New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick 'never evolved' as Tom Brady aged, trainer Alex Guerrero says

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Tom Brady's personal trainer, Alex Guerrero, said Patriots coach Bill Belichick "never evolved" in how he treated the star quarterback, a factor that contributed to Brady's exit in 2020 after 20 seasons in New England.

"It was like Bill never really ... I think his emotions or feelings never evolved with age," Guerrero told the Boston Herald on Wednesday. "As Tom got into his late 30s or early 40s, I think Bill was still trying to treat him like that 20-year-old kid that he drafted. And all the players, I think, realized Tom was different. He's older, so he should be treated differently. And all the players, none of them would have cared that he was treated differently.

"I think that was such a Bill thing. He never evolved. So you can't treat someone who's in his 40s like they're 20. It doesn't work."

Asked about Guerrero's comments on Thursday, Brady reiterated his "great respect and admiration" for the Patriots and noted his happiness to be in Tampa Bay.

"Everybody has protective feelings and emotions as friends and family members," Brady said. "That's just part of being in sports. A lot of people who, because they're not out there, they want to protect, and it's a very caring, loving thing that people do. But from my standpoint, I had a great time."

Guerrero's remarks came more than a week ahead of one of the NFL's most anticipated games of the season, when Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers visit Belichick's Patriots on Oct. 3.

While the Buccaneers (2-0) visit the Los Angeles Rams (2-0) in a battle of top NFC teams and the Patriots (1-1) host the New Orleans Saints (1-1) on Sunday, the spotlight has naturally shined on the Brady-Belichick dynamic.

"People could have made different choices, and they could have rode out into the sunset together," Guerrero told the Boston Herald. "That could have been a pretty cool story too."

Belichick said his focus was on New England's game against New Orleans when asked if he had a response to Guerrero's comments.

"I know there's a lot of interest, for obvious reasons, in next week's game," Belichick said, "but we're focused on the Saints here, and on Monday we'll get to next week."

Of Brady's return to face the Patriots for the first time since his departure in free agency in March 2020, Guerrero told the Herald: "He and I have spent a lot of time together, and we really haven't spent that much time talking about Week 4. We've really spent a lot of time just talking about the week that we're in and trying to stay focused on that.

"But ... I know how I would feel coming back, and I would think he would feel the same. There's a lot of years spent there. There's a great excitement to see there, be there, feel the energy, see the fans, feel the fans. I think it's going to be very exciting."

ESPN's Jenna Laine contributed to this report.