Patriots coach Bill Belichick spoke with reporters in Foxborough ahead of Tuesday’s voluntary session of organized team activities, the second day of Phase 3 of the NFL offseason program.
But Belichick did not want to discuss any players who were not in attendance, most notably quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski.
When asked if he had spoken with Brady about OTAs, Belichick responded, “Yeah, I’m not going to talk about the people who aren’t here. The guys that are here are improving, they’re working hard, those are guys we’re going to focus on.’’
When asked about a meeting with Gronkowski recently that Gronkowski called “productive,’’ Belichick gave basically the same response as he did to the Brady question.
Belichick rolled out one of his most-used lines when asked about the importance of these practices in terms of building a foundation for the upcoming season.
“Well, we’ve got a long way to go, as I said,’’ he said. “We’ve got a long, long way to go. Each day is an opportunity for us and try to make the most of the opportunity. That’s what we do here.’’
Belichick did say he has noticed “a lot of young guys taking on more active roles,’’ but didn’t elaborate on who has stuck out when asked.
Here are a few other notes from Belichick’s news conference:
Q. What do you expect out of Julian [Edelman] as he continues to work his way back? What are his expectations?
A. “Our expectations are day to day. So, like I said, every day is an opportunity for us individually and as a team to improve and get better and take another step toward the start of the season and that’s what we’ll all do. All of us are in different states, different parts of that process, but wherever we are, we’re all gaining on it.’’
Q. Is it challenging to be using your backup and third string quarterback?
A. “All the guys that are here — not everybody’s working — but all the guys that are out here working are improving and it’s a great opportunity for them and for our team to come together. That’s what’s happening.’’