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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Thu May 16 - 02:00 PM | Tue May 21 - 11:55 AM

Bill Belichick Press Conf.

Foxboro Stadium, Foxborough, MABill Belichick speaks to the press.



            **B:**  It has been a pretty busy day. I'll start off with the second and third round picks. We of course traded down in the second round. We were really considering Matt Light when we traded down and then after we got down we traded the six back to Detroit to move up to take Matt. We just didn't think that he would last much longer. We cut it kind of close there I think, but anyway the bottom line was we got into the fourth round, filled up the whole and felt like we still got pretty good value for our pick there in the second round. The same thing pretty much happened in the third round when we were considering Brock (Williams) higher in the round and then traded down and a couple of corners went right before he did, but fortunately he made it to us as well. So we filled in what was a big whole in the fourth round yesterday with two fourth round picks and we still have a couple of fifths. So we will see what we can do there in terms of continuing to build the depth on our team and good quality competition.  

Matt Light is a player that, and let me start of by saying too that the big ten tackles this year were really, I think, an interesting group to evaluate. There were a number of them like (Jeff) Backus, (Kareem) McKenzie and Light and there are still several other ones on the board because of the quality of the competition in the Big Ten rushing the passer, both this year and last year, guys like Julian Peterson and Courtney Brown and people like that. So again a lot of good tackles on the board really both years in the Big Ten. Matt is a kid that played left tackle for Purdue. Of course they are in a very pass oriented offense, but he is a very aggressive player and because of the style of offense it doesn't show as much, but he has a very aggressive temperament and he is another player that has a lot of versatility for us. He played left tackle at Purdue and we feel he can play right tackle or could move inside to guard because of his temperament and his size and athleticism. So that is a good versatile pick for us. It gives us more depth on the offensive line with young players and some more depth at tackle and that is a real positive. This is a kid that, again, is very tough, very aggressive. Of course he was pretty well known going into the season and we have Randy Melvin from Purdue on our staff and we took (David) Nugent last year so we have a little working knowledge of the Purdue program, but we also sent many of our scouts out there this year, they have a number of prospects. Scott Pioli went out and personally saw Matt, saw him in a practice prior to the Ohio State game where he got very energized during warmups and almost started a fight in just stretching exercises. The whole team ended up starting practice about ten minutes early because of his enthusiasm and vigor for the practice and the Ohio State preparation that week. Again, I just say that as an aside to try to give you an idea for the kid's type of temperament and passion for the game.

Then in the third round Brock Williams gives us a little more depth at corner. He is a young corner. That is a position that we really wanted to take last year in the draft to keep the young players flowing at that spot. It is welldocumented the problems we had on third down this year and we want to continue to take players that will help address that problem and we feel like he is a potential third down role player, special teams player. He is not the biggest guy in the world, but he is a very aggressive, hard tackling. He plays big, he plays bigger than his size, I mean his size is what it is. He is a guy that I have talked to Bob Davie pretty extensively about and I know that Bob has a very high regard for Brock and we have a couple of people in our organization that know him personally that we have a good feel for Brock as a person and the incident that he was involved with we feel like is pretty much behind him. He paid the price for it and really it is a pretty isolated thing.

So that is where we are. So heading into tomorrow we filled in the fourth round and maintained the depth in the fifth round and a couple of picks in the sixth so we will see what happens tomorrow. We may be able to use those picks to move higher if we see somebody that is still attractive on the board or create more depth on our team or do something else with them. There seems to be a lot of people in the league that are looking for draft picks this year.

Q: Why not pick though for a little more value on individuals with the higher picks as opposed to going down?

B: Because really they are pretty much the same players. We were talking about Matt Light where we were in the second round and we were talking about Brock Williams where we were in the third round and had we not traded and there is always a possibility that you can't trade that nobody will call, that the phone won't ring and you have got to make that pick and those are the two players that I am 90 percent confident that we would have picked those players. It never actually came to that of course, but we looked at it and said, 'Hey I think we could still get those players if we moved down a little bit and again what happened with Matt Light was we moved down and we were only a couple of picks away, but we just didn't think he would last until our pick in the second round so we gave up a sixth to jump over top and move up a couple of spots and take him. That was our decision-making there and the same thing with Brock in the third round. They very well probably would have been our second and third round picks had we not traded down.

Q: Did what happen at the end of the first round influence the second round decisions and I am talking specifically about the run of wide receivers at the end of the first round, had you been looking at a specific player position?

B: We had about 25 players that we had graded at a certain level that we hoped we would be able to stay within that level when we picked in the second round at 39 and fortunately we were able to do that and Light fell into that group. Again what happens is, you see when you from one level to the next, if we feel like there is a drop in the quality of the player that we are getting and we wanted to try to maintain as much quality as we could there, so that was kind of our process.

Q: Do you see Light as a tackle first and a guard second?

