Quick hits from Bill Belichick’s 30-minute draft-ending press conference:
Belichick was asked about his defensive coaching staff, which following Eric Mangini’s departure had Dean Pees as coordinator, Joel Collier as assistant secondary coach and Pepper Johnson as defensive line coach. That’s a light coaching staff compared to other NFL teams, and the Patriots have bolstered that side of the ball by moving assistant offensive line coach Matt Patricia to linebackers coach.
So the defensive staff now looks like this:
Dean Pees –- coordinator
Pepper Johnson –- defensive line
Matt Patricia –- linebackers
Joel Collier –- defensive backs
The 31-year-old Patricia enters his third NFL coaching season in 2006, all with the Patriots. A former standout offensive lineman at RPI, Patricia's coaching career began with six years in the college ranks (RPI as a graduate assistant, Amherst College as defensive line coach, Syracuse as an offensive graduate assistant). Patricia joined the Patriots in 2004 and spent his first season as an offensive coaching assistant and last year as assistant offensive line coach.
After selecting just one defensive back (seventh rounder Willie Andrews), Belichick was asked where things stand with free-agent Ty Law:
“Where do they stand? Any player that is not on our team is not on our team. It's as simple as that. The ones that are, are under contract or we have rights to by the draft or exclusive rights free agents or whatever the situation is, then that's what their situation is. Anybody that isn't, isn't. I can't comment on anybody that is it on our team.”
Asked if there have been recent conversations with Law, Belichick answered: “Whether there are or not, any conversations I have with players and all that is between myself and the player.”
Asked about the future of quarterback Doug Flutie, and whether he has a place with the Patriots, Belichick said: “You have to talk to Doug about what Doug’s future is.”
Flutie’s agent, Kristen Kuliga, said on Sunday night that Flutie expects to decide on his future this week.
At the end of the press conference, Belichick was asked by a reporter where he could send his tape to be considered as a rookie free agent. The coach played along, mentioning vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli would love to receive the tape. Belichick then listed Pioli’s phone number, and also mentioned if the reporter wanted game tickets that something could be worked out. That ended the press conference on a playful note.