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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 6/12/04

Belichick: We have a lot of work to do and a long way to go but it is good to see the team back out on the field and making some progress.


BB: Well this is our fifth practice of the mini camp. We got to work on a few situational things out here today. We have a lot of work to do and a long way to go but it is good to see the team back out on the field and making some progress. That part is exciting. This is always an exciting time as a coach because you are really seeing things going on the field and it is not just names on a board or x's and o's on a piece of paper. It is people actually out there doing the things that hopefully they are going to be doing in the fall. We still have a long way to go to get ready for camp and we have a lot of work to do this year but it is good to get started. It has started.

Q: Are you taking any different approach this season with camp looking back at the 2001 season after winning the Super Bowl?

BB: No. We have to rebuild and reestablish everything that we do. We are not taking anything for granted and we know there is great competition out there. There are a lot of good teams with a lot of good players. We are going to be tested every week. We are going to have to rebuild everything that we do fundamentally, schematically, our communication, we have some new faces and there is no shortcut to the process.

Q: Does the maturity of the people who have been here for the length of your program make a difference in how they approach preparation?

BB: I think it has been pretty consistent and it could always be better. I think it has been pretty consistent.

Q: How has J.J. Stokes performed so far?

BB: J.J. has done well. He has had a real good offseason. He has worked hard. He has been here everyday all the time and has put in a lot of quality time and it has shown. We got him last year kind of in mid-season. He was on and off the roster a little bit. It was much more of an unsettled situation. But he has been here from day one and has worked hard all the way through and I think that has shown up out here on the field.

Q: Looking at the numbers, there is a lot of competition at receiver.

BB: Well, I think it is a good, competitive position. J.J. has excellent size, good hands, a lot of experience, and he has a lot of production. I think it will be a real competitive group. But you know how that goes, what is depth in June, there are games when we finished with only two or three healthy receivers in the game. So that doesn't really mean anything.

Q: Just some bookkeeping items, Kevin Faulk didn't practice today and Deion [Branch].

BB: Yes, as I said we have a lot of different players on the team that are in different stages of participation. They would fall under that category.

Q: Any comment on the ring ceremony on Sunday? Are you looking forward to that?

BB: Yes, I think that really is the last thing to talk about in terms of the 2003 season. The ring is symbolic of what the team accomplished and that is what we all play for. It is a prize that you work hard to get. It will be exciting to see it and to have it, but at the same time, that will be a short window for us to enjoy. We have the 2004 season upon us.

Q: It seems like it is a little bit more low-key this time around being at Mr. [Robert] Kraft's house as opposed to a hotel in Boston. Is that just kind of, 'We've been here before' attitude?

BB: I wouldn't say that at all. I really wouldn't. I think it is really parallel to what it was a couple of years ago. The location is different, I understand that but I think that we all recognize what they mean and what was accomplished and are very respectful of it and appreciative of it. At the same time, we are moving into the next season. No, I don't think it is something that should be down played at all. It is what it is and it is important to all of us that are receiving it.

Q: Are you looking forward to any time off over the next month or so?

BB: We will deal with that when it comes. We still have a lot of work to do to finish up the mini-camp, go back and evaluate it, make sure that we have all of our pieces in place for training camp. What we don't want to do is take all of our thoughts and pull everything together that we have now in two months. We want to do it while it is fresh in our minds and try to have things in the best structure that we can for training camp so we can use our time productively.

Q: Can you talk a little bit about the linebacker group and their new coach? How is that going so far?

BB: It is going well. Dean [Pees] has had a lot of experience in our system from when he worked at Michigan State with Nick [Saban] and also with what he had been doing at Kent State. I have known Dean for a long time. I think that he is a very well prepared coach. He is thorough, he knows football, he has a lot of experience and I think that he is doing a nice job

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