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Patriots Playbook Thu Sep 23 | 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM

Bill Belichick Press Conf.

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            **B:** We are kind of closing the loop on mini camp here today. We had our last real practice this morning. We spent over 50 percent of our time on multiple receiver offenses, multiple defensive back defenses, red area, a lot of those situational type of things to get the jump on that.  This afternoon we are going to go out and put the players through a very close version of the conditioning run so that everybody will at least have a dry run on it before we go to training camp and everybody will know what we're pointing towards. Then that will basically close it up. I think that a we have seen a lot of the things that we were hoping to see in this camp. Tomorrow and as we go forward then the coaches are going to spend some time evaluating some of the things that happened in this camp and try to put things as close as we can to the way we want them going into training camp.  

As you know we signed Antowain Smith this morning. That was a situation that really came up pretty quickly. We had been in contact and we had some preliminary talks and then, as it is very hard to do in this market, it's hard to set a time frame or really know how things are going to go or when they are going to go or if they are going to go, but this one came up pretty quickly and concluded pretty quickly. He was out on the field today. I will just say that this player gives us some depth at the running back position and that's the reason we signed Antowain. It is in no way any kind of reflection or there shouldn't be any kind of negative connotation toward Kevin (Faulk) or Robert (Edwards) or J.R. (Redmond) and I have spoken with all those players and told them the way feel which is that those guys have, all three have had real good off-seasons. I am very pleased with what they've done and the progress that all three of them have made and I am very excited about working with them. On the other hand there's a certain degree of uncertainty about all the players we currently have at that position and this gives us a little bit more depth there and we will just see how it all turns out, but I couldn't really ask J.R. or Kevin or Robert to do any more and they've done. I think that they are all well prepared to go into training camp and to go into the season and we will just see how it turns out. That's where we are right about now.

Q: What are those things that you were hoping to see in this camp?

B: In the passing camp we worked primarily with the younger players, the players who had played relatively little either for us or around the league. We set up a lot of building blocks and it was a lot of fundamental things, basic information, basic terminology, basic plays things that I think are easier for a coach to visualize what we saw more than this camp where some where some of the other situational things to three wide receivers, four wide receivers, five defensive backs, six defensive backs, some plays in the red area, different players doing them in the red area, that type of thing and you sit in the room and look at it or you look at film and you have ideas of how to improve your team, but then when you can actually go out on the field and seeing different groups of players working together or running certain plays against certain defenses or seeing certain blitzes, run certain blitzes and seeing how they actually look with your players doing them. It gives you a better visual picture of what you are trying to get done and this was our opportunity to do that. Like I said the other camps were at a different level and it was geared more toward the rookie players and the younger players and guys that really I feel like just need to get reps at just basic plays because they hadn't run them and they hadn't run them together. This week is an opportunity for us to look at a different set of players and different situations.

Q: Last year this time you said that depth was lacking, how much better does it seem to be this year?

B: I'm not really sure, but I would say that in my mind we a lot more competition. I think that there are a lot of players that we can look at on our roster and really say, "Boy this guy has these things going for him. Now he's not quite as good at A and B as he is at C and D. Here is this guy over here who is real good at point C and D, but maybe isn't quite as good at point A and B." How do they factor into the special teams and all that. Each guy though I think has some real strengths going for him, he has some real positives that can hang his hat on. How they are going to compare to another players attributes that remains to be seen, but I think that there is real competition in a lot of different positions on the team and I felt like last year that there were only a couple positions that were what I would say was real good competition. In some cases there was competition but the level of the players wasn't that significant and in some cases we even ended up releasing all of them and bringing in people from other teams at the 53 cut. From that standpoint I know our depth is better because I see a lot more competition going into camp. Some of it is for starting positions, but I think a lot of it is going to for roster spots or roles for different players on the team. I can see some guys roles being very competitive with other guys roles even though they are not the same player. For example a guy like Sean Morey. Just by watching what he's done with the opportunities that he has had on special teams, I am assuming that he is going to be pretty competitive in that phase of the game. Somebody else may be better at another point, Sean may come in and be more competitive in his area. We have got guys that can return kicks, that can cover kicks that look like they catch the ball real well, some other guys that are fast, linemen that can play a couple different positions, guys that look like they can be physical and run block. It will be more competitive than it was last year, let's put it that way.

