Bill Belichick says he’s ‘not ready to talk about’ Tim Tebow on 53-man roster
|08.13.13 at 12:20 pm ET|
FOXBORO — In a continuation of what he told Salk & Holley on WEEI Monday afternoon, Bill Belichick said Tuesday he’s not ready to confirm whether Tim Tebow has a spot guaranteed on the Patriots’ 53-man roster when the season starts Sept. 8 in Buffalo.
“That’s not anything we’re ready to talk about right now,” Belichick said Tuesday. “There’s a lot of competition out there. We’ll see how it all plays out.”
Belichick was asked if he felt Tebow had made significant progress since the start of training camp.
“Absolutely,” Belichick answered. “I’d say every player that’s been out there has improved, that includes everybody. That’s what training camp is for. If we’re out there every day and we’re not improving, then that’s really not good. I would say that about every player that’s had a chance to get out there and participate on a regular basis, that they’ve all improved a great deal.
“Certainly, some are a different stages of their career and the improvement may be at different rates at different times but I’d say that individually and as a team I’d say we’ve definitely come a long way from where we were in July. I’d certainly hope so.”
Longtime nemesis and All-Pro corner Darrelle Revis did not take part in Tuesday’s practice as he is still recovering from ACL surgery. Tampa Bay acquired him from the Jets in an offseason trade.
“He’s one of the top corners in the league,” Belichick said. “He does everything well.”
As for his close relationship with Bucs coach Greg Schiano, Belichick said he and Schiano learned a lot from last year’s joint practice in Tampa.
“We just try to organize them so we can get the most out of them, understand what we’re trying to do on each drill and work cooperatively to have productive practice, similar to what we would do if we were practicing with ourselves, and what we did last week with Philadelphia.
“We worked with them last year so I feel like we have a pretty good experience on how things went. We made a couple of adjustments last year. Hopefully, those will be smooth this year. I’m not expecting any problems.”
Between the two teams, there are 18 players on the field who attended Schiano’s former employer Rutgers University.
“They should be here. You can get them all at once, right? Get some alumni donations going, not to mention all the coaching staff members [with Rutgers ties].”
The Patriots, of course, have two players who were on the opposite side of the scrimmages last summer, as Aqib Talib and LeGarrette Blount played with Tampa Bay in 2012.
Here is the full Belichick transcript from Tuesday:
BB: We heard that the forecast for this afternoon was maybe not the best so we’ll try to move things up this morning here. We’re looking forward to getting out on the field with Tampa. Like I’ve been saying, I think this will be a good experience for our team and look forward to getting some good work in. We have a good relationship with Tampa and we had some good practices down there last year; that was a good session for us. Hopefully this will be productive as well.
Q: What type of player have you known Darrelle Revis to be over the years and what does he bring to a defense?
BB: He’s one of the top corners in the league; does everything well.
Q: What kind of parameters have you set for these practices?
BB: Just tried to organize them so we can get the most out of them; understand what we’re trying to do on each drill and work cooperatively to have a productive practice, similar to what we would do if we were practicing with ourselves and what we did last week with Philadelphia.
Q: Do you have to scale back anything you do because teams practice differently?
BB: Again, we worked with them last year. I feel like we have pretty good experience with how things went. We made a couple adjustments last year, hopefully those will be smooth this year. I’m not expecting any problems.
Q: Does it change anything since you play in the regular season?
BB: Not too much. I don’t think right now that’s what we’re worried about. We’re just trying to improve our team. We have a lot of work to do. I think we can get better this week working against the Bucs, that’s what we’re about. We’ll worry about five, six weeks from now whenever that gets here.
Q: When you put in some of the stuff that Tim Tebow runs, do the blocking schemes change for the offensive line?
BB: Every play has its own rules and adjustments. Some plays carry over; some plays are a little bit different.
Q: Will it take time for the offensive linemen to have to learn something different or is it all the same?
BB: I wouldn’t say it’s all exactly the same but there’s certainly a lot of carryover. There are only so many blocking schemes you can have. We’re not trying to revolutionize the game or anything.
Q: How much value is there in your defense seeing it in practice?
BB: We know we’re going to have to face it. We faced it last week. We had seen it in practice some before. We know we’re going to see it.
Q: A little different look with the receivers this week as opposed to last week with Philadelphia. Is there value to seeing different types of receivers?
BB: Yeah, absolutely. It will be a lot of different matchups this week. The matchups are different, the style of play is different, the scheme is different ‘ four-man line, three-man line ‘ a lot of pressure on defense. It will be good for us to see different players, different scheme. We’re going to have to deal with those during the year too so it will be good to get kind of a whole new look this week. I think it’s a good way to prepare our team. We’ve seen ourselves, we’ve seen Philadelphia and now we’ll see Tampa. Our players will get a lot of exposure and I think those things will serve us well at some point down the road. We’re going to get them eventually.
