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Replay: Best of Radio Thu Feb 29 - 02:00 PM | Tue Mar 05 - 11:55 AM

Bill Belichick Press Conf. Transcript - 4/24

Belichick: There were a lot of players that we liked and we picked the ones that we thought were best for the team.



Q: Can you talk a little bit about Guss Scott?

BB: He has been a real productive player for them down there. He has played safety both free and strong. He has also played a little bit of the nickel back for them in their five defensive back packages. He is a pretty good player on special teams. He has been a solid player that has some coverage skill and has been real productive for them. I like him on all four downs.

Q: So he has some special teams experience as well? Do you project to use him there?

BB: Yes, he was the fullback on the punt team. He played on it on other teams earlier in his career. I think he has an ability to help us. He will have to play in the kicking game. He has played down in the box, again, he has been deep, he has been in coverage on the slot, he has played multiple safety responsibilities in their scheme. That is like what is in a nickel defense so we thought it was good value for the pick and I think he is a good player.

Q: It seems like it was a defensive end to the day. Three of your four picks today were all defensive players.

BB: Well, we just tried to take the best value that we could with each pick. It just worked out that way.

Q: How did this day unfold for you guys? Did the first half unfold the way you expected it to? Was this a true to form draft?

BB: You never know exactly how they are going to peel off. I thought that some guys came off that maybe we didn't think would come off. We had three quarterbacks go early. Everybody always talks about all of the receivers in the first round and usually it ends up being half of the number that went today. What was it seven? So maybe a few more than normal. That is 10 quarterbacks and receivers right there which is a lot more than what there usually is at the first round. That pushed some other people back. Overall I don't think it was anything that dramatic and what really went on in the top 10 didn't affect anyway. It didn't matter whether [Philip] Rivers went fourth and [Eli] Manning went first. They were all going to go. It didn't really matter the order they came out in. We weren't in that ball game as I told everybody a couple of weeks before the draft we weren't heading up into that top 10 and never were and never considered it today.

Q: On Ben Watson, is he foreseen as a guy who can play tight end exclusively or would he be more of an halfback type? Can he be on the field at the same time as Daniel Graham?

BB: Yes, I am sure they will be out there together. I think he can do both.

Q: How does he compare to [Randy] McMichael?

BB: Well, in college, probably in some ways he is bigger.

Q: Is he a better blocker?

BB: We will see how he blocks in this league. He is bigger. He is a pretty physical guy. I thought he blocked real well in the Senior Bowl where, again, he had an opportunity to run plays that are more NFL type of plays. Yes, I would say he is competitive as a blocker.

Q: Was an offensive lineman at all tempting when you took him at that point?

BB: There were a lot of players that we liked and we picked the ones that we thought were best for the team. There were other good players there and there were guys that had our players not been there we would have considered them. We took the players that we thought were the best at each point.

Q: Do you think the wide receivers, with so many big playmakers in the draft, affected the defensive line? Usually defensive linemen get picked more quickly.

BB: Yes, I think it might have.

Q: You joked about not making any trades but are you surprised that you didn't make any deals today?

BB: I think we were happy with where we were at each of those points and that is why we didn't make them. We had a lot of conversations and there were plenty of calls but we felt comfortable picking the people we took when we took them. I guess that gives you an indication that we liked where we were on those particular picks.

Q: Will tomorrow bring a day where you hope to be stock pile some picks for the next draft? Can you do that in those late rounds?

BB: I don't know. I don't know what offers there will be or won't be. What we will do tomorrow is the same thing we did today, try to look at the board and try to anticipate what our opportunities might be and prepare ourselves for what the different options are. We have two picks in the fourth, similar to having two in the first round and we have nothing in the sixth. We will just have to work around that sixth round. We have a couple of picks there in the fourth and we will just try to position ourselves to see if we want to move up. A lot of people like to trade into the fourth round historically so that may be an option to move back or sit there and take them.

Q: There have been some great value picks in the fifth round. Is that where you are still hoping to get some more?

BB: Well you never really know where it is going to be. I think you have to evaluate your picks as they come out. I couldn't tell you who is going to be in there in the fifth round tomorrow. There is just no way to know. We will try to position ourselves the best we can and look at the options as they come up and hopefully there will be a couple that we feel good about. If there are opportunities to trade back or into next year we will evaluate those and if we feel like they are beneficial then we will either consider them or do them.

Q: Can you just talk about selecting two defensive players?

BB: Well, we talked about younger and faster on defense for two years and I think we did that especially if you look at the roster from two years ago. We will see where it turns out this year. I don't know what these guys are all going to be able to do or where they are going to fit in, but I think they are going to be a competitive group and hopefully we will be younger and faster on defense than we were relative to the last couple of years. I think it is an ongoing process.

Q: To that end, no linebackers picked. Was there no one that you liked enough?

BB: Well we had four picks, we took four players that we liked. If we had taken players in other positions then we would be saying, 'Well you know you didn't take this guy or that guy.' We took four that we liked and we feel good about those guys. We are not going to sit there and single out a position and say, 'Well, we have to get a guy in this position.' I think we can play with what we have.

Q: Is that much different from years past?

BB: No. Each draft is different but we have taken the same philosophy into each draft and tried to evaluate each pick in the same manner. It doesn't always work out the same but the process is the same.

