Brady's trainer issues statement in wake of rift report
Tom Brady's personal trainer and friend, Alex Guerrero, issued a lengthy statement hours after an ESPN story portrayed their relationship as creating dissension in the New England Patriots organisation.
The story, quoting unnamed sources, said Guerrero and Brady's promotion of the TB12 training method created stress among some in the organisation.
ESPN reported the 40-year-old quarterback's relationship with Guerrero created friction between Brady and Bill Belichick, part of a growing rift between the star, the coach and team owner Robert Kraft.
The Patriots hit back at the report earlier on Friday.
In a statement posted on TB12Sports.com, the website for the company co-founded by Guerrero and Brady, Guerrero defended his training methods. He also reaffirmed his friendship with Brady and thanked the Patriots organisation.
"Many of the athletes I have worked with I consider not only clients, but also close friends," Guerrero's statement read in part.
"One of those is Tom Brady with whom I have a great friendship that I cherish. It is a privilege working alongside someone with his commitment and discipline. Watching Tom succeed as he grows older has been a personal and professional highlight, because I consider seeing players' and clients' achievements in their own careers to be the most gratifying part of my work.
"Thank you to everyone who has supported me in my career, and to the professional organisations that have allowed me to treat their players – including the New England Patriots. I am grateful to Robert Kraft and his coaches and staff. I am proud to have co-founded the TB12 Sports Therapy Center with Tom, where we're able to make a daily impact in thousands of people's lives."
Earlier on Friday, the Patriots issued a joint statement from Brady, Belichick and Kraft.
"For the past 18 years, the three of us have enjoyed a very good and productive working relationship," the statement read.
"In recent days, there have been multiple media reports that have speculated theories that are unsubstantiated, highly exaggerated or flat out inaccurate. The three of us share a common goal.
"We look forward to the enormous challenge of competing in the postseason and the opportunity to work together in the future, just as we have for the past 18 years. It is unfortunate that there is even a need for us to respond to these fallacies. As our actions have shown, we stand united."