former NFL stars , who both attended the roast, detailed the seemingly tense pre-show moment.

Edelman said his former coach Bill Belichick was initially enjoying his time in the green room and was “excited” to see so many of his former players. 

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“Pre-show, we’re in the green room. Randy [Moss], Drew [Bledsoe], me, [Rob Gronkowski], we were just chilling in there,” Edelman said. “Bill was opening up, he’s having fun, he’s talking war stories, talking rookies. Doing s— we know what Bill’s about, but it was like amplified, because he’s excited to see guys because he doesn’t have a job anymore.”

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But, Belichick’s relaxed demeanor quickly went out the window once longtime team owner Robert Kraft walked in.

“The tension in that room, though, could cut f—ing glass,” Edelman said. “It was so awkward. … I was just like, ‘Oh s—, this could be some fireworks.’ I just walked away.”

Bledsoe described the awkwardness as “some crazy s—” and hinted that the tension was “very, very real.”

But, Bledsoe did note that Belichick and Kraft did manage to have a brief conversation.

“They did break it down and got together for 10 minutes at least, the two of them,” the former Patriots quarterback said.

At one point during the roast, comedian Kevin Hart encouraged Belichick and Kraft to both drink a shot of alcohol as a show of goodwill.

“I want to say this is the greatest coach in the history of the game that did what no one else has done,” Kraft told the audience. “And having Tom Brady and him was the greatest honor the good Lord gave me.”

Belichick left the Patriots earlier this year after a remarkable 24 seasons with the team. The Patriots said the organization and the coach “mutually agreed to part ways.”

However, Belichick and Kraft’s relationship seemed to grow particularly sour in recent years. Belichick did not land another coaching job once he left New England, which is something Kraft may have contributed to.

In April, ESPN reported that Kraft contacted Falcons owner Arthur Blank following Belichick’s interview for Atlanta’s head coaching job and suggested that the coach was not trustworthy.

Belichick coached the franchise to six Super Bowls during his tenure. But, the Patriots largely struggled following Brady’s departure. Belichick never won another playoff game after Brady left, and New England finished the 2023 season with a 4-13 record.

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