Having crossed the midpoint of training camp, multiple Patriots players are hoping to use the final practices to prove that they are deserving of a spot on this season’s squad. When asked about how important it was for guys on the bubble to not feel the pressure of impending cuts, head coach Bill Belichick said that stress in the league is not unique to preseason.
“This is the National Football League, and there is pressure every week,” he told reporters at Gillette Stadium.
There is pressure this week. There is going to be pressure in October. There is going to be pressure in November. We’re going to be under stress all year every week. We’re going to be under stress out on the field every week against every opponent. Playing in the National Football League, that’s what you sign up for.”
If you’re looking for vacation weeks and weeks off where we play some Division 4 team and all of that, that doesn’t happen in this league. There is stress every week. So is there stress in training camp? Yeah, there is plenty of it. There is stress on the coaching staff to get the team ready, to pick the right players. There is stress on each player to establish his role, or to make the team or play for playing time, whatever it is. There is stress on everybody and there is stress on every team.
We’re not in any different situation than any other team in the league is, and every player on every one of those teams is having the same thoughts that our players are having, I’m sure. One way or the other, either the guys who think they’re on the team are trying to get ready to have a good year, and there are a lot of guys who aren’t sure whether they’re on or they’re not or what their role is, and there are a lot of coaches who don’t know the answer to that question either. We’re trying to figure it out, so there is no right answer.
At this point it’s still a process. But there is pressure every week in this league. If there’s too much pressure in August, it’s probably going to be too much pressure in November. This is the world we live in. You tell me a week in this National Football League when there is not pressure, I don’t know when that is. Every week is a tough week. Every week is a good team, good players, good coaches, work hard that have a lot of things that you’ve got to deal with, and if you don’t deal with them then you’re not going to win that week. That’s the NFL.