Q: Then we shouldn't read into the fact that you drafted a tight end in the first round for the second time in three years? Even with Daniel Graham's progression?

BB: I think you are going to see Daniel Graham on the field plenty. No. You need more than one tight end. Right now we only have two on our roster. I think it will be hard to go into a season with two tight ends. We play two-tight ends quite a bit. You are always looking to carry three to the game. They play in the kicking game. They are important in the red area and are important on third down and they are important in the running game. Offensively, we added [Corey] Dillon and we added Watson. Hopefully we will be better on offense.

Q: Are those two tight ends comparable in terms of their ability to get down the seam?

BB: I think they both run well, yes, and I think that is certainly a big part of our thinking is two tight ends that can be effective in the passing game or at least threaten the defense in the passing game.

Q: Dillon's acquisition, did that eliminate running back in the first round or was the guy just not there? [Steven] Jackson or [Kevin] Jones maybe?

BB: Again, there were a lot of good players there. As I said two years ago, one of our objectives was to get younger and faster on defense and you can't get younger and faster on defense by drafting offensive players. If you want to improve your defensive team speed and youth, then you are going to have to get them in the draft. We signed a couple of guys in free agency but take a look at the ages on those guys, I am not talking about [Rodney] Bailey because that was a restricted move. The players that we have signed, it is just hard to get young players in free agency. So, if you don't draft them, I don't know how you are going to get any younger.

Q: Did you consider Dillon as part of this whole draft?

BB: Dillon and Bailey are definitely part of the draft. That is two less picks that we have but two significant players.

Q: Does the fact that Guss Scott was a recreation program delivery major have anything to do with why you drafted him?

BB: It was probably the deciding factor. Yeah, that was it. I thought we would be able to hide that one but you did a good job of digging it out.

Q: [Laughter] What are some of [Vince] Wilfork's qualities that make him such a good fit here?

BB: First of all I think he can play the nose. I think he can also play end but he can definitely play the nose. He played the one-technique and some three-technique, they play plenty of one-technique down in Miami. He is big. He is strong. He controls the line of scrimmage. He is a very powerful guy. I think that he will be able to do the things that we need him to do at that nose position and also play off the center in passing situations if that is where we need him to play.

Q: Do you have any concerns with him and his weight at all?

BB: Well, he is a big guy. He is never going to be 185 pounds. I think that he will play and I think that he will play effectively. Part of his job and our job is to get him in condition and get him out there and he will be able to play effectively.

Q: Do you worry about him having to take many plays off?

BB: I think he plays with a good motor. I think his intensity and his effort level and his explosion and power were good. What exactly went into his weight and his plan and all of that down in Miami, I don't know. We will deal with it here. I expect him to be in shape and ready to go just like everybody else.

Q: I understand that you consider a lot of players on the board, was [Marcus] Tubbs any consideration there?

BB: There were a lot of players that we had interest in. Obviously Tubbs and Wilfork were both on the board we picked Wilfork. I don't know what else I could tell you.

Q: At the end of the first day, do you sit back and look at the board and see what everyone did and say, 'Did they help themselves?'

BB: Not yet. I think that is a process maybe Monday of next week we will take a look at that. Right now we are trying to reset the board, recalibrate it, look at what our potential options might be for tomorrow. A lot of times there is trade talk Saturday night or Sunday morning relative to fourth round picks, again, because we had multiple picks. I could see that coming into play. There were a lot of trades made today and there probably going to be some teams that are out of the fourth that want to get in the fourth round like you saw Washington do in the third round for example. We will see how that unfolds. I don't have any expectations but I could see that being part of the process. Rather than evaluate everybody else's draft at this point, we will try to look at where we are and kind of, like I said, recalibrate the board and go on from there. We will address it at the end of the draft.

Q: The day began on a somber note with the loss of Pat Tillman.

BB: Very much so.

Q: Can you just comment on that?

BB: My relationship with Pat was obviously a little bit distant but it goes back to whatever year he came out in 1997 I guess it was. I spent quite a bit of time with him down at Arizona State and that whole draft class. There were a bunch of guys down there and I was down there for a couple of days. I kept in touch with Pat. I communicated with Pat over the last couple of years when he went into the service. Obviously it is a sad day for me personally, our country, and the NFL. Pat stands, I think, for everything that we all believe in and admire.

Q: Is it unusual for you to talk to guys who you scouted who left the league for whatever reason?

BB: It just kind of worked out that way. I am not sure.

Q: Who called who?

BB: Well, I don't think we really need to get into it.

Q: Knowing you needed a runner, was the Dillon acquisition more because you were uncomfortable with the guys who maybe would have been available in the first round or maybe because you wanted to go defense in the first round and try to get that tackle?

BB: Neither. I think it is more of a question of value. For what we gave up to acquire Corey and what we saw on the board at that point today, which is probably similar to what we anticipated seeing, I think that here is a guy that is a pretty good player. He has had a lot of production and has had a real solid career and I think he is still going to be an effective player. Relative to what that would have produced and what we think he can produce, that is why we made the trade and we feel good about it. It didn't have anything to do with if we had given up the first round pick then that would have been a different story. The 56th pick was the 56th pick. It's not what the 21st pick was worth

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