Bill Belichick Opens Up About Tom Brady, Malcolm Butler, Rob Gronkowski

If you've ever watched one of his press conferences, you know that Bill Belichick doesn't love talking to the media.

But on Sunday, the New England Patriots coach surprised many by holding an off-the-cuff conversation with Boston reporters in which he answered questions about a number of pressing off-season topics, including his relationship with Tom Brady, his Super Bowl benching of Malcolm Butler and Rob Gronkowski's future.

At the end of the final installment of Brady's "Tom vs. Time" Facebook documentary, the quarterback implied that this season was a struggle and the game wasn't as much fun anymore. And an ESPN article in January talked about how Brady's relationship with Belichick was strained.

But Belichick said Sunday there's no need to worry - he and Brady are just fine.

"I've had direct conversations with Tom many times, obviously, through a long period of time," Belichick told the Boston Herald. "I'll rely on those conversations that I've had with him directly rather than something else." He went on to say that he and Brady have "always had a good line of communication," and he doesn't see that changing.

Asked about talk that Gronkowski could retire, Belichick said only that he's not going to speak for anyone else and that any conversations he's had with players will remain private.

On Butler, Belichick spoke of how much he respects the cornerback, and said he has spoken to him since the Super Bowl, wishing him well in Tennessee. But the coach refused to discuss the decision to bench him for all but one special teams play in the Super Bowl LII loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Belichick also talked about how happy he is to have offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels back. McDaniels was announced as the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts in the week after the Super Bowl, but later reconsidered and decided to stay in New England.

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