|06.10.09 at 2:39 pm ET|
FOXBOROUGH — Patriots head coach Bill Belichick chuckled when asked whether he heard new Jets head coach Rex Ryan say that he didn’t come to the AFC East to “kiss Bill Belichick’s rings.”
Ryan is in his first year in New York after serving as Baltimore’s defensive coordinator.
“I have a lot of respect for Rex and what he did in Baltimore, the defense his teams played,” Belichick said Wednesday following the first of three minicamp sessions this week. “We’ve always had great battles with the Jets so I’m sure that will continue. It’s a good rivalry. They beat us up here last year. They kind of got the last punch in on that one. It’s a new year.”
On June 3, Ryan told Sportsradio WFAN in New York that he wasn’t intimidated by Belichick or the Patriots.
A week later, Belichick got a laugh out of it, and then added he has total respect for the Jets as well as the entire AFC East, a division the Patriots didn’t win last year for the first time since 2002.
“Right now, we’re really more focused on Buffalo than any other team in the division because we open with them,” Belichick said. “We’re going to have to deal with Miami and the Jets as well and we have a lot of respect for all those teams.”
Told that the division could suddenly be filled with trash-talking teams, Belichick, smiling again, said he’d like to focus on his own team.
“Oh, I don’t know,” Belichick said. “Right now I’m just trying to coach our team and get our guys ready to have a good week of practice and get them ready for training camp. That’s really what we’re up for is getting our team ready and when it’s time to play we will show up to play.”
|06.10.09 at 2:15 pm ET|
Thanks to the Patriots’ PR staff, here’s the full transcript of Bill Belichick’s question-and-answer session with the media which took place following Wednesday’s minicamp session:
|06.10.09 at 2:09 pm ET|
Here’s the second half of Vince Wilfork’s question-and-answer session with the media from today at Gillette Stadium (for part one, click here):
|06.10.09 at 1:38 pm ET|
Nose tackle Vince Wilfork just wrapped up a question-and-answer session with the media on the practice fields at Gillette Stadium. Here’s the first half of the conference, which lasted just over 10 minutes. We’ll have part two along shortly:
|06.09.09 at 9:08 pm ET|
Patriots’ defensive lineman Richard Seymour touched on a handful of topics after Tuesday’s organized team activity. Here’s a portion of his Q&A with reporters:
On his feelings about returning to the field…
It’s always good to get back out on the field after a good offseason of training. It’s always good to see the guys again … put on the helmet, even though I probably seem to need to do more neck curls — the helmet seems pretty heavy at this point. But it’s fun, just to see the guys back out here, to smell the grass. It’s something that I always envisioned doing as a kid, so to have an opportunity … I’m grateful to come out here. Here it is, I’m going into my ninth season. It definitely feels good to be productive and play at a high level.
On a possible leadership void without Mike Vrabel and Rodney Harrison, and whether or not he could help fill it…
I think the only thing you can do is go out and play the game the way the game is supposed to be played. You know, I think it takes a total team to get the job done. It isn’t just one or two guys. It’s everybody taking their part, taking hold of their responsibility and taking some stock in the team. Obviously, the rookies won’t have as much weight, but the guys who have been in the league for several years — like I said … there are still guys around that definitely can pull the weight.
On learning how to be a leader…
I think … I’m not a big rah, rah speech kind of guy, but I feel like when something needs to be said, it needs to be said, and I don’t mind saying it. I feel like the best type of leader you can ever have is the type of guy who goes out and gets the job done and shows it, on and off the field. In practice, he’s a hard practice player. And in the game, he makes plays. Those are the type of guys you want your team to be modeled after. Obviously, the guys that you mentioned – Rodney and Vrabel – those guys aren’t here, but they definitely will leave a legacy around here for a long time.
On his contract…
I feel good. I’m comfortable with the situation that I’m in. I’m going to control the things that I can control – that’s going out and playing my best football ever, and let the chips fall where they may. So, I’m sure I’ll be ready for the season. It’s a big season coming up for everybody – we didn’t make the playoffs last year, so I think that’ll be our first steppingstone.
