|Bill Belichick Q&A, 7/30||07.30.09 at 6:06 pm ET|
Here’s the complete transcript of Bill Belichick’s Q&A with the media this afternoon at Gillette Stadium:
|Belichick on Vick: An Outstanding player||07.30.09 at 2:45 pm ET|
With speculation heating up and Michael Vick adding to it with comments Thursday that he is closing in on signing with an NFL team, questions are being asked of coaches all around the NFL about the former star Falcons quarterback.
Pats head coach Bill Belichick was not left off that list as he was asked his thoughts on the free agent, who has been conditionally re-instated by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
“Michael is an outstanding player and hasn’t played in a couple years,” Belichick said. “But right now our focus is on our team and our players and getting the New England Patriots ready. So that’s where my attention’s been. Where he is right now, I don’t know.”
Vick said following a bankruptcy hearing this morning that he is “close” to signing with an NFL team. Vick served a 23-month federal prison term on dog-fighting charges.
Asked the general question about how he evaluates the free agent pool, Belichick stayed a conservative course.
“Every situation will be evaluated on its own merits,” he said.
|Belichick on Jim Johnson: He was one of the best||07.30.09 at 2:32 pm ET|
Bill Belichick remembers a day he almost worked with the late Jim Johnson.
Belichick, someone who can appreciate a defensive scheme or two, always admired the creativity of the Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator, who lost his battle with cancer earlier this week.
“Jim’s probably as good a defensive coordinator as I’ve seen in the league in the time that I’ve been in it,” Belichick said on Thursday. “I spoke with Jim quite frequently. We exchanged a lot of ideas and I have great respect for his philosophy, his schemes and the way he attacks offenses, his ability to utilize personnel.”
Sometimes his personnel in practice was his own team’s wide receivers, who sometimes tried to prove too much against his defenses in practice. Like former Eagles receiver Greg Lewis, now in camp with the Patriots.
“When I got there, Jim was a guy that was real tough on me being on the scout team,” Lewis said. “He sort was always on me during practice I was doing well on the scout team against a defense. He would come to me and say, ‘stop doing this or stop doing that.’ So, we always had a report. We would always talk. To the Philly organization, he meant a lot.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Quotes of note from morning session||07.30.09 at 2:09 pm ET|
Here are a few quotes from the podium after this morning’s practice session:
On being back on the field…
“It’s just like missing work. When come back, you’re just ready to go to work. You’ve got a task at hand, and that’s to go all the way.”
On seeing Tom Brady back on the field and whether or not that gives the team confidence…
“Of course it does. Just like it does [to see] Adalius Thomas, Laurence Maroney, and all the guys that were hurt before the season got over last year. It was great to see them out there doing their job and doing what they love to do.”
On not making the playoffs last year…
“You would be lying if you said it [didn’t leave] a sour taste, but at the same time, this is a new season. You’ve got to put that in the back of your mind and let that fuel you to practice better this afternoon, practice better tomorrow, and do something better than you’ve done it before.”
On this year’s running backs…
“We’ve got a lot of guys that have played a lot of football in the National Football League in the backfield right now. The only one [who hasn’t] probably is BenJarvus [Green-Ellis], but he’s had a lot of time last year. He’s experienced right now. We just try to take it to the field, take it to practice, try to add our knowledge to our teammates as well as to ourselves.”
On NFL veterans adjusting to their first season with the Patriots…
“Just like any veteran that goes to a new team, it’s all about fitting in, not trying to overdo your veteran leadership, but just fitting in and falling into place. When it’s that time, you’ll know it’s that time to fit in. There are a lot of guys that came here and did the same thing.”
On being back on the field…
“It feels great. I’m privileged. We’re in a recession and I have a job, so it feels great. It’s a different experience. The weather is a lot better than it is in Florida right now, [and] it feels awesome.”
On his veteran leadership…
“I don’t want to take too much credit. it’s just simple. I’ve been around for a while, I’ve seen a lot, and only through my experience is when I speak. I don’t want to mislead anyone, but if I see someone slacking or not doing the right thing, I’ll kind of pull them aside and say ‘Hey, I don’t think that will be for the better of the team.’ I try not to overstep my boundaries. I do a great job, I think, of knowing when it’s a good time to approach someone or be a leader. Granted, you want to be consistent when you’re being a leader. You don’t want to have those days when you don’t feel like getting some guys prepared to practice or play or whatever, so I just try to naturally be myself. I’m just coming in here, I still have to learn the playbook, learn some of my offensive linemen’s names and a lot of the coaches’ names, so I’m still getting used to everything myself. What I can say is that through my experience, I will say something if I think I can help someone.”
On Tom Brady…
“Playing these guys a few times in the playoffs, you look over and say, ‘We can beat that team. What do they do that we don’t do? We can go and win this game.’ But then you get here and you see his passion, you see the way he studies, you see how demanding he is of his players, the leadership. Right in front of you it just jumps out and you see why he’s a proven winner.”
On Laurence Maroney…
“[He’s a] young guy who is definitely passionate about playing. He reminds me of myself a little bit when I was younger. You have to fight through the injuries, but that’s part of the game. But he’s definitely fighting and trying to go out there and make a name for himself. He’s a good running back. He’s a very good running back. Unfortunately, he’s had to endure through the bumps and bruises, and if he keeps fighting back he’ll be ok.”
