|Matt Patricia, Patriots coaches can stop ‘staring at each other’ and get back to working with players||05.03.16 at 4:27 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Now the fun really begins for the Patriots’ coaching staff.
Ever since the day the Patriots lost to the Broncos in the AFC championship in Denver, Bill Belichick, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and the entire staff has been working on putting together a new roster to hit the ground running with in the spring so they get get started with on-field prep for the 2016 season.
This week, in the days immediately following the draft, the Patriots’ staff can finally move on from the first offseason phase, which has included free agency, trades, veteran workouts and the draft.
“For us, the focus is really, right now, is [this week],” Patricia said during an offseason media availability at Gillette Stadium. “[This week] is Phase 2 of the offseason program where now we’ve got the guys out on the field. We can actually go out and see the new guys that we have in, see the guys coming back from being away. That’s really kind of our focus.”
The “guys” Patricia is referencing are veterans already on the roster or newcomers like defensive ends Chris Long and Frank Kearse, nose tackle Terrance Knighton and linebackers Shea McClellin and Ramon Humber and defensive back E.J. Biggers.
“Every year is a new year for us,” Patricia said. “We have to start over every year. You take the guys that come in as veteran players, guys that have gone from first-year rookies to now second-year players, the progression that they have to make, along with free agents you’ve signed that have to now kind of incorporate along with the eventual rookies and draft picks and free agents, when we finally get those guys in. So, for us it’s just a process. Basically, just starting from scratch, starting over, getting everybody back in, starting to work the offeseason program, the running and the conditioning, the [weight] lifting, all that stuff right now.
“We’ll get into the information part of it here where we’ll start learning a little bit about the defense and what we do and things like that. It’s exciting for me, it’s exciting for us as a staff to kind of have everybody back. [Coaches] sit in rooms for a couple of months and stare at each other. When the players finally get back, that’s really what’s exciting, is when we get those guys back and now we get the opportunity to get back to football.”
|Mike Petraglia, Chris Price on Dante Scarnecchia, Steve Belichick, Patriots 2016 draft||05.02.16 at 3:10 pm ET|
FOXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price break down the return of offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia and what it means to the future of the offensive line, new safeties coach Steve Belichick and his football relationship to his dad and recap the Patriots 2016 draft and what to expect from some of the higher profile selections in their upcoming rookie season.
FOXBORO — After four years in the Patriots system, Steve Belichick was deemed ready to be a positional coach, as he was promoted to safeties coach this offseason.
“It means everything to me,” Belichick said in his first ever meeting with the media on Monday. “I’ve been around football my whole life so to have the support of the coaches and everybody else behind me to step up to a bigger role in this organization, I’m just excited about it.”
Steve is of course the son of Bill and they are continuing the family coaching tree as Bill learned from his dad, also Steve, when Steve coached at Navy from 1956-89.
The youngest Belichick said he’s wanted to be a coach since his first football play at four years old.
“I love my dad. He’s my role model. He’s my idol,” Belichick said. “I want to be just like him. I have since I knew what an idol was. It’s rewarding for me to be able to see him more and learn from him more because I’ve been away from him for high school and college.”
Belichick has done a number of different things with the team in his four years on the staff, working with every position. After playing four years of lacrosse at Rutgers, he walked on to the football team as a long snapper, playing with current Patriots Logan Ryan and Duron Harmon.
“They’ve been hard, but they’ve been a lot of fun,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot of stuff from a lot of smart people in this building. Players, coaches, everybody, so it’s been hard trying to learn everything and do stuff the right way, but it’s been awesome. I wouldn’t do anything differently.”
Added Belichick: “My responsibilities were helping us win. If that was breaking down film, that was throwing interceptions to the defensive players to make them feel good, that’s what I do. I’m here to win.”
He was a bit more open with the media than his dad is, especially when asked about wearing a hoodie, trademarked by his dad with the sleeves cut off.
“If I’m cold, I’ll put the hood up and warm my head up,” Belichick said. “It’s a good piece of clothing. I think everyone should have a hooded sweatshirt in their closet.”
|Could roster moves be coming for Patriots?||05.01.16 at 12:00 pm ET|
FOXBORO — During the offseason, NFL rosters can have a maximum of 90 players.
