Bill Belichick transcript, 4/25
|04.26.09 at 12:45 am ET|
Here’s the complete transcript of Bill Belichick’s Q&A with the media from Saturday night at Gillette Stadium:
BB: We had an interesting day today. I think, as I said in the pre-draft press conference, we’ve never really gone into a draft, kind of like the way we did today, with the late first-round pick [and] three second-round picks with a lot of flexibility. We started off the day with six picks in the first three rounds and we ended up with eight picks in the first three rounds. It felt like that was a good area to be in this draft from a depth standpoint and the quality of the players we were getting with those picks. So we felt like that kind of worked out. We didn’t know it was going to go that way, but it worked out that way. We’ll see how the day goes tomorrow. I wouldn’t rule out any movement tomorrow either. We’ll just have to see how that goes. The first pick, Patrick Chung, the kid has had a lot of production at Oregon. [He’s] a good solid player. I think he does everything pretty well. He plays the run, plays the pass, man coverage, had a real good Senior Bowl, good in the kicking game. So he’s a strong player on all three levels of the field [and] on special teams. And then let’s talk about the other defensive back, [Darius] Butler. [He’s] a real good athlete and another good Senior Bowl guy. He had an excellent workout at UConn. He’s a high-quality kid, smart, a very good understanding of the defense, [and is] a well conditioned athlete. The two big kids — [Ron] Brace and [Sebastian] Vollmer – Brace is an inside player, big man, powerful, explosive. So he gives a good element of size and power. Vollmer is a big offensive tackle. He’s played both sides. He’s played left side and also played right side at the East-West game. All those guys are mature guys. [They’re] guys that have had full good careers, played in all-star games [and] have had a good track record all the way through their college careers. So we are looking forward to getting them on the field and letting them compete for the opportunities that we have on our team. [There are] a couple local connections. It’s coincidental, but it’s always good to build your roster with guys from BC, UConn and the New England area. It’s a little added cherry on the top.
Q: What was different about this year’s draft that allowed you to realize you could get the value you were looking for and the quality you were looking for in the second round?
BB: Just overall the evaluation of the entire draft. As I said, you have kind of been preparing for the draft like a final exam. You try to know what the values are and also get a sense of, as much as possible, where people are being looked at, where they’re going to go and where you think the value of the draft is. As I said, I think there was good depth in this draft [and] I think there still is heading into tomorrow. It’s not going to last for seven rounds, but it should be there for awhile. Hopefully, we can continue to add players that will be competitive for the opportunities on our team. I don’t think there is any one single thing, it’s just seeing the whole board and having a sense of where you think it’s going to go. That’s kind of what we did. I think [Director of Player Personnel] Nick [Caserio] and [Director of College Scouting] Jon Robinson really did a great job. We’re not done yet, but [they] really did a great job in terms of preparing everything and having a real good sense of where some of these guys are going to go and still being able to maneuver a little bit. Hopefully, we will be able to capitalize on some of these picks in the third round and all the way through the draft.
Q: You said earlier in the week there were clusters of players rather than a clear cut one or two at a position. Did that make it harder to trade down?
BB: Well, I think you kind of saw some guys at the end of the first round and into the second round that lasted a little bit longer than maybe it was anticipated that they were going to last, like [Beanie] Wells, [Jeremy] Maclin and [Phil] Loadholt, guys like that that a lot of people had projected to go higher. I don’t think it made it harder. It was a little bit different. I think the clusters were league-wide clusters. In other words, I think if you surveyed the other teams you would have different guys first, different guys second, different guys third, as opposed to having a league-wide consensus of who was the best at this position, who was second, who was third. But I don’t think that was the case on our board. I’m not saying it was the case on somebody else’s board; that they had them lumped in there together. I think they separated a little bit for us like they probably separated for everybody else. On a league-wide basis I don’t think there were a lot of clear cut vertical rankings on the board by position. It didn’t seem that way to me. I’ll talk about it after it’s all over with some of the other teams and see what they had, but that’s my sense of it.
Q: With all the trading that you did was there any discussions on trying to get something for the future?
BB: Yeah, we really had a number of offers on the table at different points and a lot of different options. Some of it was moving back further, a couple times we’d move back a couple slots, a couple times we would move back a little bit further. There were other trade options on the table and some of those came and went — that type of thing. There were several times we were in the middle of two or three of those types of things. Again, in the end, we just tried to make the best decision we could and take players where we thought we had the most value for them. But there was a lot of activity today and it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s the situation tomorrow. Maybe not to the same degree but there will be some.
Q: You went to Darius Butler’s Pro Day at Connecticut and you obviously had some interest there. Is there anything that he did that day that sealed the deal?
BB: Well, we knew about him and the other players, too. They had what, four guys go? One in the first and three in the second? And they still had a couple other players that I don’t know where they will get drafted, but I’m sure some of them will get drafted and others will be in pro camp. So there were a lot of guys to look at and we had a lot of people over there. Myself, Nick [Caserio] and four or five position coaches. Some of you guys were out in [California], sunning it up at the pool at the owner’s meetings. We were running around doing workouts in Connecticut. So I guess that was worth it. But he had an excellent workout. There is no doubt about it. He’s fast, quick; he has good ball skills. He’s an excellent athlete. I don’t think that’s really a question. He showed that at his workout.
Q: [On Patrick Chung playing the rover position and his versatility]
BB: I think Chung is a player who you could really see him do just about everything that you would want to see. He played close to the line of scrimmage; there are times that he covered tight ends from off. He would go up and press them on the line of scrimmage and cover them in some of their nickel defenses, play in the deep part of the field, deep middle, deep half, support the run both in the free safety position and strong safety position. He played some, like I said, rover nickel back position. You certainly had the opportunity to see him do a lot of things in Oregon. They also, defensively, had a fairly sophisticated [and] complex system where they checked defenses a lot based on formations, motion and things like that. You could see a lot of the movement and communication going on back there. He was a big part of that and really helped quarterback the secondary and that type of thing. I think you could see him do a lot on college tape, probably more so than most players that we evaluated at that position. Given the passing game in that conference, and what he was asked to do, and also the sophistication of their defense. They make quite a few adjustments and communication calls back there.
Q: There were some reports that you were trying to move up in the draft? How seriously, prior to the draft, did you pursue that?
BB: We didn’t. I think I covered that in the NFL Network interview this morning. There was no chance of that.
Q: Sebastian Vollmer missed a full year in 2006 and played the last couple years. Is he one of those projectable guys with the physical tools?
BB: Like I said, he’s played. He played during the year. He’s played left tackle. He’s played right tackle. He played in the East-West game. He’s played quite a bit. There’s no problem finding him on film. So I don’t think it’s a projection any more than with any other player. You could see him out there playing every week.
Q: What about the fact that he didn’t play football until he came over here?
BB: Oh yeah, sure. I think he’s certainly a developing player. I don’t think he’s had quite the football experience that quite the other football players have had, but he’s playing. It’s not like Stephen Neal, or even a guy like [Matt] Cassel, who didn’t really play in college. Is he as polished as some players at that position? Probably not. But he has a lot of good tools to work with. He’s a tough kid, very smart, well conditioned athlete. He’s a big man. Like everybody, he has a lot of work to do. But I think he’ll work hard and try to do what we ask him to do. So I think he has a chance.
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