The New England Patriots are hitting back hard after being portrayed as a franchise that’s breaking apart in an article by Seth Wickersham of ESPN.

First, it was Robert Kraft, who said the notion he ordered Bill Belichick to trade Jimmy Garoppolo was a “total fabrication and fiction.”

Tom Brady had plenty to say as well. In particular, he said he has a great and positive relationship with everyone he works with and dismissed the notion that any potential friction cannot be overcome by professionals.

Now Bill Belichick is speaking out against the report, specifically, he dismissed the notion that he and Tom Brady’s trainer, Alex Guerrero, are at odds, and that he ever met with commissioner Roger Goodell since the team’s Mexico game. He also said the Wickersham article was full of “inaccuracies.”

Since the ESPN report came out, other reports have emerged, including one that had Belichick ready to potentially leave New England for the New York Giants — a laughable notion to this scribe.

Obviously, the Patriots are not happy about being put in the spotlight for reasons other than football. The team’s “do your job” mantra and close-lipped media policy has long insulated players and coaches from this exact scenario, aside from things like Deflategate or Spygate.

Honestly, it’s hard to imagine that this report will do anything other than galvanize Brady, Belichick and Co. This is a team that has continually excelled when the going gets tough, which is bad news for the other teams in the AFC playoffs this year.