Some quick-hits from Bill Belichick’s conference call with media members today (4 p.m.):
Will the team stick with just two quarterbacks? With today’s release of Andrew Walter, the Patriots have just Tom Brady and Brian Hoyer on the roster. Belichick was asked if he envisions a third player added at the position. “That’s really a hard question to answer – we’ll have to wait and see what our different options are, not only what players are available one way or the other, but in terms of how we want to manage our roster,” he said. “There are so many moving parts to the process.” Belichick said the presence of college quarterback turned NFL receiver Julian Edelman is not a major factor in the decision-making at quarterback.
Addressing the Billy Yates cut. Belichick said this is always one of the tougher days of the year, informing players they’ve been cut. He singled out Billy Yates, a tough, solid, very dependable player since he first joined the team in 2004.
If five running backs are kept … The Patriots kept five running backs last season, and they could do so again with Fred Taylor, Laurence Maroney, Kevin Faulk, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Sammy Morris. Belichick was asked what part of the roster would be affected if five backs are kept. He said the decision is made with all skill-position players in mind (running backs, receivers, tight ends), as well as linebackers (because of special teams impact).
Busy time of year for trade talks. Asked specifically if he has had conversations with Philadelphia – presumably in a deal for quarterback A.J. Feeley – Belichick said the Patriots have conversations with every team at this time of year.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis = production. Asked what he likes the most about BenJarvus Green-Ellis at running back and on special teams, Belichick went to the bottom line. “I think the thing we really like about Benny is his production. When he’s had the chance to play, he’s been productive, really in all phases of the game – as a runner, as a pass protector and blocker, and as a pass catcher and as a receiver. In the kicking game, he brings that same athleticism and toughness we see when he runs the ball. He’s a pretty valuable player who is versatile, smart, tough, and when he’s had a chance to play, he’s taken advantage of it.”