FOXBOROUGH — This is the first year in which teams can carry 90 players into training camp, either giving the opportunity for 10 more players than the year prior to win jobs or taking away the precious repetitions from veterans and rookies destined to make the team.
It turns out, whether there are 80 or 90 players in camp, it doesn’t matter much for Bill Belichick.
“We have the same number of people that everybody else has,” said Belichick during Tuesday’s afternoon press conference. “Whatever it is, it is. If it’s 80 it’s 80, if it’s 90 it’s 90. If it’s 100, it’s 100.”
The Patriots coach acknowledged the preparation and number of players in camp is a significant change from when he started in the NFL, most notably the lack of an offseason program. But at the time, in the 1970s, there were six preseason games and a couple of scrimmages.
Other things discussed in the press conference:
– Belichick said there was no update on Brian Waters’ absence.
– The coach was coy on linebacker Brandon Spikes, who has not participated in all of the team’s drills but has dressed every day. “Whatever he can do, he can do. With any player that can change from day to day.”
– What drew the Patriots to Trevor Scott? “We saw him doing a lot of different things,” Belichick said. “He has some versatility, he’s young, he’s worked hard. He’s had a real good offseason with us.”
– Brandon Bolden continues to impress. The coach indicated he has played well on special teams and has caught the ball well out of the backfield, despite a number of drops he had early on in training camp. “It seems like he has done a decent job in the areas we have asked him to work in … But like all the rookies, he’s made plenty of mistakes.”