… Say that headline three times fast!
After telling one Patriots’ beat reporter on Monday that he wouldn’t be at this morning’s AFC coaches’ breakfast, Bill Belichick decided to take part after all, albeit a little late. He chatted for 45 minutes, and it was clear quickly that he wasn’t interested in talking about certain topics – Tim Tebow and the Saints/Sean Payton bounty scandal at the top of that list – but he did offer comments on a range of other things.
The first question he got was on Tebow (and it wasn’t from a Boston reporter, for the record): “I’m just concentrating on our team. Just trying to get better in the offseason like we always do. You don’t want to talk about it? I’m just trying to get ready with what we’re doing. Not really worried about the other 31 teams right now.
Asked about Matt Light, Belichick said, “If we have any announcements to make on any player, we’ll make them when it’s appropriate.”
Here’s more of his comments:
On signing Brandon Lloyd and whether he was an obvious pickup given his history with Josh McDaniels: He’s been a productive player, especially the last couple of years, in an offense similar to ours. We’ll see how all that goes. …We look at all the players in free agency. Try to look at all the players in the draft. Some of them work out, some of them don’t. I don’t think it’s any big formula. We’ve talked to a lot of receivers. We talk to a lot of players, period. Some of them we sign, some of them we don’t. It’s that way in the whole process – free agency, draft, trades. That’s part of it.
If he’s confident in Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley with BenJarvus Green-Ellis gone: Yeah, we’ll see how it goes with those guys. We drafted them, we obviously like them enough to draft them. We’ll see how it goes. I don’t know. Neither one of them played a whole lot last year. They played some, but we’ll see how it goes. I’m sure there’ll be competition at that position, just like there is every other one.
Why do you keep signing fullbacks? Everybody we’ve brought onto our team, we’ll give them an opportunity to compete, whether it’s offensively and special teams, or defensively and special teams, whatever it happens to be. We’ll take the players we think give us the best chance. I don’t know who that’s going to be. We’ll let our guys compete, see how it goes.
The competition the Pats will have at wide receiver with the recent signings and re-signings: You always try to have competition at every position…We’ll see what the roster ends up being this year. There’s going to be a number of receivers, some guy at that position might not even be on our team right now and we’re not even talking about it. It’s just a process. We signed a couple of guys the beginning on March. We’re not even a month into the whole offseason team-building process… We’ll see how it all comes together.
On his expectations for Chad Ochocinco in the receiver’s second year with New England: I think I have the same expectations for all our players, doesn’t matter who they are, doesn’t matter what year they’re in. Come in, work hard, be prepared, go out there and compete on the field. No difference for any player. First year, second year, they’re here to play football for us, then that’s what they need to do.
With the Patriots currently not holding a pick beyond the fourth round of the draft, will he move to acquire later-round spots? You never know how the draft’s going to go. We’ll just take it as it comes. If we do, we do. If we don’t, it’ll be because we feel like there’s better value to doing something whatever it is we do, I don’t know.
On losing tight ends coach Brian Ferentz to his father, Kirk’s staff at Iowa, and who might replace him at that position: Anything on the coaching staff any of those announcements we’ll make when we’re ready to make ’em. We’re all set on that. But yeah, Brian did a good job for us. He added a lot during the years he was here and this is a good opportunity for him to go back with his dad, coach the line at Iowa. He certainly contributed a lot to us when he was here.
His thoughts on former Patriots’ head coach Ron Erhardt, whom he worked with when Erhardt was offensive coordinator of the Giants and Belichick was defensive coordinator: Ron and I worked together for a number of years and we worked with each other and against each other as he was the offensive coordinator and I was the defensive coordinator and at training camp and practices and things like that. Ron was very confident, he was, I thought he kept a good…he was an upbeat guy, kept good balance on the team, he was tough but he also had a way of keeping things light (small smile) and he was always an upbeat guy to be around. Sad that we lost him. Ken Shipp, both – in my era, when I was young, those are two of the great offensive coaches in the league, Ron and Ken, and it’s sad we lost them.
On Logan Mankins playing in the Super Bowl with a torn ACL: I don’t think anybody’s ever questioned Logan’s toughness or his competitiveness. We’ll just leave it at that.