Q: How would you assess what happened to Antowain in Buffalo?

B: I don't know you would have to talk to the people in Buffalo.

Q: Is he the same player that was the 1,000 yard rusher two years ago?

I think that Buffalo changed the emphasis of their offense a little bit. Even in 1998, 1 think that was the 1,000-yard year, right in 1998. That season started off with Rob Johnson as the quarterback and ended up with Doug Flutie. I think offensively they changed some of the emphasis in 1999 and 2000 when Flutie was more the quarterback, but Antowain was in and out of there at times. I'm not really sure what the reason for that was. There were times when he was featured like for example the last game of the year against Seattle was really a very productive game for him. Why it was that game and not some other game I'm not really sure you would have to talk to somebody maybe in Buffalo about that.

Q: You mentioned Adrian Klemm's improvement yesterday, does J.R. (Redmond) or anyone else fall into that category of improvement?

Yes, Adrian, J. R., those guys have, are you talking about second year guys or just everybody in general?

Q: No everyone in general

B: This year the participation in the off-season program has been very strong. We've been consistently over 90 percent every week and in some cases very close to 100 percent. The players that have been here have been here very diligently. There have been very few misses, where a guy is here for a couple days and then is not. When they are here they have been here and they've worked hard and I think every player that has done that has made good strides. Whether it is guys coming off injuries like Lawyer or younger players like J.R. and Adrian or a player like Kevin Faulk who last year was rehabbing his ankle and couldn't. I mean he worked out and diligent in his workout, but it was to rehab his ankles as opposed to really move forward in his training. Kevin is a player that looks quicker, faster, more fluid than he did last year as an example. I think there are lot of players, you could pretty much go right down the whole roster, but I think that there are a lot of players that fall into that category. Of the second year players which is often where you see the biggest jump from year one to year two, all of those guys look better. I think you'd have to put Brady up there with Klemm and Redmond as the guys that have really made strides. Tom has had a tremendous off-season and has really taken some big steps towards improving his game. He had that one incompletion yesterday, he had a pretty good day.

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            **Q: Terry Glenn's agent made a comment about how harsh your statement was, the part about his commitment, do you have any comment?**  

B: No not really. I think I will just let my statement stand. Yes, I'll probably just leave it at that.

Q: If he had called since the incident would he be welcomed back?

B: He was welcome back here.

Q: I got the impression that you brought up that it would be better if he stayed home and took care of it?

B: No that's not the way I saw it at all and I was very clear with Terry's representative on that point. No, what I said was that he was more than welcome to be here and in no way was this a Tony Simmons type of situation at the end of last year when I told Tony not to be here. He was very welcome to be here, but at the same time the recent events that he's been involved in are very serious and they're very extensive and if he needed time to address those matters separate from football that I told him that I would give him the opportunity do that. Without getting into a contractual issue I think we all know that there are some issues there and I wanted to make sure that it was clear that he had permission to do it. And the judgement of whether to do that and how significant they were and what needed to be done and so forth and so on was not a decision that I could make. I mean first of all I hadn't had any contact with him, but second of all the issues I think were more of a personal nature, they weren't really football. They were football related but not directly.

Q: How big of a problem is it that you still haven't talked to him? Is that a matter of disrespect?

B: I can't speak for anybody else. I know there are a lot of other players on our team that I don't think would have handled it this way. It is what it is.

Q: Is this something that would affect his standing with this team in your eyes, not just the incident, but the way he handled the aftermath?

B: I don't think this whole situation that he is doing himself any good. I certainly don't think that he is helping himself on any front, but I think the more important issue is for him to get it resolved and hopefully that is what's happening, hopefully that is what he is doing.