B: As I told Matt, of course he has played left tackle at Purdue. He played it a lot, he played it against good competition. Again whether it is Peterson, Riley or Courtney Brown, there is a number of good pass rushers in the Big Ten, but I think he is physical enough that he can play right tackle and we did see him do that some in the all-star game and I think he can also play inside at guard. Even though he has minimal experience there, but he is bug enough and powerful enough and would be a very athletic guard if he played in there. So he gives us versatility. We are going to put our best players out there one the field. If he is one of them at whatever position he is out then he will be out there. If somebody else is better then they will be out there. So we will bring him, we will start him at tackle working both left and right tackle and see how he is doing, but I think that in the end that he is a guy that has got a good future on the offensive line in this league and I am glad that we got him.

Q: Drafting two linemen and a cornerback are you saying that you feel those are your biggest needs?

B: No, I think we have more than three needs and without really dipping into our future resources I don't think there is anyway that we could fill more than three needs for today. We have some other needs that we would like to fill, but we can't fill all of them. When you only have three picks you can't get everything done that you need to get done. We will try to address them tomorrow or in other ways of acquiring players.

Q: Is what is bound to happen in June with the purge of salary players because of the cap does that play any role today?

B: No and the June market is one that every year is an attractive one at some spots, but the problem is you don't know where. I don't think anybody really knows what is going to happen in June. Are there going to be some good players exposed there, probably there will, I would guess that there would be. Exactly who will it be, that's another question and that is a hard one to answer. So I think what we want to be prepared to do in June is just to have enough flexibilty that if we see something that we need to do that we can do it, but I can't honestly tell you what is going to happen in June. It is just like in January when you are heading into free agency, some of the guys that look like they are going to be free agents, Eric Moulds just as one example, they get re-signed and never make it to free agency. So some guys that you might be targeted as June 1 releases somehow get redone.

Q: No scientific method or tracking done in the past?

B: I think each team evaluates its' own situation depending on who they draft and where the excess money is in their opinion and where need to make room to sign their draft choices that's where it is. I think if you look at a team like Tampa when they released Chidi Ahanotu a day or two ago I would think that that is almost purely a salary issue. I don't think it was a player issue or a performance issue, it was strictly salary and each team has to make those difficult decisions and it is hard to know for sure how some other team is going to handle their particular, and it is hard enough taking care of your own problems, but you try to guesstimate what somebody else is doing, but no there is no accurate predicton.

Q: Williams had a pretty significant suspension in his tenure at Notre Dame. What have you seen that has wiped that character issue off of the books?

B: Again we have had a lot of personal contact with Brock and I spent quite a bit of time about with Coach Davie and I think everybody feels good about the player. We could all talk to him, but I don't want to speak for him personally, but obviously he made a mistake, he took the consequences and I think it is behind him and we haven't seen anything to indicate that that is any type of performance that's going to continue.

Q: Will you look at Greg (Robinson-Randall) inside more?

B: Don't really plan to at this point, no. He has played tackle I think that is his best position and he played it fairly well last year for a rookie and I expect that he will get better and I think he will be competitive at tackle.

Q: You had a trade with Pittsburgh, while you were talk did Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala name come up?

B: No it was just strictly draft choices swap. It wasn't anything about a player.

Q: Did you expect that tier of seven or eight wide receivers to be gone by 39?

B: A quick recep on the draft and I really haven't had time to sit down and study it, but it is a little easier in the first round because the picks are slower and you can digest it a little bit more, but watching seven defensive linemen go in the first thirteen picks wasn't all the surprising to me. I expected them to go fast and they did. I don't know if I would have expected them to go that fast, but they didn't last long and it was also a big round for receivers. So between the receivers, the offensive tackles and the defensive linemen I think that is pretty close to two-thirds of the first round. Then there was some corners at the end, a couple of running backs, quarterbacks, tight end deal, but overall it was really grouped into three or four positions. I think that is where the depth of the draft was at that point. I know a lot of people predicted six receivers would go in the first round and a seven linemen, what was it nine overall I think in the first round defensive linemen something like that, but seven in the first 13 picks and then they all ran at the end of the third round so I would inagine that our boards look like a lot of other boards right now with not very many defensive linemen on it.

Q: Are you bummed out at all that you didn't get a receiver?

B: No, I think that the picks that we had today, I feel good about the picks, I like the picks and again we have needs that you can't fill all of them. You have to fill the ones that fit the quality and the best opportunity that you have in the draft and I think that we did that and I think that if we hadn't taken the players we took we would be sitting here saying we could have done this, we could have done that. We will address as many as we can tomorrow. I am not sure what positions they will be in, but we will do what we can with our picks tomorrow and try to continue to improve the team.

Q: How important is tomorrow?

B: Every opportunity that we have is important. It is pretty well documented that some players come out of the bottom part of the draft, certainly not as many as on the first day, but the opportunity is there for every team and hopefully we can find a good opportunity and be able to improve our team with them. Create depth or create competition or find a guy that has an upside and future and for whatever reasons he wasn't drafted in the first day whether it be experience, or needs to improve his technique or strength or whatever his situation was.

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