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Bill Belichick Post-Practice Interview Transcript

Bill Belichick addressed the media after the final practice of Patriots mini camp at Gillette Stadium.

Q: Bruschi said it's all about the process and this is a very important part of the process.

BB: I think you kind of need [mini camp] to get a little head start into training camp. It's a lot different than it was when I came into the league, when training camp was so much longer than we have now. These passing camps and mini camps are a good lead-in and I feel like we got a lot of things accomplished. We obviously have a long, long way to go. I'm not saying that we're anywhere close. But we made some progress, and at least the players now have a lot of information they can study, know some things they can work on and I'm sure between now and the start of training camp they'll be pushing along on those. And as coaches we saw some things scheme-wise that are new that we need to adjust and maybe modify a little bit, so there are some things that we can work on too.

Q: Do you need your quarterbacks and some of the new receivers to put in extra time on their own outside of the [organized team activities]?

BB: I think all of that timing is going to come in training camp. I've done these camps before where you spend a lot of time on fundamental work and you can get really good at a technique or two in two or three weeks in the Spring, but then, because you don't do it again for another six weeks, you're starting over in July. I've always felt it was a little bit better to get the teaching done and try to get everybody to understand the overall concepts and then you're going to have to refine those techniques in training camp anyway, so [teaching is] what we try to put the most emphasis on. I know [techniques] are important now, but you just don't have time for everyone.

Q: At the end of practice with the kick? What went into that? What was the reward?

BB: You know, just do some things that we get in the game, you know, timeouts and just try to change the situation around a little bit and see who can make what.

Q: It seemed like at the end, if he made the kick, the team would get something, and if he didn't...

BB: That's probably about right.

Q: What did they get?

BB: They get a little bone. A little dog biscuit.

Q: They celebrated awfully enthusiastically for a dog biscuit.

BB: It's kind of like Light catching a punt, you know?

Q: On the kickers, are you able to evaluate much of what they do in a camp like this or is it difficult.

BB: Again, I think it's an opportunity for them to kick behind a full team, as opposed to just kicking with a snapper and a holder, and get an idea of the operation and how we do it in practice and the process. I think mentally it helps them prepare for training camp. That's when the real evaluation is going to come: in the training camp and preseason games.

Q: Were there any unexpected surprises, positive, in these three days?

BB: I just think that the team worked... I liked the way they worked and I liked their attitude. I think the veteran players did a good job of helping out the younger guys, especially on the offensive side of the ball where we have a lot of young players. Veteran players are really trying to help them out -as they usually do; I'm not saying that's anything unusual- but I thought it was good and defensively our communication at this point was... I'm glad to see the players working on it. It's important to them and hopefully we can have a better year defensively than we had last year, which won't take much.

Q: Did you see a big jump from the rookies from rookie mini camp?

BB: I think they've improved every day. I really do. I think they've improved every day. And we've added every day. We've thrown more stuff at them. That isn't always the case, but I think they've been able to correct their mistakes and move on, get new stuff, absorb it, get those mistakes corrected and move on. And so we just kind of keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Q: Is there a particular message you and the coaching staff have given to the players moving forward?

BB: Be ready for training camp. Be ready for training camp. We have good competition on this team. Everybody is fighting for a job. Be here and be ready to go, physically, mentally and emotionally.

Q: Have you had a chance to talk to Ty Law lately?

BB: The only people I'll talk about are the ones in this camp.

Q: Do you need somebody like Tully [Banta Cain] to maybe step up and get involved in that competition for playing time?

BB: We'll give everybody on this team an opportunity to compete for a roster spot and playing time and all that will be based on their performance. I really can't control any of that. Who plays and how much they play and what their role is will all be determined by how the players perform. And that's what they need to train and do when they get the opportunity to play.

Q: You first impression on Chad [Jackson] in camp?

BB: I think I'd say the same thing about all the rookies. I wouldn't single anybody out. All the rookies have gotten a lot of information. They're trying to absorb it and learn it. They're working hard at it, but they have a long way to go and they've got a lot of ground to make up to where the veterans are. But I think that they're starting to close the gap and this has been a good camp for them because they can see how the whole thing fits together and see other guys who have more experience at their position doing things more the way that they're designed to be done because they've done them longer.

Q: What's the most important thing Tom Brady can do to help [Jackson] along?

BB: Well I think the most important thing for every player is to take care of themselves and make themselves the best player they can be. So I think Tom Brady needs to worry about Tom Brady. Bill Belichick needs to worry about Bill Belichick. I think everybody needs to get themselves ready to go. That's the best advice I can give everybody on this team.

Q: Is there anything you look for between quarterback and receiver where you say 'This is a combination that's clicking?'

BB: At this point we're just trying to get our system taught and get the plays installed and we'll see how that works out down the road. Until everybody knows what to do and how to do it at a competitive level, it's not really about timing, it's just about being able to execute the play properly.

Q: Is this a good chance for Chad [Jackson], for [Reche] Caldwell, guys that are new to your system to try to step up?

BB: This isn't so much an evaluation [camp] as it is a teaching camp and trying to get the information to the players on our team; the changes that we've made and the players who are new to this team. Some players participated in this camp, some didn't for a variety of reasons. Training camp is a lot more to the execution of the techniques and the plays than what it is in June, but this is a good time to learn it, understand it, get some concepts and start building that base. But we have a long way to go. We have so far to go that I don't think you're going to achieve anything here in the middle of June.

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