Q: Bob Kraft has said he feels duped by Aaron Hernandez. Do you personally feel duped?
BB: I’ll refrain from making any more comments on any ongoing people involved in the judicial process.
Q: You’re not in the season yet. Wouldn’t this be the time to do it?
BB: I can’t do it.
Q: What were some of the red flags that you had about Aaron Hernandez prior to drafting him? Why did you decide it was OK to select him?
BB: I’m not going to be able to talk about the people who are involved specifically in any ongoing judicial process. We do the same thing with all our players. We take a look, as I said, at their personal family life, we look at the history of what they’ve done in high school and college. In short, we accumulate all the information that we can accumulate, wherever that information comes from, and try to analyze it and make the best decision we can make for our football team on a case-by-case basis. It’s the same for every single player; the process is the same.
Q: How do you anticipate this affecting the way that you do business going forward, both when it comes to monitoring the guys already on the team and when it comes to considering guys who could be added to it?
BB: I think the process is the same as what it’s been for the last 14 years. I think that we’ll continue to try to look at ourselves in the mirror and see where we can do a better job, maybe where we can improve the process. But I think the fundamentals of the process will remain the same. Again, I’m proud of the hundreds of players that have come through this organization. But we’ll continue to work hard to do a better job in every area going forward. I don’t know where those little things will come from but we’ll continue to be diligent on them.
Q: Does this raise the bar as far as draftees and free agents? Are you a little less apt to take risks going forward?
BB: I think everyone is a case-by-case basis. Whatever the circumstances are that come with any individual, they exist and you have to make a determination as to what your comfort level is with that person and the characteristics that they bring.
Q: What has the past month or so been like for you?
BB: It’s certainly very unexpected. These events were very unexpected. I was out of the country for a period of time but followed everything closely through other people in our organization and we’ve made the decisions that we felt were right for the football team and we’ll continue to do that and be as diligent as we can going forward.
Q: Is this going to change anything in your pre-draft psychological screening as far as how you judge draft prospects in the future?
BB: We’ve talked about that. We’ve talked about what we want to do on that subject going forward. I don’t think we’re quite there yet. The draft is nine months off or whatever it is. Again, we have a process in place. Can it be improved? Can it be modified? It possibly can. We’ll certainly look at it.
Q: Robert Kraft had said that the team would be looking at the procedures and auditing how you do things. Has that process begun? What are you looking at? Where does that stand?
BB: I feel like I just answered that question on the draft. Again, we’re in a constant evaluation and overseeing of our current team and current players.
Q: Do you use psychological profiles? And if not, are you going to use them going forward?
BB: I answered the question on the draft. As far as our current players go, we continue to evaluate our players on a regular basis, seasonally, at different points during the season and offseason and so the beginning of the season, camp is always one of those points. So, we would address that as we normally do. We’ll talk to people that we think can help our situation. Whoever they may be, we’ve already done some of that. We have some other things scheduled that maybe getting some other ideas or some other thoughts on how we can improve our overall process. But I would say that any information that we get, we take it for what we feel like the value on it is, and the sources vary, as you know. It’s the business that you guys are in too. We try to get as much information as we can and make the best decisions that we can for the football team. That process won’t change. It could be modified or tweaked a little bit with what we do, but I don’t see the process changing.
Q: Can a team really dictate what a player does off the field and does your organization care to do so? And talking about the personality test, getting scored one for maturity – how do you hire somebody that flunks the maturity test? Continued...