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Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript

Posted May 8, 2014

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his Draft press conference at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, May 8, 2014

BB: So the way the board ended up, we felt very good about Dominique [Easley] being available at 29. He’s been a very good player in a real good program. They’re well coached down there with Coach [Will] Muschamp. You can see him playing against a lot of good players in that conference. I thought Dominque played very well. He’s a versatile guy that’s played different positions along the defensive line. So we’ll just see how it all comes together here, but I’m glad he was able to last that long. I’m looking forward to having him.

Q: Did you feel like finding depth along the defensive line was important for you?

BB: We felt like he was the best player at that point.

Q: Were there any trade considerations or was he too good of a player to pass up at that point?

BB: I mean, there are always conversations, but we felt good about Dominique and there were a couple teams behind us that – we just didn’t want to take a chance on him.

Q: Easley’s not giving us any information on the knee injury on his conference call.

BB: We’ll get the violins out.

Q: Do you have any kind of timetable for when Dominique might be good to go?

BB: When he gets up here we’ll work with him and see where he’s at, just like we do with everyone else.

Q: How much of a concern is it that he’s torn two ACLs in a span of 22 months?

BB: We feel like he’ll be alright.

Q: In the trades that you saw throughout the first round, did you see a common thread that maybe there wasn’t as much of a willingness to give up much to trade up?

BB: I don’t know. You’d have to talk to those teams. I have no idea.

Q: Was it as active in terms of discussions this year as in past years?

BB: I don’t know.

Q: You mentioned his conference and the competition he faced. What is it about that conference specifically and the defensive linemen it produces?

BB: There are a lot of good football players there and I think you can put on just about any film and watch him against quality players in the SEC or even Louisville last year, they played in whatever bowl it was – Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, whatever it was [2013 Sugar Bowl]. But you know, there was plenty of good competition. You see him against guys that are either in the league from previous years or guys that you have on your draft board this year or you’re going to have on there next year. I think he’s a very disruptive player and he showed up against good competition.

Q: One of the attributes is his ability to really move quickly and pursue. He’s said to be a pretty tireless guy in pursuit. Are those all things that showed up? What kind of power does he have? We keep hearing speed to power these days – is that something he has?

BB: Yes, he’s an explosive player. Very explosive.

Q: He mentioned that he spent some time with you after his Pro Day. What were your impressions just from meeting him?

BB: We saw a guy that likes football; smart. He’s definitely into football. He didn’t really do anything at that workout. We weren’t at his Pro Day. We had a workout with some Florida kids. He wasn’t really able to do anything physically, but we met with him and spent a lot of time with him.

Q: A player with his physical makeup might be considered undersized for a defensive tackle position in the NFL. Would you agree with that?

BB: He’s played everywhere along the defensive line. It depends on where you put him. I’ll say you don’t see a lot of guys who do that – who play, I mean, he lines up on the nose, he lines up on the guard, he lines up on the tackle, he lines up out wide at times. You can see him playing all those spots.

Q: What were some of the traits you saw from him that made you think he would be a good fit for your defense?

BB: Pretty much all of them. He does a lot of things well. He’s a smart guy, he’s very instinctive. He’s got a great motor, works hard. Football is very important to him. He’s an all-in guy. There’s not much to not like about him; versatile.

Q: Does the second round kind of shape up similarly? You guys are basically in the same slot tomorrow. Does it restart tomorrow?

BB: Yeah, right. Yeah, it’s definitely a restart. We’ll take stock of where things are, kind of re-order the board, take a look at what’s there after 32 teams have selected and re-order it and start over again.

Q: Does that go on into the night or do you go home?

BB: I’d say we’re probably pretty close to the end for tonight. We’ll reload tomorrow morning and guys that are gone are gone; guys that are up there, we’ll have to talk about them. Or if there’s maybe a decision or we see something – stars colliding, if you will – then we’ll have to sort that out. ‘What will we do if we have these two players on the board?’ or that type of thing. ‘Is there a player we want to move up for?’ or whatever. Same type of discussions we had going into today, it’s just that there are 32 less players and some needs have been filled by some teams. It’s a little bit different, but it’s basically the same thing.

Q: Did you have any discussions today about a Ryan Mallett trade?

BB: Why don’t you talk to whoever wrote the story. Since that person has all the answers, go talk to them.

Q: You mentioned that there are a lot of traits you like about Easley. Would you put his ability to generate some pressure on the passer pretty high on that list?

BB: Definitely.

Q: Really high, especially for an interior defensive lineman?

BB: He’s a very disruptive player. In college, I would say his stats might have been a little bit deceiving because a lot of times he was the disruptive person on the play, but he wasn’t the guy who ended up making the tackle. Or it wouldn’t be on the stats sheet, but the reason the play wasn’t successful was his penetration and ability to be disruptive. I think he has a good knack for that. He’s an explosive player.

Q: Is that ability to generate a pass rush on the interior any more important in today’s NFL because the way the passing game has exploded or evolved?

BB: I don’t think rushing the passer has ever been a bad thing.

Q: I mean from that spot in particular.

BB: Any spot. Sure. I mean, you’re always looking for people that can hit the quarterback, no question. It’s at a premium.

Q: Did you have an eye on the Bruins game at all?

BB: No, we didn't. We really didn’t until after we were done. They won in overtime, right? Goal from the guy they brought up today. That’s good personnel management by [General Manager] Peter [Chiarelli] and [Head Coach] Claude [Julien]. Hats off to them. That’s great. That's great coming back here now tied up. Tough to win there in Montreal, too, so that’s a big win for them. That’s great. Congratulations to them.