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Bill Belichick Press Conference

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            New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick  

Press Conference

Saturday July 28, 2001

BB: Well, back out in the pads this morning. I thought we had a good contact practice. Offensively we had some success in the running game. You know as a coach any time you see one good thing out there that means it wasn't so good on the other side. We didn't look too good defensively up front. But offensively the running game was as productive in a practice as anything we've had here since I've been here. Antowain [Smith] completed the running this morning so he was out on the field. We gave him a few snaps this morning and will probably increase that in the next couple practices as we go along. Terry Glenn came in with a sore knee this morning so we are going to do some tests on him. That's why he wasn't out there. [Damien] Woody has a bruised thumb. He can't grip the ball so that limited him a little bit but he still…he should be out there, we will just have to work around it. I spoke with Andy [Katzenmoyer this morning. Andy has left camp because of some personal issues that were bothering him. I think in some way related to the surgery and the neck situation. I can't really speak for him but I would characterize it as he's…I think trying to resolve those issues and solve some of those things himself. And that is really about where it is right now. I think I'll have a good line of communication with Andy and we'll just move forward and see how he's feeling both physically and mentally from a football standpoint and all that.

Q: Bill, Andy Katzenmoyer's mother told a Columbus [Ohio] newspaper that he has concerns about the surgery and about his neck. Did he express that to you?

BB: I talked to Andy at length last week, I think it was Wednesday, and he didn't express any concerns at that time. We just briefly talked about it this morning. I was basically on my way out to practice. We didn't have a real lengthy conversation, but yeah he did bring it up this morning.

Q: Did he say why he decided to just not go to practice rather than to come to you people?

BB: Yeah he gave me an explanation on that.

Q: Were you satisfied with that explanation?

BB: Well, I believe what he said. I don't really think that was the right way to handle it, but I understand what he said.

Q: Is he thinking about giving up football?

BB: Well, I didn't say that and I don't want to speak for him.

Q: He didn't say that himself?

BB: No he said he was trying to address some issues personally and I think that…again it wasn't a real lengthy conversation. I'm not sure exactly what he is thinking or he is probably thinking about a lot of things. I'm not sure exactly how he is resolving those.

Q: Do you put him on some type of list?

BB: No, not at the moment. That may happen though. We may be in the process of doing that. You know I am not sure exactly what we are dealing with here, other than that he is not here, he is safe and all that. I'm not sure exactly what we are dealing with in terms of his status as a football player or an injury or whatever. So we'll just move forward and see how that unfolds.

Q: Is he home in Ohio or is he local?

BB: I don't think so. I think he is here.

Q: Was this morning the first time you knew where he was?

BB: Yeah, basically.

Q: Did you go to bed last night not knowing?

BB: Yeah, I think I kind of had the sense that he was around here last night. But this morning was really the first chance that we really had to…when he called me this morning was the first chance we…when I really found out anything. Put it that way.

Q: Did you get the sense that if he had talked to you before he left that he was afraid he might have changed his mind about it?

BB: That didn't really come up.

Q: Do you sense that there is some ambivalence with him about wanting to play football still?

BB: I couldn't characterize it that way, no.

Q: How would you characterize his mental frame right now? Uncertain medically?

BB: I tried to do it. I had a brief conversation with him. He's thinking about some things. I can't speak for him. I don't know exactly what his thought process is or how he is resolving them. I was on my way out to practice. It was brief. He told me that was the situation and we'd talk about it later. I can't really tell you what he is thinking.

Q: Bill, was he considered a big part of what you are trying to do at that position? How would you characterize his role?

BB: I think starting this year was very similar to where we started last year. Last year Andy had a good training camp. Ted [Johnson] was hurt. Then when Ted came back, Ted and Andy and Tedy [Bruschi] all played in varying degrees. But early in the season Andy, you know Andy missed the last preseason game or two, whatever it was…but I thought he had started off pretty well in the preseason, the first two or three preseason games. And then he got hurt against the Jets and kind of struggled a little bit after that for a few weeks until we put him on Injured Reserve and he was out for the year. So going into this year was kind of like it was going into last year. Going to training camp, start to reestablish himself as a player and having had the off-season surgery and hopefully avoiding the setbacks we had last year at the end of preseason and then whatever it was, the second or third game of the year. Wherever it was right in there at the beginning of the year.

