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Replay: Best of Patriots Radio Thu Jan 26 - 02:00 PM | Tue Jan 31 - 11:55 AM

Bill Belichick Press Conf.

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



            **B:** To start I will give you a quick rundown on the roster.   I think the most of you know about Riddick Parker. That was a signing that was done over the weekend, he played for Seattle last year.  Of course the players that are in Europe are not here and the other two players who are not here are Terry Glenn and Brock Williams who is back in Louisiana.  Arther Love is nursing a groin and he didn't practice along with Brandon Mitchell.  I think that takes care of everybody on the roster.  

Q: (Ty) Law and (Lawyer) Milloy are sitting out with shoulders?

B: Yes, we have a couple guys that are just a little bit limited out there, Lawyer, Ty, Joe Andruzzi, Rob Holmberg. Brandon Mitchell really isn't participating in any of the drills other than just seeing what is going on. So that basically is the update on the roster. We're trying to take this opportunity with everybody here to go through as much group and teamwork as we can both offensively, defensively and in kicking game. I think we have in a lot of the fundamental things, we've put in a lot of fundamental coaching points and schemes and so forth in the earlier passing camps with the rookies and most of the veterans that are here have been exposed to it either last year or in one of the earlier camps. So we're trying to do a little more group work and try to expose them to as much as we can so that we will be better prepared for training camp when that starts and as I emphasized to the team today that is a very important part of our season. We started off 0-4 last year, this team has been last in the AFC East the last two years, so getting off to a good start and getting off to a good start in minicamp, getting off to a good start in training camp and getting off to a good start in the regular season are all things that I know we can improve on from last year and I think they're important to our success this year.

Q: Would Terry have been distraction if he had been here?

B: I made my statement on Terry. I think that is pretty much what I have to say about the whole situation. I think the issues that he needs to take care of, I hope he is spending his time taking care of.

Q: And Brock (Williams) what was his injury?

B: Brock hurt his knee in passing camp in a non-contact drill. It is an ACL injury and it looks like he will have surgery probably at the end of the month and we will see the exact extent of the injury at that point, but it looks like he will probably miss significant time this year.

Q: Can you talk a little bit about Robert Edwards, how far he has come and how far he still has to come?

B: Robert has had a really good off-season I think he has trained hard. He was the first player back in the off-season and he started early in February and worked independently and individually with Mike Woicik for a couple of weeks before the other players started trickling back. I think the he has worked hard, he has good strength and he is in good condition. I think where he needs to go, we all need to see what happens when he starts playing football. The training, the running, the catching balls and all of the non-contact things that we can do, at this point and time, he seems to be comfortable with and seems to be performing well at. We will see what happens when the contact and the two-a-days and the loading becomes heavier, but it seems like he is going to be competitive in that situation at this point, but we will just have to wait and see what happens.

Q: Do you expect to learn anything new from him at this camp or will you have to wait until he gets pads on in training camp?

B: Well I don't think he will be doing anything in this camp that he didn't do in the passing camp two weeks ago other than we are practicing twice a day in this camp which we didn't do, we practiced a little bit longer. I am not sure how significant that is.

Q: From all you have seen and know about his injury, are you stunned by what he has been able to do?

B: I think Robert's story is very inspirational for all us, all us that's had an opportunity to view his rehabilitation and work ethic. I had seen Robert off and on last year, but when he came back in November or whenever it was last year, he has made a tremendous amount of progress since then and his progress to that point was remarkable. To watch him train and do the things that we are doing to this point, you would certainly never know outwardly what the extent of the injury was. I know that in talking to Robert at this point he doesn't take walking for granted and he doesn't take playing football for granted and I am not sure that all our other players can appreciate that.

Q: It is an inspirational story, but you can't keep the guy around because of his inspiration and you can't afford to cut him any slack either so what is it that he needs to do?

B: Play football better than the other guys we are playing out there. I'm agreeing with you, I don't think I am saying anything that would contradict that. He has done everything that everybody else has done and he is going to do what everybody else does, if he does it better than them then he'll play and if he doesn't then he won't. It is a simple as that.

Q: Have you timed him to see how fast he is, have you compared his 40 time to his time before the injury?

B: We do it in the conditioning drills and Mike (Woicik) has run them. He is very competitive, most of our players have trouble keeping up with him to be honest with you. It's not like he is lagging behind them, they have trouble keeping up with the pace that he has set, so yes I think his speed is fine.

Q: Is it basically what it was when he came out of college?

B: I haven't personally timed him myself, but he is running fine. I don't think it's an issue.

Q: Any change at all having to go laterally, making cuts and such?

B: Robert can do anything that everybody else can do. Robert does the same drills that Kevin Faulk does, that J.R. Redmond does, that Patrick pass does. They all do the same drills, they train, and when I say training, lifting and doing the conditioning, running out on the football field. You know one guy gets in and does it and then the next guy gets in and does it, we don't keep track of who is in there or who is doing it or anything else, they all just roll through. It is not set up any differently for one guy or another so I feel very confident in saying that he can do what everybody else can do to this point. We haven't had contact. I don't know what is going to happen when we have contact. I don't know what is going to happen when we have contact, maybe nothing or maybe something will come up I just don't know.

Q: Looking at the whole picture of his injury would it surprise you if he made it through training camp and ends up being the best running back and the starter, sort of back to the way he was a few years ago would that surprise you?

