Bill Belichick: Cutting Tim Tebow ‘was the best decision to make for the team’
|09.02.13 at 2:34 pm ET|
FOXBORO — For the first time since making the decision to cut Tim Tebow from the roster, Bill Belichick spoke Monday about the decision to keep just two quarterbacks on the roster.
Belichick was asked directly why the team decided to release Tebow and keep Tom Brady and Ryan Mallett.
“Because we thought it was the best decision to make for the team,” Belichick said in his Monday press conference. “There are a million things that go into every decision, personnel decision. There are a lot of things that play off one another. In the end, we did what we thought was best for the team, at every position, every one.”
The move means the Patriots will have just two active QBs on the roster for the second straight season. The last time they played with three was 2011 when Brady, Mallett and Brian Hoyer were all on the roster.
As to whether the door is finally closed for Tebow, Belichick wouldn’t rule anything out.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen during the year,” Belichick said. “Certainly we’ve had a lot of players that have left here and come back here. I don’t think that would be anything – that’s already happened multiple times this year.”
It certainly figures to be much less likely with Tebow, who cleared waivers and is a free agent. Tebow was just 11-of-30 for 145 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdown passes to Quentin Sims in the preseason finale.
Here is the rest of Belichick’s presser from Monday at Gillette Stadium:
BB: We’re full speed ahead on Buffalo. As always, challenging to go on the road to open, especially in the division. They always do a good job. Coach [Doug] Marrone is a coach I have a lot of respect for. He’s had a lot of experience in the league, some in this division. Of course, did a great job with the Syracuse program. [Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach] Nathaniel Hackett, his coordinator, is from Syracuse so I’m sure there will be an element of what they did there and what we’ll see. Of course, [Defensive Coordinator] Mike [Pettine] coming from the Jets and that background, Baltimore and the Jets, we’re pretty familiar with that style of defense. Of course Danny [Crossman], the special teams coach, we’ve worked against him before as well. It’s a pretty experienced staff. They have a lot of explosive players. Obviously [Leodis] McKelvin in their kicking game is a big guy for us.
Offensively, [C.J.] Spiller, [Steve] Johnson, guys that can hit the home run ball. Real good front four, disruptive, added [Alan] Branch to that group, so they’ve got a good group up there, a tough group to block as well as some good players in the secondary. Guys like [Jairus] Byrd, you always have to know where he is. Roster-wise, [we’re] still working our way through it. Obviously, there has been a lot of movement the last few days, I’m sure there will be some more as we go forward, just to finish things off with our practice squad and other various personnel transactions. This part of the season, it’s pretty common. I’m sure there will be more of those. We’ll just take them as they come. Right now, we’re just trying to get into Buffalo, focus on them. As I said, it’s always hard to open with anybody because of the amount of information that you have to try to sort through. They’ll never be able to do all of it, nor would we with all the background we have. But you have to prepare for a lot of things and be ready for what you get on Sunday. That’s what we’ll try to do, get into regular season mode here, our practice routine and our meetings and preparation. That’s another little adjustment for us at this point but we’re just working our way through all those things.
Q: Would you ask Syracuse product Chandler Jones to familiarize yourself with Syracuse stuff or is there already enough out there on new Bills coach Doug Marrone?
BB: I think most of the Syracuse stuff looks to me like it’s coming on the offensive side of the ball.
Q: He’s obviously practiced against those guys.
BB: Again, there are a lot of elements of even what they’ve done, there’s elements of what Doug [Marrone] did when he was the offensive coordinator at New Orleans and even back to the Jets. I don’t think that’s a major part of the game plan.
Q: What about looking at the preseason?
BB: I’m sure that’s what they’re going to do. I’m sure they have some wrinkles and things they haven’t shown but I can’t imagine they’d go through four preseason games and show up at the first game with some completely different offense. I can’t imagine.
Q: How has Duron Harmon looked and how much do you expect him to play?
BB: Good. He’s had a good preseason. All the rookies that made our roster, obviously we feel good enough to have them on there. Duron has done a good job.
Q: You have 14 rookies. What’s it like coaching such a young team? Was getting younger something you wanted to do this year?
BB: No, we want to win. That’s what we’re here for. We kept the players that we feel give us the best chance to be competitive this year. That’s what our job is.
Q: Is there a different sense about the opener – new season with a new team?
BB: This is what we’ve worked for. This everything we’ve done – all the preparations in the spring, our OTAs, our offseason training program, training camp – to get to the regular season and the regular season is here. Yeah, we’re excited; we’re ready to go. I think it’s like that every year. Each year is a new year with a new team, new circumstances, new challenges, new everything. That’s the great part about football. You don’t pick up where you left off, good or bad, you start all over again. We’re getting ready to start the regular season. It’s a big challenge for us but we’ll see where it takes us.
Q: How much have you trimmed down or tweaked things to accommodate for the changes that you’ve had at receiver and tight end and some of the new faces?
BB: I think we’ve installed the 2013 offense, which is different from 2012, which is different from ’11. It changes and evolves every year. I think whatever we choose to do on a game-by-game basis will be determined by that game, those matchups, our personnel, their personnel, their schemes and so forth. I can’t really tell you how that’s going to go. I think that we have the ability to draw or work in the same areas generally that we’ve worked in in the past but there are some specific things that we’re probably better at now and not as good at relative to other years. I’m sure that’s true. We’ll just take it game by game and see how the game plans unfold. I don’t think there are too many things that if we want to do and we haven’t practiced them, we wouldn’t know how to do them. Which ones we select to do will be dependent on that individual game.
Q: How important was it to add the depth on the offensive line the past two days?
BB: We thought that there were players that would be able to help our team. We don’t have any experience with them so we’ll have to see how it goes. We’re glad to be working with them. We’ll just try to get a quick evaluation of them and see whether they’ll be ready, what their future is here. I don’t really know. We liked them enough to claim them, but how that’s going to turn out, I think we’ll have to see.
Q: Any roster moves today?
BB: There are probably going to be roster moves over the next few days. I don’t even know what they are but it’s just that time of year. Between the practice squad and the roster, there’s a lot of transition. I don’t know, there could be.
Q: Anything today?
BB: We’ll give them to you if we have them.
Q: Any update on Will Svitek?
BB: I’m sure the much anticipated injury report will come out on Wednesday and we’ll fill you in on everything then.
Q: Want to try a practice run with us today?
BB: I don’t want to lose the anticipation that you guys have for that Wednesday report coming out by putting anything in there that you already have early. It’s like Christmas morning. You can unwrap all the gifts at once.
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