|Bill Belichick feels special transition from Scott O’Brien to Joe Judge: ‘I think he’s a great young coach’||08.01.15 at 3:32 pm ET|
FOXBORO — It takes a lot for Bill Belichick to feel comfortable handing over his special teams unit after it’s been coached by one of the best assistants he’s ever had.
But in Joe Judge, Belichick feels as though he has someone who can begin to fill the shoes of Scotty O’Brien, who walked away from his special teams job after the Patriots won Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale.
What has the transition been like so far in OTAs and minicamp?
“Smooth,” Belichick said. “Scott was a great coach, as good a coach as anybody I’ve ever been with and around, did a tremendous job. I learned a ton from Scott. I know Joe did, too, or has. But Joe is a great coach in his own right. Each of us have our own style.
“Joe has his own style, but very well prepared, very thorough, has great experience in the kicking game and all of the situations and techniques, both with the specialists and all the other positions on the field. Joe and I spend a lot of time together. I think he’s a great young coach.”
|Bill Belichick isn’t thinking about revenge: ‘It’s not the time for it’||07.31.15 at 10:44 am ET|
FOXBORO — Bill Belichick says he’s not worried about exacting revenge on the rest of the NFL.
The working theory in the wake of Deflategate is that the Patriots coach would try to fire up his team and blow out the competition, much in the same way they did in 2007 after the Spygate scandal.
But Belichick insisted Friday before Day 2 of camp that that is the furthest thing from his mind.
“Right now, I’m really focused on what we’re doing today, not thinking about the past, not last week, not last year, not some other year,” Belichick said. “We have to prepare our team for the opener and a 16-game regular season schedule. We can’t do a lot of that right now. It’s not the time for it.
“I’m not going to worry about next month, next year, six years from now, six months from now or anything else. I know that’s real important to everybody else but it’s really not very important to me. It’s not really important to our football team. With all due respect, it’s not something I think about, I care about though that seems to be really important to everybody else. It’s just not on our radar.”
Belichick addressed a number of other topics, including his reaction to Day 1, which ended with a vocal correction toward the end of camp on special teams.
“Definitely underway after getting going yesterday with everybody out there,” Belichick said. “I think it was a first step. We made some corrections yesterday and try to build on that this morning and build on what we did yesterday. Just keep going here. We have a long haul, long way to go, one step at a time. We just keep trying to grind it out, put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward. I think these guys have a good attitude, trying to get better, trying to do what we tell them to do, try to make the corrections. Hopefully, we’ll be able to string some days together that are good and keep getting our team ready.”
|Bill Belichick will not engage in Tom Brady discussion: ‘We talk about today’||07.30.15 at 1:36 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Bill Belichick was in predictable form Thursday.
Asked to expand upon Robert Kraft’s comments from Wednesday and the uncertainty facing quarterback Tom Brady, Belichick said he was only ready to focus on getting prepared for the first day of practice.
“Right now we’re preparing for today, practice today,” Belichick said.
But that didn’t stop the line of questioning.
Q: But you have to think ahead, right? How do you plan for that?
“Right now we’re practicing for today,” Belichick repeated. “That’s all I’m thinking about. I’m not thinking about a month from now, a year from now, 10 years from now, six months from now. I’ll leave all that up to you guys and the experts. Just today.
Q: Do you find any sign of distraction or is getting to the field a welcome avoidance of distraction?
“Today we’re doing what we always do. We’ll prepare for practice and we’ll go out there and practice and evaluate it and make corrections and move on to this afternoon and tomorrow. It’s training camp,” he added.
Belichick was asked about whether he needs to remind players that last year’s Super Bowl season is in the past.
“We don’t talk about last year. We talk about today,” Belichick said. “Again, I’m not really worried about some other year or some other time. I’m trying to do the best I can to get our team prepared today to have a good practice, to take another step forward in our preparation so that we’ll be able to stay on schedule and do what we need to do tomorrow and the following day.
“That’s really what I’m worried about. I’m not living in the past or dreaming about something in the future. I’m trying to do a good job with our team today, and that’s what each of our players should be doing as well is making the most out of this opportunity that’s right in front of us because that’s the only thing we can do anything about.”
|Bill Belichick on LeGarrette Blount, Alan Branch: ‘We have a few guys who aren’t quite ready to go yet’||at 10:36 am ET|
FOXBORO — It’s hot and humid this week in Foxboro. The perfect conditioning weather for Bill Belichick as training camp begins.
