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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Thu May 23 - 02:00 PM | Tue May 28 - 11:55 AM

Bill Belichick Press Conference

Click on the Full Article button to read a transcript of the Coach's Press Conference. To listen, click on the play button to the left.

BB: Back in camp. We had a little break over the weekend after we had the practice at the stadium. We gave the players a little bit of time off. Resumed the contact yesterday, a couple of practices today and then of course we start with the Giants tomorrow. I think they came in a little bit refreshed, but it's going to pick up here… it's already picked up. We're working [Damien] Woody and [Joe] Andruzzi back in. We'll see how that goes. We're trying to limit the contact that they're having, but there's certain things they can do and we'll just do a little bit more each day as long as there are no setbacks with them. Terrance Shaw, I excused for personal reasons today. He has a family situation that he's taking care of, so that's where he's at. Leonard Myers rolled his ankle before the practice at the stadium and so he's maybe still a day or two away from coming back, so he wasn't out there either. One of the things that I've talked to the team about the last couple of days after this first week of training camp is now starting to add some responsibilities to different players, taking on more of a role on whichever side of the ball they're on, maybe doubling up in a position, adding something in special teams, that kind of thing. And that creates depth for our team. There's names at each position, but the more things a player can do, the more versatility he has, the more depth you have on your team, and so we don't know exactly how the team will be composed right now or the type of situations that we could get into during the year where we have an injury or a shortage at a spot. So we've started to do that and you've probably noticed some different rotations and different guys, some different combinations and that's really what that's about. For example, [Sean] Morey being moved to offense, working at receiver this week, things like that. On Terry Glenn, I talked to Terry Friday after we were notified by the league of the suspension and talked to him a little bit about the situation and basically the fact that we expected him to prepare for 12 games instead of 16 regular season games as everybody else is right now. There are a couple of other players in the league in that same circumstance and… We talked about that a couple of times. He's not here right now and as I said yesterday, this absence is unexcused. So that's really about all I know. Everything else is pretty much moving forward and we're getting ready for the Giants tomorrow.

Q: What are the pros and cons of bringing in fresh meat like the Giants for your team?

BB: Well the pros are that the Giants do some things that we don't do and we do some things the Giants don't do. So it gives both teams an opportunity to see a little different picture. We work with the same guys out there at practice each day and every day and that's good and we're certainly getting a lot of work done, but there are some other things that'll be good for us to see and will be good for us to experience, just like it would be for the Giants. I think it changes the faces a little bit. I think when you go against another team it has a tendency to bring some unity to your team. Instead of playing against each other, you're starting to come together and face somebody else. And this is a team in the NFC that we're not in direct competition with, especially this year, we don't play them during the regular season and there isn't really a lot of direct competition with the Giants, so I think those relationships can be beneficial down the line: understanding their team, understanding how they play, watching them play a common opponent that we have, observing different match-ups, things like that. The cons to it could be that if the situation, for whatever reason, doesn't work out, then you're probably better off not doing it, whether the teams can't work at a good tempo together or whether it's… maybe the teams are so different that it just becomes too much of a… a situation that's just to big to adjust to a whole new team and a whole new operation. Sometimes logistics could be a problem, but I think we've worked all those things out. We'll see how it goes, but we expect positive results and in talking to Jim [Fassel], and Jim and I have both done it several times before with other teams, so we feel like we can both benefit from it and that's why we're doing it. We're working with the Giants; we're trying to improve our team, they're trying to improve their team. That's really what this is about.

Q: Are the Giants a team you'd like to emulate in terms of making a quick turnaround?

BB: Well, no doubt the Giants had a good year last year and I think that both of the teams that ended up in the Super Bowl, at one point during the season, probably not many people would have thought that either one of those teams would have been there. So, looking at what happened in their seasons and you can say this probably about a lot of teams a lot of years, how you handle problems during the year and how things get resolved and what moves you make at the right time and sometimes the breaks and how they fall and so forth, those things have a lot to do with it. A lot of teams, in September and October and even November, look at the playoff race and there's nine, ten teams battling for a half dozen spots, four or five teams battling for division championships and all that. Then in a couple of weeks all of a sudden you've got somebody on top and somebody's totally out of it, so there's a fine line between winning and losing in this league and sometimes things happen during the year one way or the other that can spin things in a very positive or negative direction.

Q: I know this Terry Glenn thing is becoming a headache. Do you still want this player on your team?

