Through four weeks, the Patriots look like a team in disarray. Following a narrow 16-9 win over the 0-3 Oakland Raiders, New England was demolished by the 1-2 Chiefs on Monday Night Football.
Sitting at 2-2, New England has looked like anything but the perennial Super Bowl contender they're accustomed to.
Today, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported that there's been tensions between Brady and the Patriots' coaching staff. As CBS Sports transcribed:
"Several players, coaches and former players have rendered an unsettling picture that all does not look well with Tom Brady and the Patriots and there's a reason for it," Mortensen said during Sunday NFL Countdown. "Even though Bill Belichick chuckled when asked Monday night about Brady's status, others close to the team now believe that when the Patriots used that second-round pick (in 2014) on Jimmy Garropolo that they were, in fact, choosing Brady's successor, perhaps sooner than later.
"Sources say Brady is uncomfortable with the personnel and coaching changes, the consequences have led to tensions between Brady and the coaching staff, with Brady's input into gameplans, personnel packages, formations, pre-snap adjustments being significantly diminished.
Former Patriots defensive tackle Tommy Kelly raised the question of whether the Patriots are making decisions based on what's best for football or what's best for the pocketbook.
"Just to be the best influence I can be, to be a great, positive leader," Brady said via NFL.com. "And try to, obviously, do my job as best I can, and try to be a great, positive influence on everyone else."
The Patriots can silence all of the outside "noise" with a win over the undefeated Bengals, but don't expect Cincinnati to make it comfortable for them.