On his impressions of Bill Belichick before coming to New England…
“Before I got here, knowing that this has been a team that achieved championship status—and usually your coach has to be a little off track if you’re going to be one of those teams that is always wining. Kind of like Coach [Tom] Coughlin, I kind of pictured them in the same mode a little bit. He’s very passionate. He’s very detail oriented, but he’s a little more loose than coach Coughlin was. I think he’s going to be a great coach to play for. The perception before I got here was that he was just a hardball, tough, no-nonsense [coach], and he has his—every coach has their moments—but I think it will be a little easier to play for him than it was to play for Coach Coughlin when I first got in. It’s not as hardball as I initially though, but it’s hard though.”
On his impressions of Bill Belichick before coming to the Patriots…
“I thought Coach Belichick was a tough guy, real stringent, army-like and all of that, but being here and being around him, really he’s just passionate about football and he wants to get the best out of his players. He doesn’t take any nonsense, but like Fred [Taylor] said, he is willing to work with you and get to know you and you can get to know him. He’s a good coach to play for.”
On Tom Brady…
“I just like his attitude, his command of the huddle, his fire and his competitiveness. I like to compete a lot and I like to win at everything I do. To have a guy out there that’s doing that same thing, that’s trying to get the best of his guys, his team, that just makes you want to give it all you’ve got and lay it on the line for him and the other guys. It just gives you that burst or that feel that ‘I want to go out there and get it don’t because this guy is giving everything he’s got and I want to do the same.’”
On playing with Moss and Welker…
“It’s exciting. Randy is a character; he’s almost as funny as me. And Wes just likes to have fun. He jokes around a lot. Joey [Galloway] is the old wily vet, so it’s cool to try to finds your niche in that group of characters and just be out there and have fun and try to do your job.”
On Day 1 of training camp and the emotions that go with it…
“I get excited just to get back out there and get started, but once you hit the field that, ‘Man, this is training camp again’ sort of hits you, but you still want to go out there and just have fun and make the most of each opportunity that you get to go out there on the field. A lot of people don’t get the opportunity to play in the NFL, to play for the New England Patriots. You’re privileged and you need to act like it and go out there and work hard, have fun, and just make the most of everything.”
|Pats put five on PUP list||07.30.09 at 12:39 pm ET|
The Patriots have just announced that five players — Shawn Crable, Mark LeVoir, Rich Ohrnberger, Ty Warren and Darryl Richard have been placed on the PUP list. In addition, Brandon Tate and Shawn Springs have been placed on the non-football injury list.
|Notes from Day 1 of Training Camp||07.30.09 at 12:36 pm ET|
Just wrapped up the morning session down here at Gillette, and here are a few notes worth passing along. (We’ll have some quotes before the start of the afternoon session.)
•The weather was the story this morning, as practice started at 9:30 under slightly overcast skies. Things were supposed to be pretty humid, and didn’t disappoint — the skies finally gave way roughly an hour or so into practice, and a hard rain started to fall. The Patriots kept practicing through it … until thunder and lightning started, which sent players and fans scattering. By my count, practice was called at 10:51 a.m., roughly 40 minutes before it was supposed to end.
•The rains changed our usual procedure. On most days during training camp, players are available for individual interviews as they come off the field. Today, the following players gave individual press conferences in the press box: Kevin Faulk, Fred Taylor, Greg Lewis, Wes Welker and Pierre Woods. The offensive players got a bunch of questions about the state of Tom Brady — expect plenty of those stories tomorrow. (According to media relations, both Randy Moss and Brady are scheduled to speak tomorrow.)
•By my count, there were 11 players who weren’t on the field for the morning session: wide receiver Joey Galloway, wide receiver Brandon Tate, cornerback Shawn Springs, linebacker Tyrone McKenzie, offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger, offensive lineman Mark LeVoir, defensive lineman Darryl Richard, wide receiver Randy Moss, defensive lineman Ty Warren, defensive lineman Jarvis Green and linebacker Shawn Crable.
•Coach Bill Belichick was asked indirectly about the possibility of Michael Vick joining the Patriots. He said: “Michael is an outstanding player and hasn’t played in a couple years. But our focus is now (on practice).” He was also asked about the possibility of going after other free agents: “Every situation will be evaluated on its own merits.”
•Brady gave the world the first peek at his surgically repaired left knee — well, a partial look, anyway. The quarterback, who practiced with sweatpants throughout the spring, had football pants on for the morning session, which revealed a partial brace on the lower part of his knee. As for how he looked, it appeared he was moving around without trouble. It is important to note that he continued to practice while the rains were coming down, but looked like he stopped when the weather started to get really bad.
•Because it was a partial workout, the Patriots were likely unable to get some work in. It was a good day to focus on the wide receivers. Julian Edelman and Matthew Slater appeared to get extra reps, although some of this might be attributed to the fact that Moss and Galloway weren’t on the field. There were some especially impressive moments when Brady and the quarterbacks were working with the receivers on what appeared to be slant-and-go routes, and Brady and Wes Welker made a sweet connection in the corner of the end zone, which drew big cheers from the fans in attendance.
•Another play of note came when linebacker Adalius Thomas batted a ball in the air, and safety Brandon Meriweather came away with a nice pick. Jonathan Wilhite was another cornerback who came away with a good morning session, one that included a pick of his own. Wilhite appeared to get a lot of reps with a reasonable facsimile of the No. 1 defense, but that might be because Springs wasn’t on the field.
|Pats sign long snapper||07.29.09 at 7:33 pm ET|
The Patriots have just announced they have signed long snapper Jake Ingram. Here’s the release from the team:
Read the rest of this entry »
2013 PATRIOTS DRAFT PICKS
2013 NFL DRAFT
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