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Bill Belichick Press Conf. (Part II)

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



            **Q: That large gap between picks that you have first of all how damaging is it to what you want to accomplish in terms of re-stocking the team and the other question is they have given you three compensatory picks that you can't trade do you still have enough beyond that to be able to move up?**  

B: If we were going to move up we would have to do it with the picks that are not compensatory which is the fifth and the two sixths, so there is going to be room for some movement there. I don't know how far we would be able to go or even if we would want to go there, but I am just saying that the gap right now is pretty significant. Whether we would want to close that gap or move into it, there are two ways of moving into it one is to move into it and one is to move back from that 69th pick. So we could go potentially either way on that.

Q: What is the very best position in the draft?

B: I think each draft is unique, it really is. I don't know if I could pinpoint one.

Q: Do you think that in this draft it is receivers and cornerbacks?

B: I think there is depth at those positions, I think there is depth at running back, I think there is some depth on the defensive line so I think there are enough players that people are going to get good players in the second round. I think there will be good depth through the draft and it may extend beyond that, I am not sure.

Q: Are you still interested in Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala ?

B: Well if we did it we would have to do it pretty soon. The door is not closed on it, but it would have to happen in the next day or so.

Q: Who do you think is better Leonard Davis or Kenyatta Walker?

B: They are two totally different, two totally different style players. I think that it depends, if you want a big tackle you are not going to get them much bigger than Leonard Davis and Kenyatta Walker is probably one of the most athletic linemen in the draft. They are both very highly rated and I am sure that they both have good features.

Q: Are you big on athleticism in terms of your priorities or do you prefer a player with production?

B: A combination of both, I mean it is mainly how they play football. It is mainly their production, but you certainly have to take into account the players athletic ability and in some cases when the level of competition rises the production doesn't and the guy just doesn't have enough ability. You would like to see a productive player, but you would also like to see a player that has enough ability that you could see him growing athletically into the next challenge at this level.

Q: Some coaches prefer not to use high picks on wide receivers because you can get good players later on, do you share that?

B: I think that the majority of receivers in the league that are productive receivers are high picks and that there is a lot of evidence for high picks being good receivers, not all of them, but there are a lot more of the top receivers that came in the first two rounds in the recent drafts then came in the fifth, sixth and seventh.

Q: But when you are talking in terms of first round?

B: When you are talking about a trend like that historically it is going to come down to specific players. You can find players in both categories. If you are talking about Eric Moulds at 20 you can certainly make a case for him, if you are talking about Peter Warrick at last year at four you can make a case for him too.

Q: Can you talk about (David) Terrell and (Koren) Robinson , what do you think of these guys?

B: Well they are both underclassmen, they are both tall receivers, not real heavy but taller guys that have big frames that are both underclassmen. Terrell I would say arguably played in probably as good a college offense as there has ever been. If you look at the offense that Terrell has been in last year (Aaron) Shea was taken by Cleveland and we took (Tom) Brady. This year I am pretty sure that four of their offensive linemen are going to get drafted. Their running back, a lot of these guys are going in the first two rounds, their running back is going to be a high pick and Terrell is going to be a high pick and last year they had Shea and Brady. So that is probably just about every team in the NFL if you could just take that Michigan offense and put it on your team, in one year, that is a lot of high picks right there. So he has been productive and he has been part of a great group. I think when you look at that entire group (Jeff) Backus, (Steve) Hutchinson, Mo Williams, (Anthony)Thomas, (Drew) Henson of course would have been a high pick if he had gone with football, Terrell, (David) Brandt and there are couple of underclass kids in the backfield that we are going to be talking about in the coming years. That is an extremely talented group. So he has been the beneficiary of that as Thomas was, as Shea was, as a lot of those guys were that played in it. They were good and they have a lot of good people around them and they have had a lot of production. They had all added to it and it's a tremendous group.

Q: Are you concerned with Terrell's foot?

B: We had him in there that was one of the things we wanted check on. I haven't met with the doctors on it so I am not sure what the results on it are, but it sounds like it is not going to be a problem.