Following the NFL draft, the Patriots have 85 players and five open spots, but then comes the undrafted free agent signing period and the team appears to be connected to more than five players, putting them over the limit of 90.
Bill Belichick said you can’t always believe what is reported on social media with these signings, as nothing is official until the team reports it, but certainly is something that’s going on.
“Obviously, we talk to a lot of players and I’d say until anything gets official and turned in and the contract is signed, all of that which I have no idea,” Belichick said Saturday. “That’s an ongoing process and as you can imagine there’s 32 teams and hundreds of players and agents and fax machines and phone calls and everything. Sometimes those things get done, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes a guy you think you’re not going to get you get. Sometimes a guy you think you’re going to get you don’t get. Sometimes you get the guy you’re going to get and you lose the guy you think you’re going to lose so we’ll just have to see how it all works out.”
With the players taken in the draft, team’s depth charts can change a great deal over the weekend and also, with all the new players coming aboard some players already on rosters will need to be released to make room for others.
This will all take place in the coming days.
|Bill Belichick mourns passing of former Patriots DT Ron Brace||04.30.16 at 10:30 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Last weekend there was the tragic news of former Patriots defensive tackle Ron Brace passing away at age 29.
It was later reported by the Boston Globe that the former Boston College Eagle and Patriot died of an apparent heart attack.
Brace was selected by the Patriots in the second round of the 2009 draft. He played for the Patriots from 2009-12, before his final NFL season in 2013 with the Redskins on the practice squad.
Bill Belichick coached Brace during his time in New England.
“Obviously, very sad to hear that,” Belichick said Saturday. “It’s a young man that died early so it’s always tragic. The fact that he was in our lives, part of our family, gives us a heavier heart. Obviously, our thoughts and prayers and sympathy go out to his family. It was sad news. Very, obviously unexpected, it’s sad.”
He was a native of Springfield, Massachusetts.
Brace had 24 tackles in his career with the Patriots.
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
FOXBORO — Although it wasn’t much of a surprise, Bill Belichick wasn’t in the mood to talk about Deflategate during his post-draft press conference.
Belichick was given the chance to address the matter as Tom Brady’s four-game suspension was reinstated last Monday, but he didn’t want to go there.
The coach interrupted the question and said, “I’ll talk about the draft. You good on that?”
Although it wasn’t in front of the media, owner Robert Kraft addressed the matter Friday night at the Patriots draft party at Gillette Stadium.
The Patriots owner said he and Brady are on the “same page” with the case and have been in “constant communication.”
Besides Brady being suspended, the team lost its first-round pick in the draft. Belichick was asked if not having a first-round pick impacted the team’s overall philosophy in the draft, but he said it didn’t.
“No. You control what you can control,” Belichick said. “What we had, we tried to do the best we could. That’s how we approach it — whether it is picking guys or moving positions or trading into next year, whatever it was, we just tried to make the most of it. We traded up, we traded down, we [got a draft pick in 2017]. Not saying it was great or anything, we just tried to do the best we could.”
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
|Bill Belichick on Kevin Faulk wearing Tom Brady’s jersey at draft: ‘He always makes good decisions’||at 8:16 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Kevin Faulk surprised a lot of people when he showed up to the NFL draft Friday night to announce the Patriots’ third-round pick with a Tom Brady jersey under his sport jacket — showing support for the quarterback who had his four-game suspension reinstated earlier in the week.
A lot of people throughout Patriot Nation approved of the attire, even Bill Belichick.
“Love Kevin. He always makes good decisions,” Belichick said Saturday night following the draft. “Looked sharp out there.”
Faulk explained the move to WEEI.com’s Chris Price earlier in the day.
“It was a move that wasn’t about me,” Faulk said. “It was a move in support of my brother. We’ve been together for a long time, and it was a way for me to show support for Tom.”
He also said Brady texted him afterwards giving his approval.
When announcing the pick, Faulk said, “With the 78th pick in the 2016 NFL draft, the New England Patriots and Tom Brady select Joe Thuney.”
— For The Win (@ForTheWin) April 30, 2016
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
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