FOXBOROUGH — This is the beginning for the 2013 rookie class. And right now, it’s all about baby steps.
The Patriots are hosting 28 rookies and first-year players under contract, as well as a handful of other rookies and veterans who are working out for the team as part of rookie minicamp. That group includes Canadian Football League signees Armond Armstead and Jason Vega, who have been at Gillette Stadium the past two weeks. But before the team implements the full breadth of its playbook, let alone discuss concepts, they’ll address the logistics of moving to New England and becoming professional athletes.
“Obviously we have a lot of information to give them in every area of football and all of the transitioning it takes to become a professional athlete and most cases for guys moving to this part of the country,” Belichick said. “We have a lot of ground to cover but I think it’s a group that seems attentive and eager. Like a lot of groups at this time of year, this group of guys is a pretty similar group to ones we’ve had in the past. So we’ll just take it day by day.”
The Patriots signed 19 rookie free agents on Friday, giving Belichick 90 bodies to work with in training camp. But the veteran coach noted that other small moves would be made to ensure the team can practice efficiently.
Also of note:
– The new Patriots selected their numbers last night. Second round pick Jamie Collins — the Patriots’ first pick of the 2013 draft — will wear No. 91. Wide receiver Aaron Dobson will wear No. 17 while Josh Boyce will wear No. 82.
The other numbers for draft picks: Logan Ryan (26), Duron Harmon (30), Michael Buchanan (99), and Steve Beauharnais (45).
Rookie free agent signing T.J. Moe will wear No. 84, Deion Branch’s old number. Kenbrell Thompkins, a rookie free agent receiver from Cincinnati, will wear No. 85, Brandon Lloyd’s old number.