Q: You don't think if he was here and getting his mind off that and getting into football would have been a constructive way to go about it?

B: I really don't know because I am not sure of all the details that were talking about. I don't know exactly what is involved. So that's why I didn't want to make that decision, for him to be here are not to be here. What I did was give his representative my feelings which were, I am not sure what's best, but if what's best is that he needs the time to take care of his personal matters and his personal situation that he is involved in then I would grant permission for him to do that. That's what was presented. I'm really not passing judgment one way or the other on a) what happened or b) what the best course of action is. I don't think that I have enough information to pass judgment on it.

Q: Even before the incident, do you think Terry was doing himself any good not being here in the off-season, in general do you think that a player can get as much out of it on his own?

B: No not at all, I don't think that he is helping himself at all. I know for a fact that he did work out at Ohio State for awhile, but then dropped out of that program. He came in here, he was at Drew's golf tournament. Then he came back and worked out that day, hurt his ankle, came back a couple days later for treatment, came in one the following week to work out and then was here for the first day of passing camp on a limited basis because he had a sore ankle from the week before and that's it. So basically three days and I just think that other players that are putting in more work and more effort and more off-season training are going to obviously gain a lot more ground than one who isn't. I mean I am not sure that he gained and ground this off-season, certainly none that is visible at this point. Maybe it's hidden in there somewhere else, but working out for a little bit at Ohio State, big deal.

Q: That doesn't equate with like (Bruce) Armstrong would never come to off-season conditioning, Ben Coates and Vincent Brown, guys like that as well he's not in that category of showing that he can take care of himself on his own without being part of the regimen here?

B: Well we'll see. The players that have been here that are working on a regular basis, I have a real good feel for where they are and what they have been doing. For a player that is not here, if I had a chance to observe them maybe I could make an evaluation, which sometimes happens in mini camp. For example last year Henry Thomas was a good example of somebody who wasn't here during the off-season program I mean only a week or maybe 10 days whatever it was. But when he came back for mini camp it was clear that he had been training pretty hard. There were some things that he needed to work on, but overall he was pretty far along. Without seeing a player it would be hard for me to really comment on where a guy really is or isn't.

Q: You mentioned that participation in off-season program, you have had a lot of roster turnover, is that almost a prerequisite to bring a guy in?

B: Yes. What we do is make it clear to the player how beneficial it is for them to be here. It didn't happen, but I think it would be tough to bring a new player on the team, him understanding that he is going into a new system, you understanding that you have got a lot of new training to go through with a player, both sides want to make a significant investment in either time, energy and or money, whatever the case is and then to no to work together for a period of time where a lot of positive steps can be taken, is probably not a real good way to enter into that relationship. That being said there were a couple guys that we get involved with who participated very strongly in the program who had previous commitments that when they signed were forthright and said, 'Look Coach I have got to do this week or this month because I have already made this commitment. Is there any way that we can work around that?' And then we would make every effort to do that. A couple of guys worked when other players had off weeks. They worked in the off weeks and then upheld whatever their individual commitment was, but those are all things that were addresses before hand.

Q: Are there guys that have been not here that have checked in with you on what they are doing?

B: I think the Terry Glenn situation at Ohio State is a good example of that. I maintained contact with the strength coach there. The program that he was following, in fact when I was at Ohio State and saw Terry and Andy (Katzenmoyer), prior to the combine in February, that was one of the things we talked about. We talked with the strength coach there about, 'Here are some of the things that we're doing and can you incorporate these into these players workouts for these reasons. This is what we are looking for them to do.' 'Yes great'. He did it, but Terry was there for some of those workouts, but then that ended. Whereas Andy on the other, and again I know from talking to the coach, was there on a more regular basis, well he was there throughout the program when he wasn't here. So it was a little bit different.

Q: Why do you think he takes an approach like that with some much to gain and so much to lose, but he just kind of goes his own way?

B: I think that question should be directed to somebody else.

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