Q: So you have always seen him as an inside guy?

BB: Well that is what he has played. He played inside at Ohio State. He played inside here in '99 at Mike when Ted was hurt and out most of the year. We started him there last year. He did OK in training camp and then Ted came back. Could he play another position? If that is what you are asking, he might be able to. But because of his background, and I didn't see any reason to rule him out of playing inside linebacker. He's done enough good things to show that he could play it. We want to try and move forward with that.

Q: Are you fining him now?

BB: Well I just talked to him this morning. What he did yesterday was not the way we want to do it. But again I don't really know enough about the situation right now to make a lot of final decisions or really to make a lot of intelligent guesses on where things are, let alone where they are going to go. I know that is not what you want to hear, but that is the way it is.

Q: Do you need to get another linebacker into camp?

BB: Well I wouldn't rule it out. I wouldn't rule it out. I think if we had an opportunity to upgrade our team or bring in somebody that we felt like could upgrade our team either at linebacker or, with Joe's [Panos] retirement, on the offensive line. I think those could be considerations, yeah. But we are going to go out and practice this afternoon and tomorrow whether anybody comes in or not. But if things work out to where we thought that would be something that would improve our situation, then we would do it.

Q: Did Andy indicate how likely it is that he will be back?

BB: We didn't talk about it.

Q: Do you have a sense at this point?

BB: I don't know.

Q: Brian Cox's name gets mentioned a lot. Are you in negotiations with him or have you talked with him recently?

BB: You know, I could be wrong on this but I'd be pretty close…Brian was either the first or one of the first players that we brought in in the spring. March, February, I can't remember when it was, but it was very, very early. If he wasn't the first he was one of the first after he was released by the Jets. In fact he, so he's not a free agent, he was actually released by the Jets. I think I'm right on that. So he probably came in before the start of free agency. I mean we are just talking about a few days here but I would say roughly in that time frame. I've talked to Brian from that point when we brought him in after he was released and we've had intermittent conversations for however long that's been, four months or whatever it has been.

Q: Is he physically ready to play?

BB: I'm not sure. I think so. Yeah, I think he is. I think he is. But until we go through our battery of tests I wouldn't want to say that for sure. Yeah, I think he is. So I have talked to Brian. I don't know that things are any different now then they were then.

Q: Do guys when they reach that age like to miss a little training camp before they commit to something?

BB: Probably some do and some don't. But most players at this time of year I think like to know where they are and what they are going to be doing and starting to do it. There may be some exception to that but I would say for the most part, of the players that I have been around, when everybody else is playing football most football players like to be playing football.

Q: Is Matt Light OK?

BB: You know he hurt his ankle a little bit there in practice. We'll take a look at it here in between practices and see where that is at.

Q: How is [Richard] Seymour developing?

BB: I think Richard is working hard. I think he is making some progress. He has done some good things out there. He certainly flashed some plays. He flashes some plays every practice where he does something that looks real good. But he's got a lot to learn. He's getting more each day. Each day we add new defenses and each day the offense adds some new plays and some different wrinkles and a little different blocking scheme or something. So he's learning every day, but I am satisfied with his progress. I think he is coming along, but he's got a long way to go.

Q: Terry's knee, is that something that happened in practice yesterday or is it something that has been bothering him?

BB: He fell on it yesterday in practice and he was a little sore this morning.

Q: Now is he getting tests on that, because most of the other team players are usually out on the field?

BB: Yeah, right. Right. That's where he was. He should be back…he may be back now, I don't know.

Q: Bledsoe's arm was all iced up, is he OK?

BB: He ices it after every practice. There is nothing that I know about.

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