Warming to the task
Pro Bowl coach Belichick takes things a little easier
KAPOLEI, Hawaii — Bill Belichick walked off the shadeless Kapolei High School practice field yesterday morning and signed T-shirts for representatives of the Wounded Warriors Project wearing camouflage uniforms. He had that Belichick half-smile and looked more relaxed than he’s been in a long time.
“Well, it’s like minus-something back in Boston,’’ he said.
A bit of an exaggeration by the Patriots coach. Actually it was 34 in Boston when the AFC squad for Sunday’s Pro Bowl quit practice and 78 where he was in western Oahu, 26 miles from Waikiki Beach.
Fort Barrette Road, outside the school parking lot, was jammed with parked vehicles, and hundreds of NFL-starved fans crushed against the gates of the lot, trying to get a peek at the players.
Belichick, making his second Pro Bowl appearance in four years, was asked if this is a working holiday or whether there is any holiday in it at all.
“We’re trying to get caught up on a few end-of-the-year things, but it’s less work and more pleasure,’’ he said.
Belichick said he has been “all over’’ the island since arriving, visiting Pearl Harbor, Waikiki Beach, and downtown Honolulu. “And I played a few golf courses here.’’
The Chad Ochocinco question inevitably came up, and Belichick sidestepped it. He said he still has as much respect for the Bengals receiver as he does for other NFL players despite what some columnists have written. But when asked whether Ochocinco would fit in with his organization, Belichick said, “I can’t talk about players under contract.’’
Asked if he is spending time at his Ko Olina Resort room thinking about changes to make with the Patriots, Belichick was just as evasive.
“It’s not so much about changes but trying to look at the entire season — what happened back in September and December,’’ he said. “Just trying to address it all and take inventory.’’
Surgery for Deaderick Rookie defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick had surgery yesterday, according to a Twitter posting from Adam Cohen, the director of football operations for Perennial Sports and Entertainment, the group that represents Deaderick. During the season, Deaderick was listed on the injury report late in the season with a shoulder problem. Deaderick, who played 10 regular-season games and the playoff game, was suspended by the Patriots Jan. 3, then reinstated Jan. 7. The Patriots did not reveal the reason for his punishment . . . Belichick made his first reference to safety Patrick Chung and the ill-fated fake punt during an interview on WEEI yesterday. “Patrick feels badly about the way it happened, but again, that’s one play,’’ Belichick said. “That game was made up of more than one play.’’ Chung has taken responsibility for the botched play, which led to a Jets touchdown before the half.
Shalise Manza Young of the Globe staff contributed to this report from Boston.