BB: Well, we have no plans to not have Terry on our team this year or have the opportunity to have him on our team. So assuming that he comes back here and works and is part of the team and makes a commitment to the team, then I think that there is a place for him.

Q: Are you worried about him mentally?

BB: I don't know.

Q: Does that concern you at all?

BB: It didn't the last time I talked to him.

Q: When you spoke with him, did he give you any indication he might be attending Korey Stringer's funeral?

BB: Nope. I don't know where he is.

Q: How much of a distraction is this for the team?

BB: I think this situation's been more of a distraction for me and the organization. Terry really hasn't been around the team much this year to distract them. A couple of days in the offseason program, a couple of practices in training camp. He really hasn't been a real integral, moving part in anything the team's done on the field since the end of the 2000 season. But I'd like to be devoting more time to our football team, and this is taking up some time and energy.

Q: In all your years in pro football, have you ever been around such an eventful two weeks? Not just with Terry, but [Joe] Panos retiring, [Andy] Katzenmoyer, injuries, so on and so forth. Have you ever seen so much happen in so little time?

BB: Yep.

Q: How are you able to focus on football?

BB: Well that is the main focal point. That is the main focal point. But the other things that come up have to be dealt with, that's part of the job, and you either squeeze them into the schedule and deal with them or deal with them early in the day or late in the day when basically all of the other things are taken care of. I haven't missed any practices, I haven't missed any meetings and neither has anybody else. We're all focused on the job that we have to do here in camp and it's not uncommon for there to be some things in raining camp that come up that are unexpected. And that's part of training camp. That's football.

Q: Where are you in relation to where you'd like to see the team in light of all the situations that have come up?

BB: Every season that I've ever been a part of in football is just one series of situations after another. And it's how you deal with those situations… there's always things to deal with. And the opponents that you face bring in new challenges, no matter who you play. And those are… every team, every day, every time they walk out on the field, they have a set of challenges to face, to reach their potential, to deal with the other problems that the future opponent or opponents are bringing to the table. And I don't think that will ever change.

Q: Have you exhausted your options in trying to motivate Terry?

BB: Do I feel like I've exhausted them? Well, they've changed. We haven't been in this situation before. This is kind of new ground, so I don't know.

Q: Coach, Terry thought he was set up. What did he mean by that?

BB: You have to ask Terry.

Q: Are you limited to just fining Terry? Can you suspend him?

BB: The league has… the collective bargaining agreement has a set of policies that each player under contract, that has an NFL contract, has to abide by and those are uniform for everybody in the league. So whatever they are, that's what they are. I mean I don't think I could sit here and recite them to you anyway, but there's a number of different situations that they've covered from A to Z and those are all outlined in the collective bargaining agreement for both the players and the teams. And again, in the case of the suspension, this is a league suspension, it's not a team suspension, and the alcohol and drug program, whatever it is, is administered by the league. It's very confidential. We as a team have not only no input of it, but basically no knowledge of it. It's done discreetly, without any coordination or cooperation with the teams. It's strictly done between the players and whoever the doctors are that the league appoints or designates, or however it's done. I don't even know. So that's… whatever transpired there or didn't transpire, or how it was done, I have no idea. We got the results of the league's decision just like everybody else did. That's all I know. We had a situation in New York where a player was suspended, he appealed it, took a lie detector test, but we had nothing to do with it. It was strictly between the player and his agent and the league and it's their discipline, it's not New England Patriot discipline.

Q: So the Patriots had no idea of what the results of this test were coming out?

BB: Well, no. No. The process in this particular situation was that the league sent a letter saying there was going to be a suspension, which, I don't know how many times this has happened, but I'd say at least three, maybe more. And then they review it and then they act on it. And in all the other cases when they've reviewed it, nothing's happened, it's just gone away and in this case they upheld it.

Q: At what point to you just tell Terry 'That's enough'?

BB: I don't know.

Q: Are you close to that now?

BB: I don't know.

Q: You said in your statement that you've known about this situation for some time. Have you been preparing for this?

BB: Not really, because, again, it's been more common for these type of things to be dismissed than for them to be upheld. So this wasn't really anything that we hadn't been through before. It turned out differently than it had before, but that's… No, just business as usual, it's… Again, from a football standpoint, and I'm not saying it's the same thing because it's not the same thing, but there are certain things as a coach that you can't control. If a player gets injured and he's out for four weeks, then he's injured and he's out for four weeks. The games aren't rescheduled and we still prepare our team to play them and the team still gets ready to play them and we play them. And from a football standpoint, that's kind of the way you have to approach it. There are certain things that happen that are out of your control and when they happen, then you adjust and move on, try to make the most of it.

