Here are some quick highlights from Bill Belichick’s pre-practice chat at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice facility:
“It’s great to be here in Tampa, working with coach (Greg) Schiano and the Bucs; I think it will be a productive couple days for us, where we can improve our football team. We’ll run some things against different competition. It’s a quick turnaround, but our guys are excited to be down here and we’re going to get a lot out of it. I’m looking forward to it, and I have a good relationship with this organization. I think it will be mutually beneficial.”
How much preseason work does Tom Brady need at this point in his career?
“We’d rather get everybody up to their potential — everybody has to reestablish themselves this year, players, coaches. That’s what training camp and preseason games are for, to work on our performance…We’ve all got a long way to go.”
His relationship with new Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano
“I’ve known coach for a long time, and I’ve gotten to know him better since he was at Rutgers. We’d go down and scout their players and work them out, that type of thing, and we both have a defensive background so we have a lot in common there. He’s coached some of our players, going back to Vince (Wilfork) at Miami and guys like that, so we have a long relationship. My son [Stephen] went to Rutgers, I spent a lot of time there watching him play lacrosse and also being around coach. He used to come to our practices, spoke to our team, observed us on the field and vice versa. We’ve had a good relationship, I have a lot of respect for him. I think it’s a great opportunity for him here.”
Advantages to joint practices:
“You run plays against your own team and that’s great, but we’re going to see different looks besides the ones that we have — in all honesty, there are certain plays we can recognize. Our offense can recognize certain blitzes, our defense can recognize certain formations, motions, and you start anticipating play to play. I think we know who our go-to guys are. And playing against a different team, you don’t recognize those things as quickly and you have to learn who the go-to players are on the other team. It changes the whole dynamic of the game, really — matchups, recognition, anticipation, communication. It just puts more stress on those areas. That’s what it is in game conditions. This is really good for us because we just played Monday night, we went through the film yesterday on our game with Philadelphia, so we don’t have much of a scouting report. We haven’t watched any film on Tampa, we just know some of the basics and we’re going to have to figure it out as we go, but that’s good. That’s a realistic situation in games. …This will be a real good learning experience for us, on the field in practice, like it is in a game. They’re game experiences without all the game contact and all that — mentally, technique-wise, communication, coaches. It’s good for us too.”