Bill Belichick acknowledges longer postseason affects preseason workload

Belichick also did not have an update on quarterback Tom Brady.

Bill Belichick
Bill Belichick looks on before the preseason game. –Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Patriots coach Bill Belichick did not have additional information regarding the report that quarterback Tom Brady is suffering from a sore back.

“Sorry,” Belichick told reporters during a conference call Friday morning.

According to the Boston Globe‘s Jim McBride, Brady was sidelined during New England’s preseason opener because of his minor back injury. McBride did not offer a timetable for recovery, but, leading up to Thursday’s game, Brady’s training camp practices have been noticeably light. He rested both last Friday and Saturday, the team had off days Sunday and Monday, he took just seven reps Tuesday, and the team had a walkthrough Wednesday before playing Thursday.

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Another potential reason practices have been less strenuous for players, like Brady, is because the Patriots’ season has extended to the latest possible date (the Super Bowl) the past two years. Brady has started 34 straight games during that time.

“Our overall schedule and situation is what it is,” Belichick said. “There isn’t really much we can do about that, and playing late into the season the year before is definitely what we want to do, so not complaining about that. But, it does affect the following season, there’s no question about that.”

Belichick also said Friday morning there are “a lot of factors” involved when making workload adjustments on both an individual and team level. He said the team generally tries to stick an established plan, but things undoubtedly can change.

“Some guys can need modification for one reason or another, and depending on what we’re working on that particular day, that may also contribute to what that player does or doesn’t do and how beneficial that would be for him versus what the other alternatives are,” Belichick said. “That’s the way it’s always been — there’s nothing new there. I think that’s just how you have to manage your team.”

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“You have to manage your players and you have to manage your positions because sometimes positions — the depth or lack of depth, depending on which way it goes — if that’s imbalanced with a complementary position on the other side of the ball, then that affects what you can do and how much you can do and the competition,” he continued. “You don’t want nine guys going up against two guys.”