Bill Belichick’s complete Q&A with the media Thursday morning
|06.14.12 at 4:26 pm ET|
BB: It’s another day here, another day of mini-camp; just trying to roll along through it. [We’ll] wind things down a little bit here after today. I feel like we’ve gotten a lot done but we still have a long way to go. Hopefully we’ll be ready to go to training camp, this is really what this is all about, to prepare all of us for the start of training camp in whatever it is five weeks, six weeks, depending on when they report.
Tom Brady was talking a little bit yesterday that he would remind his teammates that the next five weeks are not vacation ‘ will you impart the same type of words? ‘Yeah, we’ve already been talking about it; definitely.’
Why do they not take the playbook with them? Is that a common thing? ‘We’ll make some revisions to it based on some of the things that have happened over the weeks. We’ll make some modifications to it. The way the playbook is set up, it kind of changes every camp anyway because of the installation schedule.’
What were your thoughts on getting the AFC Championship rings yesterday? ‘Bittersweet. Whatever it was last year, it was. It’s time to move on.’
Saints interim head coach Joe Vitt said they are interested in possibly coming up for practice during training camp. What is your interest level? ‘I’ll talk to Joe, actually Joe and I have talked about it. [I’ll] probably follow back up and see how that works out. I don’t know. Right now, we’re just trying to get through today and get the most we can out of that and then follow back up on the training camp logistics and our teaching schedule and that type of thing. We’ll deal with that in the next few days or week or so, if it happens.’
Did you find that beneficial a couple years ago when you did it? ‘We’ll see, maybe. If we think so, then we’ll do it. If not, then ‘ they play in the Hall of Fame game so it’s a little bit of a tight schedule on their end so we’ll see how it goes.’
Have you reached out to the other teams you’ll play this preseason about the possibility of doing joint practices? ‘That could be a possibility. Right now, we’re really just focused on trying to get through this mini-camp here. We’ll deal with training camp and the other scheduling and all that in the next few days here.’
What are some of your thoughts on Bobby Carpenter and his attributes? ‘It’s been good. Bobby has been here all spring. He’s worked hard. Good athlete, runs well, smart guy, has some experience. He’s done some different things in his career ‘ played inside, played outside, played in sub, played in the kicking game. He’s been a pretty versatile player for a couple of different organizations, three [organizations]. He’s fit in well; he’s done a nice job. We’ve asked him to do some different things and he mentally, physically and experience-wise has looked pretty comfortable doing those. I think he’s in good position to go to camp and we’ll see what happens in training camp.’
What was his role with the Lions last year? ‘Played more in their sub than in the regular defense, although he played some in there too. He’s played, as I said, inside and outside, so he’s played both middle linebacker and the Sam and Will, both on and off the line of scrimmage in a 4-3 and 3-4, going back to Dallas and Miami and Detroit was the 4-3 package with the off the line, three linebacker scheme, four man line scheme. He’s done a lot of different things. He’s a very versatile player and he’s smart so learning really hasn’t been a problem for him. He’s been able to handle multiple responsibilities so far.’
Did Jake Ballard arrive yesterday? ‘He did, yes. He was here yesterday afternoon. I talked to him. We’ll move along on his rehab and see how it goes. He seems to be doing relatively well for where he was at, February, whenever he had the surgery.’
Pop Warner has instituted new rules that limit contact in practices for concussions ‘ do you think that’s a good idea? ‘I really don’t know enough about it. I think you’d have to talk to somebody that knows a lot more about that than I do. I’m just trying to coach a professional team.’
What have you seen from Britt Davis since he came in on the practice squad last year until now? ‘He’s been an interesting guy to work with; one of our bigger receivers. He has good size; [he’s] a good target, he’s had some experience in our system through Josh [McDaniels] and some familiarity. I think he’s adapted well, he’s shown up well here and he’s put himself in good position to go to training camp. We’ll see how the competition goes there. He’s done fine.’
Andre Carter expressed some interest in coming back this season. Any update from your perspective? ‘Nope. We’ll see how it goes. The players who are here on the roster are on the roster. We’re at 90 so if somebody comes on, somebody else will have to go off. Might happen, might not, I don’t know. We’ll do what we think is best for the football team. We’ll evaluate whatever our options are. If we make a move, then there isn’t a spot there to make it so somebody would have to move off if somebody moved on.’
Yesterday Ivan Fears said that conditioning was the most important thing a player could work on over the next five weeks. From your perspective, how important are the next five week in that regard? ‘I agree. They’re very important. I think overall these guys are in pretty good shape but I don’t think they’re in training camp shape, real football shape. That’ll come again over the next few weeks, getting back to their offseason training, lifting and conditioning and doing things to really get them prepared for the bulk of the football season from the conditioning standpoint. We’ve done a lot of technique things, working on their skills and doing a lot of teamwork so that they can either actually execute or visualize the plays that happen relative to having somebody on the other side of the ball. That’s something you can’t simulate in your own personal workouts, you need a team setting to do that. We’ve tried to emphasize that. I think there’s no question between now and the start of training camp, physical conditioning, cleaning up any little nagging injuries, making sure that they do a good job with all their aspects of the training: nutrition, hydration, rest, speed, strength, power, explosive movements, those kinds of things. That’s all part of it, no question.’
I do not know if you would agree with the fact that there wasn’t really a pure fullback on the roster last year ‘ ‘I would agree with that.’
With Spencer Larsen and Tony Fiammetta joining the team this year, is this a sign that you’d like to consider getting back to that? ‘We’ll see. We’ll see how it goes in training camp. With Eric [Kettani] there, we have three guys that kind of have some degree of fullback experience, a little bit of tight end experience, a little bit of running back experience, so there may be some crossover there. All three of those players have some value in the kicking game. We’ll see how all that plays out. I think that’s a possibility. That’s why they’re here. They’re here to compete for that role on offense and that role in the kicking game. How that compares to what other players do, we’ll just have to see. We’ll have competition from that spot relative to linebacker, tight end, possibly running back and in the kicking game.’
For that spot to stick, is that what you are saying? ‘It will be [those] players’ values relative to the running backs, the tight ends, the linebackers and the kicking game and how big of a role those other players would have offensively or defensively as the case may be. It may change the composition of our team a little bit from what it was last year; it may not, we’ll see. Those guys haven’t really played for us. Eric [Kettani] was here but then he wasn’t here so I think he’s still a bit of an unknown quantity. We’ll evaluate those three guys with everybody else and see how it goes.’
Do you have any exciting plans over the next five weeks you would like to share? ‘No, not really.’
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