On how he feels…
I feel great. I feel great. I felt great last year. Like I said, when I feel good, you can go out and play good. I don’t have a problem doing that. We’ll just let the chips fall where they may.
If you were a betting man, would you say that Vince will be here for minicamp on Wednesday?
You’ve got an opinion — you can write what you want to say. That’s obviously up to him. But I’m not a betting man.
|06.09.09 at 7:45 pm ET|
FOXBOROUGH – When you feel you still have some game left in you, the NFL is a hard thing to let go.
Just ask Patrick Pass. He made one phone call on June 3 and just a few days later he made the trek from his Rhode Island home to Gillette Stadium for a sit down with Bill Belichick and a workout.
That simple and Patrick Pass was back on a team on which he won three Super Bowl rings. He is one of only seven current players on New England’s roster who has been on all three Super Bowl winners.
“I never thought I wouldn’t get another call,” said the 31-year-old Pass, in his eighth year out of the University of Georgia. “As a football player, we’re never done until we feel like we can’t go anymore. I never had that feeling and I still feel like I can play this game at a high level.” Read the rest of this entry »
|06.09.09 at 2:02 pm ET|
FOXBOROUGH — The fourth and final organized team activity (OTA) the media had access to just wrapped up down here at Gillette Stadium, and here are a few quick notes worth passing along:
•It was cold and rainy, but the practice was held outside under a mostly steady drizzle. The bad weather didn’t appear to really limit the Patriots — many of the drills they went through in the session (which lasted roughly an hour and 30 minutes) looked similar to ones they did in OTA sessions earlier this month and late last month.
•The wind and rain made things difficult for the media to try and figure out who was present and who was absent, but by our count, 14 players who are on the current roster were NOT in attendance for the morning session: wide receiver Brandon Tate, wide receiver Shun White, wide receiver Tyree Barnes, safety Brandon Meriweather, cornerback Mike Richardson, running back Sammy Morris, safety Brandon McGowan, linebacker Jerod Mayo, linebacker Tyrone McKenzie, offensive lineman Mark LeVoir, nose tackle Vince Wilfork, defensive lineman Ty Warren, linebacker Adalius Thomas and defensive lineman Jarvis Green.
•With the rainy conditions and slippery surface, a handful of players (including tight end Chris Baker and wide receiver Julian Edelman) suffered mild wipeouts on the day, but nothing too serious.
•In the far corner of the field, a group of outside linebackers ran through a pass-rushing drill where they started on the outside of a cone and had to rush to pick up a towel on the ground. (The OLBs in that drill included Pierre Woods, Vince Redd, Tully Banta-Cain and Shawn Crable.) It was a good measure of how quickly a linebacker can come off the edge, and it looked like a drill that Woods was having some success with. Later in the session, they linebackers were joined by a collection of defensive linemen — including Richard Seymour and LeKevin Smith — who looked like they were working on shedding blocks and rushing.
•Tom Brady again put in extensive time with the wide receivers. We described a drill that he and Randy Moss ran through during last week’s OTA where the two were communicating through a series of hand signals, and it looked like they were doing much of the same thing this week, with Brady offering a slight hand gesture when he approached the line of scrimmage which would indicated a change in the route. Moss was frequently covered by an assistant coach. The drill concluded with Brady lofting a pass for Moss to the far corner of the end zone, which Moss gathered in neatly.
•One of the most notable plays of the day came when Matt Gutierrez connected with Moss in the back of the end zone for a touchdown. Moss tried to dunk the ball over the crossbar in celebration, but he didn’t get enough air underneath him and was blocked by the crossbar. The rejection drew plenty of taunts from his teammates.
•Kevin Faulk, Wes Welker and Joey Galloway got in work as punt returners, working on catching a ball while they already had one in their hands. Not an easy gig on a cold and wet day. In other special teams news, punter Chris Hanson worked extensively with both new long snappers, Jake Ingram and Nathan Hodel. Both were smooth on their delivery with Hanson, who got in a lot of work on the day. In addition, Hanson served as the holder on all field goal attempts, getting in more work with Ingram and Hodel.
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