Q: Did you have Robinson in as well?

B: I don't really want to go through the whole list of visits. Some guys we brought in, some we haven't. I don't think it is that significant whether we brought a guy in or not.

Q: Did you have coaches and or scouts at player workouts, Robinson pulled up in one and apparently has had some bad workouts?

B: We have pretty much been at every workout this spring. I shouldn't say every single one. If Tennessee had four workouts we would go to one of them, but between the scouts and the coaches, between those groups, we have pretty much had all of the workouts covered. I think all of the workouts, again they each take on their own personality too, but we have been at plenty of workouts before where players have not worked out well and then have done it later or had good workouts the first time so forth and so on. Each one is it's own little soap opera and you evaluate it based on what you see as one part of the puzzle.

Q: Do you care more about what they do on the football field?

B: Well that is what they are going to have to do, right. I mean workouts are workouts. It is all part of the puzzle, but in the end if the guy is a good football player that is going to carry a lot of weight. If the guy has a great workout and we watch him on film and he is not a very good football player he is certainly not going to be graded as high as the guys who play better.

Q: Considering situation that you came into last year do you feel as though you are starting to put your own stamp on this team now?

B: I feel like the team is improved a lot from last year and again as I have mentioned the three areas that we want to improve the team are within, with veteran players and with young players the draft choices, and all three of those are bloodlines for your team. All of them need to be fed. You need to improve your team in all three areas, wherever you can and I felt like the depth on this team was a major problem last year and we have addressed it. I don't think by any means that we are there yet, but we are a lot further along then we were a year ago. We had a lot of young players on our team last year probably more than any other team in the league did including the injured reserve and practice squad. We are well into the twenties on that which is more than most teams have and those guys are working hard and they are getting better and they are going to be better. I'm not saying they are all going to be great or any of them are going to be great, but they are all going to be a lot better than they were last year. You can just see that from the work that they have done in the offseason. I think that we have added some people that will give us some depth and some character and leadership and hopefully we will be able to continue to draft and put young players on the team that will do that as well.

Q: Of the last two Super Bowl winners you have one that had great offense and the next year it was a team with great defense. Is there a trend that for a team to be successful they need to have one side stronger than the other and does that effect the way that you are building this team?

B: I think if you go back historically and look at the last twenty years you can find the same thing. You can find the Bears winning with defense in 1985 and you can find some explosive offensive teams like the 49ers and the Redskins when they scored 500 points in whatever year it was that they won the Super Bowl, 540 some points. You can find those teams too. I think that those teams were great teams, they got on rolls, they put it together, they made big plays when they had to and they won big games. There is more than one way to skin a cat and good teams in this league have come in different shapes, sizes and styles. Through the 26 years that I have been in the league, when I was young I used to think you look at one team and that is the way to do it, but the longer I am in the game and the more games I see the more I realize that there isn't one set way. You can make a case for a lot of different successful styles running teams, passing teams, defenses that pressure the quarterback, defenses that don't and so forth and so on.

Q: It seems like the gap has widened more in the last two years or is that maybe just something that is a blip on the radar screen?

B: Again I think it is really hard to draw a trend on that. I think if we watched Baltimore in October they didn't look like a Super Bowl team and whatever happened during the year and all of the things that changed for them or they were able to change, however you want to look at it by the end of the year they were and the same thing with St. Louis. You look at St. Louis at the end of the 1998 season and then look at them in the 1999 season it looked quite a bit different. So I think it is hard to say that this is the trend and this is the way to go and there is enough evidence that's in that I don't know if that's really the case. For me, my main focus is to address our team and improve it and number one understand what we need to do to play in this division because that's where we are playing. So what St. Louis does because they play Atlanta, San Francisco, New Orleans and Carolina is maybe just a little bit different than what teams in this division do to play each other and that is not to put one division ahead of another or behind another, but you have to compete with your competition. I think that has something to do with the team make-up as well.

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