FOXBOROUGH -- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick answered questions from reporters after today's mandatory minicamp session. The following is a transcript, as provided by the Patriots media relations staff:
BB: Weíve been at it here for a couple of weeks and we are kind of winding it down. Itís good to be back out, good to have everybody working and good to see the players on the field rather than a bunch of names up there on the depth chart board. See them running, see them doing the plays and start to see things come together a little bit on the football field. [Itís an] exciting time to get started but we still have a long way to go and a lot of work to do, so we will just take it one day at a time. I think weíre making some progress. We just have to stay at it and be ready to make a long haul out of it [and] try to take these opportunities out here, this week, on the field to make sure we are as close to being ready for training camp as we can possibly be and thatís when we will really find out what we have.
Q: How excited are you? The rest of New England is excited to have Tom Brady and Vince Wilfork on that field.
BB: I like all the players. I like to see them all out there. There are some that arenít. Itís good to see Tom and Vince, Adalius [Thomas] and Laurence [Maroney] and a lot of the players that didnít get to play all last year, so itís good to see them all out there.
Q: How does Tom [Brady] look to you?
BB: I think everybody has a long way to go, but we are making progress and will take it one day at a time.
Q: Were you concerned that Vince Wilfork might not show up? He missed all the OTAís [Organized Team Activites].
BB: Well, the players that were here we were working with. Those were all voluntary sessions and Iím glad everybodyís here today.
Q: [On Joey Galloway]
BB: Right now we are just trying to teach everybody the plays and get them to learn their assignments. As you can see we are rolling a lot of people through in our system out there and how that actually sets up from a game plan standpoint and how different players are utilized in different situations and all that we will get to in due course. Right now we are just trying to let everyone run the plays and get familiar with them and then we will evaluate in training camp who can do what.
Q: Considering his recent comments, how fun is it having Rex Ryan in the division now?
BB: I have a lot of respect for Rex. What he did in Baltimore Ė the defense his team has played. Weíve always had great battles with the Jets, so Iím sure that will continue. Itís a good rivalry. They beat us up here last year. They kind of got the last punch in on that one, so we will have toÖItís a new year. Right now we are more focused on Buffalo than any other team in the division because we open with them, but we know we are going to have to deal with Miami and the Jets as well and we have a lot of respect for all those teams.
Q: Has there been more talking this year than normal? You look at Rex Ryan and the Miami Dolphins players talking about their routine.
BB: Oh, I donít know. Right now Iím just trying to coach our team and get our guys ready to have a good week of practice and get them ready for training camp. Thatís really what weíre up for is getting our team ready and when itís time to play we will show up to play.
Q: Does the learning curve this time of year get steeper and steeper?
BB: Well it depends on who you are. Some players have done a lot of the things we are doing out there and some players havenít. For the guys that have, some of this may be familiar to them or may replicate things theyíve done in other systems or with other teams and for other guys it might be brand new. I think itís different for each player on a case by case basis.
Q: Is it more likely that a player that will win a spot in mini camp or lose a spot in mini camp?
BB: I donít think the spots are there to be won in mini camp. Mini camp is a teaching camp and the evaluation will come at training camp.