Belichick admits cuts are ‘very unscientific’
|08.31.10 at 4:13 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Jerod Mayo really never had to worry about making a roster as a first-round pick, 10th round overall, in 2008. Gary Guyton, an unsigned rookie free agent linebacker out of Georgia Tech, had no such luxury – or job security.
But that doesn’t mean one of the most talented players on the Patriots doesn’t empathize with the stress level other players on the “bubble” are going through, starting with Tuesday’s 4 p.m. cut down to 75 players.
“It’s stressful, it’s a stressful time,” Mayo said. “I remember my rookie year, becoming friends with Gary Guyton and I remember the stress he was going through as far as wondering. We were together the whole day, just to see how it was.
“I kind of feel for those guys. Hopefully, everybody finds a place to play and it will work out.”
Mayo again recalled Tuesday what a big help veterans Tedy Bruschi and Mike Vrabel were to him in that 2008 season, before lobbing a good-natured shot at the former No. 54.
“When I first got here,” Mayo recalled, “I was 22 and Bruschi was what, about 40? The age difference is a little closer but I still try to make that impact that those guys made on my life.”
Another person who can certainly relate is the man primarily responsible for the roster. When Belichick was with the Colts in the mid-70s, one of his first jobs was to serve as “The Turk” or the man who delivers the bad news that they were not going to survive roster cuts.
For this reason, the Colts dubbed him “Billy Bad News”, the man responsible for collecting playbooks and wishing players well.
But as his career skyrocketed, Belichick gained more and more appreciation for what goes into the difficult decisions at this time of year.
“We take all the practices and all the games,” Belichick explained. “It’s a composite, but again, sometimes the arrow is pointing up [and] sometimes it levels off. You just have to do the best you can to evaluate the situation. It’s very unscientific. There is no perfect way to do it.
“One thing you can’t control in preseason games is who is out there. The other team controls that. Is that something you take into consideration? Yeah, absolutely, but it’s not anything you have any control over, so you deal with it the best you can.”
So, can a player’s performance in the final preseason game really make a difference? Belichick’s answer requires some reading between the lines.
“I think every opportunity to evaluate players is important in the preseason: the games, the practices. The fewer there are, the more important those final ones become. And again, a lot of young players the first time through it [and] the second time through it, they don’t quite have the confidence [and] they don’t have the full understanding of it.
“Any game experience is good experience at this time of year for any player. I don’t think anybody is ready to play 60 minutes. I don’t think anybody has really had all the full situation experiences that you’d want to have – that we’ll have later on in the year, hopefully. So the ones you get now are good experiences for all of us and we should all take advantage of them: players, coaches, rookies, veterans, you name it.”
Just ask Jerod Mayo and Gary Guyton.
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