B: I don't know, I really don't. I don't know what is going to happen. I just don't know. I know the way he played his rookie year. When I was at the Jets we played against him twice and I saw a lot of him on film, but that was a couple of years ago. I think if you took any player healthy or coming back from an injury or otherwise, any player and took him out competitive football for two years and then regardless of how hard they trained put them back into a full contact situation, which is what he is coming back into, there's going to be a transition period. I don't know if that is going to be one training camp, half a season, a year, two years, never, I really don't know.

Q: Has he been medically cleared for contact? If training camp were to start tomorrow could he play?

B: Yes.

Q: So that's not going to be an issue a week before training camp?

B: No, it wouldn't be an issue now is just that we don't have contact now, but if we were to have it he would participate in it just like everybody else, yes.

Q: Is (Andy) Katzenmoyer cleared for contact?

B: Yes it is the same thing. If training camp was today they wouldn't be held out of anything for any medical reasons. They're both ready to go.



            **Q: Going back to the guy you saw two years ago, after all this time off there is usually a long transition period and with the seriousness of his injury it to would be surprising if he could get back to that level this soon from what you have seen in other injuries?**  

B: I don't know what level we're talking about. I can't forecast what is going to happen I don't know any other way to say it. I can't read a crystal ball. I don't know what's going to happen. To this point he is going to be competitive with everybody else. What happens when we go from this level to another level, we're just going to have to wait and see.

Q: When do you start to include him in the equation for running backs? Was there something you saw or did he do something?

B: I think he showed when he came back in the fall that the progress he made between, I forget when it was November 1st or somewhere around there, until the end of the season that seven or eight weeks whatever it was, that he was going to be able to go into the off-season program and be competitive with the other players in the program. So once he was in the program he showed that. So I guess that would be some point in November or December when once he got going and started running and did the drills at the level that we were asking him to do them, there was confidence that he would be able to hold up to do them.

Q: Can you talk little bit about the numbers on the roster, just looking at the work you did this off season it looks like at each position you have a few guys who have had starting experience in the NFL, it looks like it is a much deeper by position roster than the last year's group? Are you encouraged about that?

B: Yes, I don't think there is any question. I think that we are a younger team, but I also think that we are more experienced team. We have more players in the earlier part of their careers, but guys who have still played. So I think that we're going to have a much more competitive team and a more competitive camp than we had last year. If you remember last year when we made the 53-man cut we went a couple of players under that. I don't know what is going to happen this year at the 53 cut, but I think it will be more competitive than what it was last year, let's put it that way. We have tried to address every position on the roster. We haven't tried to isolate on one or two. We have tried to, whether it be punters, kickers, quarterbacks, skilled positions, big positions, offense, defense it has kind of been across the board. We tried to upgrade and make it more competitive. I am not sure whether we are going to upgrade it by bringing new people in or whether the people we have here are going to be better and outperform some of the people that have come in. I don't know it will probably be a combination of both I would guess, but we will have to wait and see. We have a lot of competition at a lot of positions so I hope that will make us better.

Q: Building a team, is that the first thing on your big checklist?

B: I think you have to take a look at the situation which you are in when you're building. If you're taking over an expansion team you can do some things. The situation that we are in financially in all honesty we didn't have a lot of flexibility and as it stands now we're sitting here with about 10 percent of our cap in money of players that aren't here. We also have some major financial commitments in certain contracts so we haven't had a lot of flexibility to do I guess big spending. So we've tried to portion it out and do the best that we can to strengthen the team. I am not saying that this is the textbook way to do it. I think in a different situation and maybe you have different options and you'd find a different way, but I felt like this was about the only thing we could do and we've tried to maximize it.

Q: The offensive line I would suspect it will be very competitive do you want to go into the season with a set lineup as opposed to what happened last year?

B: Sure the sooner we can do that the better. I don't know when that is going happen, but the sooner the better. We are much younger on the offensive line, but I think that that group of players has a good level of talent and I am excited to be working with them. I think that we're going to be okay there, but it is going to take a little bit of time for somebody to establish themselves in a couple of positions and then for that group to work together and blend together. The sooner we can do that the better, but I don't think that we want to make a move and then have to undo it and make another move. So we will try to go into the season giving everybody an opportunity and spread it out, but once we see the way we think it is going to be then we will try to set that up and get them to work together as much as possible. The sooner we can do that the better.

Q: Do you see Adrian Klemm at left tackle? Is that the job you want him to win? Is that his job?

B: There will competition at probably most of the offensive line spots, I mean I would say other than center. I am not sure where (Mike) Compton is going to end up I would think that he would be one of our five best linemen, but we will have to see. Other than that I am not positive what the best combination is going to be and part of this camp is to find out. We have a couple of guys working in this camp at different positions than they worked at in the passing camp. We will see if they look better, worse, the same or what have you.

Q: Was a smart move for Ted Johnson to take a pay cut? You see lot of guys not renegotiate and then end up losing their job?

B: The structure that all the teams are under now, we're all working under the same rules and the same conditions. The way things were a year or two ago affects what teams have to do now or can do now, but we're all under the same rules. Contracts are things that you are often in, I don't want to say negotiation but in communication with. It is an ongoing thing and you try to reach a happy medium with the player and the organization. So the ones that we've reached in everybody seems to be relatively happy with or at least they could agree to and the ones that we haven't then we haven't. Whatever gets done on certain contracts has to be a mutually agreeable situation and that's what it ended up being.

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