Bill Belichick was in front of reporters again Wednesday before the Patriots took the field for Day 2 of minicamp, and while the crowd was still a bit larger than usual for this time of year, it wasn’t the madhouse it was Tuesday, a.k.a. The Day Tebow Arrived.
And, thankfully, the press conference wasn’t all about the team’s new third-string quarterback.
Judging by his comments, Belichick is not pleased with linebacker Brandon Spikes, who opted to skip voluntary workouts and OTAs in favor of working out on his own in South Florida.
When asked Tuesday about the recovering Rob Gronkowski and his contact with the team, Belichick took a thinly veiled swipe at Spikes, saying pointedly, “All of our players except one have been here regularly through the offseason up until this week.”
On Wednesday, he was asked specifically for his reaction to players who do not take part in voluntary OTAs.
“It is what it is,” said the coach. “We all know what the rules and guidelines are, and that’s what they are.”
But can a player’s position on the team be hurt if he chooses not to participate?
“It is what it is. We don’t make the rules.”
So there’s that.
Minicamp is the last event of the offseason, with the team next reassembling for training camp. The last several weeks have been a time for the Patriots to start installing a good percentage of the playbook in advance of camp.
“Definitely over half, let’s put it that way,” Belichick said. “There are a lot of things we don’t do – a lot of situational things and situational plays and some adjustments and things like that.
“But it’s a foundation, it’s a base. Definitely everything we do from here will build on what we’ve done. I think that’s really the important thing, but it’s a pretty good chunk.”
As for Tim Tebow, Belichick wasn’t willing to offer any observations from his first practice as a Patriot, which was Tuesday (Belichick’s press conference Wednesday was held before practice).
When the question came about how Tebow looked, Belichick gave a general answer, saying everyone on the field was trying to get better day by day.
A second attempt at a Tebow question brought this response: “I don’t think evaluating players on a couple plays is really a good practice. We’ll wait until we have a little bit more information and make our evaluations as a staff, talk about players after a chunk of time, after we’ve had a chance to see things.
“Any player you put out there, the first day is a learning experience. As you do it the second, third, fourth time, just like when we all do anything multiple times, we get better at it, hopefully, get more experience, get more comfortable and do it better. I don’t think that’s any different than any football player at any position.”