Patriots coach Bill Belichick held his regular Tuesday conference call with reporters today and here were a few items of note:
1) Confidence still there in Cassel. Belichick was asked if he still has confidence in quarterback Matt Cassel leading the team, and he simply replied “yes.” Asked a follow-up question, Belichick made his feelings clear: “Matt is our starting quarterback. He gives our team the best chance to win. We’ve all got to play better, and coach better than we did last week. We have to do a better job than we did against San Diego. But he’s our quarterback.”
2) PUP players could start practice this week. The Patriots can start practicing players on the physically unable to perform list this week, and Belichick said guard Stephen Neal and tackle Oliver Ross have a “pretty good chance” of starting practice. If that does happen, the team then would have up to a three-week window to decide to activate either player or place them on season-ending injured reserve. Neal and Ross would not count against the 53-man roster limit until that decision is made.
3) Trade deadline today – no moves expected. The NFL trade deadline is today, and Belichick was asked if anything was on the horizon. “I don’t think so,” he said. “I’d say there is a less than 1 percent chance of anything happening there.”
4) Belichick/McDaniels discussion. The Sunday night NBC broadcast drew attention to Belichick walking to the locker room at halftime as offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was speaking with him, with the announcers suggesting the one-sided exchange didn’t look good. Belichick was asked if it was anything outside of the normal in-game communication between coaches and replied: “We were talking about the first half and some things we wanted to talk about at halftime and how we wanted to approach the second half. That’s exactly what it was.”