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Belichick, Kraft Meet the Media After Parting Ways



New England Patriots press conference with Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft, discussing Belichick's departure from the New England Patriots. (Photos courtesy of @Patriots X account)

Foxboro, Mass. – Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft briefly met with the media following the breaking news that Belichick’s tenure with the New England Patriots had come to an end. Each read a prepared statement, focusing on the success of the partnership. Both stressed words like “mutual” and “amicable” in their comments.

Belichick stepped to the podium first.

“Robert and I after a series of discussions have mutually agreed to part ways. For me this is a day of gratitude and celebration. Start with Robert and his family. So much thanks for the opportunity to be head coach here for 24 years. It’s an amazing opportunity, received tremendous support. We had a vision o building a winner, building a championship football team here. And it exceeded my wildest dreams and expectations.

“The amount of success we were able to achieve together, through a lot of hard work and contributions of so many people. So, very proud of that, and will always have those great memories I’ll carry those with me the rest of my life.”

Bill Belichick went on to thank nearly everyone he had worked with throughout his tenure with the New England Patriots. From coaches and players, to security and kitchen staff.

Belichick appeared to get a emotional when discussing the New England Patriots fans.

“The fans here are amazing. There’s so many memories of fans, the sendoffs, the parades, the Sundays, whatever the situations are. The letters of support. Seeing the fans away from here, at a gas station, or a grocery store, or just bump into them. And not just in New England, but they extend nationally and internationally, as I’ve travelled. It’s amazing how far the arm reaches, we saw that in Germany this year.

“So appreciative of the fans for all the support they’ve given me, my family, and this football team. There’s so many fond memories and thoughts.”

Belichick wrapped up his comments by acknowledging that his relationship with the organization is not over.

“I’ll always be a Patriot. I look forward to coming back here. But at this time, we’re going to move on. Excited for the future, but always very appreciative for the opportunity here, the support here, and Robert what you’ve done for me.”

Robert Kraft then stepped up to speak. He also stressed the positives of both the long relationship, and even it’s ending.

“Yesterday we met, and mutually agreed to part ways, amicably. And, like a good marriage, a successful head coach-owner relationship requires a lot of hard work. And I’m very proud that our partnership lasted for 24 years.”

Kraft reminisced about his transition from a fan sitting on the metal benches at Foxboro Stadium in 1971 to becoming owner of the franchise when he hired Belichick a quarter century ago.

“We had high expectations for what we could achieve together. I think we were the only ones that had those expectations, and I think it’s safe to say we exceeded them, thanks to you (Belichick). It’s hard to put into words really, when I think back to sitting on those metal benches, that we’d have an opportunity to go to ten Super Bowls together, and bring six Lombardi Trophies home to Massachusetts.”

Kraft also acknowledged New England Patriots fans, and their feelings for the longtime head coach.

“I recognize that it also is a very emotional day for many of our fans,” Kraft continued. “It represents the end of an era. One that hopefully will always be celebrated in this region.”

“The man standing to my left brought the leadership and coaching skills that were needed to make the type of unprecedented success that we have had possible,” lauded Kraft. “Coach Belichick will forever be celebrated as a legendary sports icon in New England.”

As far as Robert Kraft’s feelings for Bill Belichick‘s job performance, he left no doubt. “He’s the greatest coach of all-time.”

Whether or not the divorce between Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots was quite as mutual and amicable as everyone was eager to state today is another story for another day. But both parties put on a happy face to appreciate what was done over the course of 24 years with the New England Patriots instead of mourning the ending.

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