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Bill Belichick discusses cut down days with Salk & Holley

08.26.13 at 5:06 pm ET
By
Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick

Making his weekly appearance with Salk & Holley, Patriots coach Bill Belichick was characteristically tight-lipped when it came to making major decisions on his roster this week, though he did discuss the process and the different challenges that face him each year at cut-down time.

The Patriots have to be down to 75 players on Monday and 53 players by 6 pm Saturday in compliance with the league’s deadlines. The Pats made a number of moves on Monday, cutting five players, putting two on injured reserve, putting two on the reserve/non-football injury list and re-signing a pair of players who had previously been cut in cornerback Stephon Morris and defensive lineman Scott Vallone. The moves leave the Patriots with 78 players.

“[There's] probably at least a couple meetings a week, with maybe some other discussions along the way,” Belichick said of finalizing his roster. “I think there’s some other things you’ve got to take into consideration, the 45-man game day roster, the 53-man roster, the practice squad roster. You just have to be aware of what your salary cap situation is and look into what your potential expenses are going to be during the season because you’re going to have to somewhere along the line replace somebody. I don’t think everybody’s going to be healthy for the entire season. I hope so, but that’s just not realistic.

“You’ve got to do some budgeting and you have to take a look at where your depth is. If you carry certain guys on your practice squad, maybe they’re depth, but then where is your depth coming from at other positions where you might not have a player on the practice squad? Who could you get to the practice squad? Who’s practice squad eligible? All those kind of things, but a lot of them end up taking care of themselves.”

Belichick said that things get trickier when dealing with players who have missed practices or preseason games due to injury, particularly ones who have missed significant time.

“Those are always the tough ones,” he said. “How much do you wait [to see] what the player can do, or maybe what he’s done in the past or where you think he’ll be. It’s what we have to do. It’s not the ideal situation, but whatever information we have, it’s all we have. We have to make a decision with it.”

Ideally, Belichick said, the financial and injury concerns are ultimately trumped by how players perform and what they prove they can give the team, but the other factors add to the challenging process.

“Let the players play, and somebody merges ahead of somebody else, or sometimes injuries occur or what have you, and then there are some times when you have to really make a decision based on the amount of information you have,” he said. “Sometimes it’s not as much as you’d like, but it’s all what you have and then you just have have to do the best you can there. It’s a combination of all those things.”

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