Q: It seems like Duron Harmon has adapted well to the defense. Can you talk about him and the Rutgers rookies?
BB: Duron has had a good camp, he’s done well. He missed some time in the spring but he’s smart, he’s a very instinctive player, picks things up pretty quickly. I’m sure he’s worked with Devin a lot back there with communication and adjustments as well as Steve [Gregory], Adrian [Wilson], the rest of them. He’s done well. Logan [Ryan] has played both the inside and outside for us, as well as in the kicking game, as has Harmon. I know those guys spend a lot of time going over things together and all that. They’ve both done well. Smart kids that pick things up quickly; they look like they have some position flexibility.
Q: Anything roster-wise today?
BB: Yes, we’ll have something. As soon as we get it all worked out, we’ll have something.
Q: With all the Rutgers players between the two teams, did you make any calls up to New Jersey ‘ any alumni clubs to come down?
BB: They should be here. Get them all at once, right? Get some alumni donations going. Not to mention all the coaching staff members from that school.
Q: When you made the trade for LeGarrette Blount, what qualities made that deal appealing and how have those things shown up in camp?
BB: We just felt like he was a good player; talented player. Big back that can catch and run ‘ I think he’s shown those skills throughout the course of his career. The player that we had, we weren’t really able to get on the field so we felt we’d rather have LeGarrette and he’s done a good job for us. I don’t think there’s any question about his skills. They’re pretty evident and they have been throughout the course of his career. Tampa has a great back. I certainly understand their situation. They had a Pro Bowl back last year as a rookie. I understand that but I’ve had a lot of respect for LeGarrette and what he’s done through his career. He’s had a good spring for us and a good training camp for us. I think he helps us.
Q: What does Doug Martin bring to the table and how can working against him help your defense?
BB: He’s a good three-down player. There’s really no reason for him to come off the field skill-wise. It’s a question of how they want to manage him. He can run, he can catch, he’s a tough kid. Good inside runner, good outside runner, can go the distance, handles the ball well in passing game; good on blitz pickup. Really, he can do it all.
Q: Was the concept of joint practices something you came up with?
BB: I don’t know. We did them when I was at the Giants in the ‘80s, we did them when I was at Cleveland in the ‘90s; done them since I’ve been here. Coach Schiano and I talked about it after he got the job a year ago and we were on their preseason schedule. It was a lot better for us this year because of the timing of it. We’re on more of a regular schedule, last time, I think it was a Monday night game to a Friday game. But this schedule is much better for us than it was last year. It worked out this year, we made it work last year.
Q: What about Greg Schiano makes him a good coach?
BB: Really everything. I think he does a real solid job. I spent quite a bit of time with him when he was at Rutgers. He develops players well. He has good schemes, he’s a good football mind, evaluates talent well. I think he does everything well. I’ve talked to him from time to time since he’s been in this league and he’s been helpful on a lot of things.
Q: Can you talk about the progress your team has made in the past week or so since practicing with the Eagles?
BB: We’re out there trying to get better day by day. We’ll see how it all comes together. I don’t know. We won’t really know where things are at until opening day. Just try to take it day by day, get the best we can out of each opportunity we have. Hopefully we’ll be ready to go on opening day. Hopefully that preparation will carry us through a 16-game regular season schedule, at least the foundation of it.
BB: Vince, he’s certainly anchored our defense since ‘05 really. In ‘04 he was kind of a rotational player. He’s been a solid guy there for us. He’s played wherever we’ve needed him to play. He’s played nose, he’s played defensive tackle, he’s played defensive end. Yeah, as well as being a great player, he’s been a great leader. He does a great job with the younger players. He’s certainly one of the most respected players on the team, particularly along with [Jerod] Mayo ‘ two of our most experienced defensive players ‘ they provide a lot of leadership to the entire unit, as does Devin [McCourty] but Devin is a little younger and it’s more in the backend. As far as the front goes, Vince and Jerod, they both do a great job of that.
Q: Are there a lot of differences between Warren and Vince?
BB: I don’t know. I never coached Sapp, I couldn’t speak about his specific skills. We didn’t really play them many times to tell you the truth, most of the time I’ve been in the AFC. I saw him every three or four years, but that was not a guy we competed against regularly.
Q: Yesterday was a bit of a transitional day. Did you feel like it was maybe half a step difference in terms of the intensity level?
BB: The objective yesterday wasn’t a high physical intensity. We covered a lot of situations; we went over some things we fell behind on in our installation because we were working against Philadelphia and just some things we needed to work on. Yeah, that’s what that was about. We’ll pick up the competitive side of it today.