|Bill Belichick on The Big Show: Brian Waters could be ready quickly||09.06.11 at 7:12 pm ET|
Patriots coach Bill Belichick made his weekly appearance on The Big Show Tuesday with Michael Holley, Glenn Ordway and Tedy Bruschi at Gillette Stadium.
Belichick touched on the safety position after the departures of Brandon Meriweather and James Sanders, while declining to comment on the waiving of cornerback Darius Butler.
“Whatever announcements we have, we’ll put them out there,” Belichick said, adding that the team had “no announcements” to make at the moment.
The Patriots are set to open the season next Monday in Miami as the defending AFC East champs take on the Dolphins. Here are some highlights of Belichick’s interview:
On the Patriots’ group of safeties after the release of Brandon Meriweather:
“I think we have a group of young players there. They’re all involved in the kicking game as well. Patrick Chung has had a solid training camp and is in his third year here. Josh Barrett is a guy we didn’t get to work with last year, but he’s a good solid player as well. Of course, Sergio Brown has just done nothing but improve in the year and a half that he’s been here. James Ihedigbo has played for us defensively, played in the league defensively, and has been a strong kicking game player for the Jets. So that’s what that group is, and I think we feel like that’s the best group for our team.”
On whether Brian Waters could see significant time on the field Monday:
“We’ll see this week in practice. That’s a good question. I’m not sure that we know the answer to that, but Brian’s a smart guy. I think he learns well. Of course, when Charlie Weis went out there last year, and Todd Haley with the background in Charlie’s system from when he was with the Jets and so forth, I think the terminology and a lot of the concepts carry over from Kansas City to here. I mean, there’s obviously differences, but a lot of the core terminology and the concepts are the same, so I think that will help the learning process. But again, Waters is a smart guy. I think that he’ll work hard, he’ll try to learn quickly. We’ll just see how it goes.”
On whether there is much they can do to prepare for the heat in Miami:
“Well, not too much. I mean look, if you want to get used to the heat, put on a couple sweatshirts. That’s really what you can do. I don’t think turning the heat up in the indoor facility is different than putting on more clothes. If people want to feel the heat, than just sweat more.”
On whether the heat factor is psychological:
“I think that most of the players on our team come from down [south] anyway. We have a lot of guys from Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, Tennessee, Texas. It’s hot in all those places. They’ve been through it before. It isn’t like it’s something that a lot of them aren’t used to. We’ve had our warm days out here in training camp, so we’ll do the best that we can with it. It will be the same for both teams. We’re playing at night, that’s about when we played — the Tampa game was 7:00, 7:30, whenever the Tampa game was — so that was a warm night with good humidity.”
On whether having three quarterbacks is a philosophical move by the team:
I think we have three quarterbacks that we have confidence in playing.
On whether having two quarterbacks on the roster in the past was by design or circumstance:
“Well, no. I’d say it really comes down to how you evaluate your players, and how you evaluate your team. When you look at those 53 players, every year you’re going to be a little heavier at one position and a little lighter in another, and then in the next year that may change relative to quarterbacks, tight ends, offensive linemen, defensive backs, whatever it happens to be. I think that’s really pretty common. Of course, the discussions you get into on your roster decisions are ‘do we keep the right number of guys for a certain position, or do we keep a better player at another position?’
That all comes down to keeping good football players and keeping talent, but you have to have a certain number of guys to play the game. You need so many offensive linemen, you need so many receivers, you ned so many running backs. You have to fill out those numbers, but when you get into a situation where you feel like you have a player of quality that you want to keep on the roster, even though it’s extra player, then you can do that.
There’s just a cost of doing it at some other position. Usually that’s pretty common that you’ll have a player or two like that. It may not be the same position every year.
On the Dolphins’ offensive linemen:
“They’re real big other than [Mike] Pouncey. Pouncey’s a 300, 305-pounder, kind of like his brother, but [Vernon] Carey‘s big, [Marc] Columbo‘s big, [Richie] Incognito, and of course Jake Long. They’re a a big, physical group. Tony [Sparano] likes to run the ball, drafted a back high [Daniel Thomas], so I’m sure that they’ll test us out in the running game. It’s a big group and a physical group.”
On similarities between Mike Pouncey and his twin brother, Maurkice.
“Yeah, they look alike. I think there’s some similarities. They play the same position, they have a similar playing style, sure.”
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