Belichick made reference to that Thursday morning, in his press conference at Gillette Stadium before the first practice of camp.
“Get off to good start here in training camp,” Belichick said. “I think, overall, the team, for the most part, is in pretty good condition based on what we saw [Wednesday] and the previous couple of days before that. We’ll see how it goes when we get into a regular type practice later on in the week.”
Hopefully by then, Belichick and the Patriots will have the services of running back LeGarrette Blount, defensive lineman Alan Branch and offensive lineman Caylin Hauptmann, all of whom were placed on the non-football injury list Wednesday after the team’s conditioning run. Belichick hinted Thursday that those three didn’t pass the test on the field with the rest of the team.
“We have a few guys who aren’t quite ready to go yet,” Belichick said. “We’ll take those guys day-by-day and see how that turns out.”
Players keep taking the test until they pass.
“It’s always good to everybody out there on the field. Looks like we have a nice warm week so it’ll be good for us out there,” Belichick said of the rest of the team.
Then there’s the matter of players on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. Linebackers Jerod Mayo (patellar tendon) and Dont’a Hightower (labrum), special teams captain Matthew Slater, defensive lineman Dominique Easley (knees) and defensive end Chandler Jones all missed time during OTAs and minicamp.
“We have a lot of guys that are in different [situations],” Belichick said. “Each individual is different. We’ve talked to all the players who are in various stages of rehabilitation. Some guys are able to do some things. Some guys are able to less than that or different things. Lower body injuries, upper body injuries, so forth and so on. Each guy is different. Each situation is different.
“We treat them all individually and try to do the best we can for each individual player based on his situation, his injury, his experience, the position he plays and so forth. So there’s really not a standard for anybody. I’ve spoken with all of those guys and we’ve talked about what our plan is and we’ll go with that and see how it goes. Maybe we’ll be on it, maybe we’ll have to alter it. It’s pretty common. We’ve coached a lot of players and been through a lot of these situations. Just take it individually.”
|Poll: Whose legacy will be negatively affected the most due to Deflategate saga?||07.29.15 at 1:53 pm ET|
FOXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price explain why Patriots owner Robert Kraft came out on the offensive Wednesday and hit back at the NFL for upholding Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension. Kraft gave quarterback Tom Brady his “unequivocal” support and apologized to fans for backing down to the NFL in May at the owners meetings in San Francisco.
|Bill Belichick on Tom Brady distraction in camp: ‘We won’t be dealing with that at all’||at 10:53 am ET|
Belichick opened his press conference following Kraft’s statement by saying the Patriots coaching staff is focused on preparing for the season, not Brady’s suspension or a possible showdown in court.
“I think Robert took care of the other situation. Tom had a statement so there’s nothing to really talk about there,” Belichick said. “Won’t be dealing with that at all. Just get the team ready and prepare for the regular season as we always do and as we did all spring. So, there’s no change for us on the football team.”
Belichick began his press conference by stressing his traditional approach to training camp.
“It’s good to see everyone back here. We got all the players back today for the start of training camp,” he said. “Right now, we’re in a long, step-by-step process as we head into the beginning of the 2015 season. So, we’re just going to take it one-day-at-a-time. I’d say we’ve got some preparation work to do, in terms of conditioning and going through some policies and things like that, trying to get everyone on the same page like we normally do. We’ll try to have a good day today and try to have another one tomorrow and just string them along day-by-day so that’s really where we’re at.”
Naturally, some of the over 50 reporters on hand did make several attempts to pry some type of response, with little to no success.
“We’re going to take it day-to-day, just like we always do,” Belichick said of the impact of the story. “We start training camp today. We’ll get ready for the 2015 season starting today.”
Anything to add?
“No. It’s already been addressed,” he said.
Another attempt to elicit some type of response was met with some wry humor.
“You heard what Robert just said. It’s already been addressed. Maybe you ought to go back and look at your notes. It’s already been addressed,” he said. “We’re going to continue to get the team ready for the 2015 season. That’s what we’re going to do.”