Q: Is Terry Glenn the type of player that deserves special treatment in spite of his offseason problems? Is he that good of a player?

BB: Well, I don't know if it's about how good of a player it is. I think ultimately what we need to do with this situation is take a look at all the factors and at some point this will be resolved. It's not right now. I don't know when it will be. I don't really think I could comment on how this is going to turn out until a little more information comes in and we've had a chance to make a decision.

Q: Do you have a target date for when you want to resolve this?

BB: No. I don't have a date. I can't identify a date right off the top of my head, no.

Q: How do you balance everything and keep focused?

BB: Basically, what you try to do as a coach is you try to set up a policy or in some cases, rules for the team to follow. We have a large group of people and I just don't think you can have a large group of people together operating if everybody just does whatever they feel like doing. At some point, you need to set up some type of structure for the team. And through my previous experiences in coaching, and looking at the situation that we have, and each team is a little bit different because of either the logistics or there may be some particular thing that's different from the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins or pick any teams. Location, or whatever it is. So you set up some rules and some policies and that's the way you run your team. When things come in conflict, then what I try to do is take into consideration all the factors that are involved. I try to look out for the player's personal side of it and what he's going through, but at the same time, I have to run a team and I'm responsible to the other players on the team and the other people in the organization and all of us that are pulling together for that team. So it's not my intention to treat anybody unfairly or disrespectfully, but at the same time, everybody needs to be able to cooperate for us to function as a unit. So you try to balance those two and if you have guidelines, then you try to follow the guidelines that you set forth. Sometimes, occasionally, not very often but occasionally, you have a situation that comes down outside the guidelines, out of bounds, maybe something that you haven't totally prepared for, and you figure out what kind of policy you want to have on it. That's basically what it comes down to, but a big part of it's understanding what's going on. Exactly what the situation is, what all the factors are, and then try to do something that's fair both for the player or the person involved and also for the team that as a coach I represent and the organization that I represent. There are several different interests there that you have to try to balance.

Q: Having two players walk out on camp, isn't that an attack on your authority as head coach?

BB: Are you talking about Joe Panos retiring?

Q: No, Katzenmoyer leaving and Glenn leaving. Obviously for different reasons, but still they left camp and didn't ask for your permission.

BB: Well, that's why the rules are in place.

Q: Is Katzenmoyer around?

BB: Andy was excused today for personal reasons as well.

Q: Was he fined for previous practice absences?

BB: I don't talk about the fines publicly. Discipline is handled within the team. I think that's the best way to do it for everybody's sake on the team.

Q: Was anybody excused for [Korey] Stringer's funeral?

BB: No.

Q: Are you happy with your running backs, specifically J.R. Redmond?

BB: I think J.R. is having a good camp. He's so far ahead of where he was last year, that you almost can't even make a comparison to it. Both his offseason preparation and his training camp, he wasn't even on the field until relatively later in training camp than where we are at this point. But I think J.R.'s had a solid camp. He's done all the things… He's shown the ability to do all the things that he needs to do in terms of running, catching, blocking, picking up blitzes, that kind of thing. What J.R.'s going to need to do is show that in a game, under game conditions. The consistency and durability factor, I know he's trained hard for it, but still that's the one thing that he'll have to establish, just like every other player will, but particularly in his case because that was an area that wasn't there last year and he'll get a chance to do that.

Q: Do you think he'll have the ability to be the everyday back?

BB: Well, we'll find out. We'll find out.

Q: You mentioned those three guys in New York. Were they for the Jets or the Giants in terms of the drug tests that were appealed and thrown out? Were they the same situations?

BB: No, I'm talking about here in New England. With Terry.

Q: Those other three cases all involved Terry?

BB: There have been several, I'd say three, somewhere in that neighborhood.

Q: From when you've been with the Patriots?

BB: Before I got to the Patriots. It's one of the first things I found out when I got to the Patriots, that Terry could be suspended because of whatever it was and then it got cleared up, so these letters coming in saying that, you know this is the discipline… You know, the league administers its discipline, it notifies the team, it notifies the player of it. Then the player, in this case appealed it, and in some cases it went away. In this case it didn't. So I have no way of knowing whether it's going away or it's not going away or what the situation, what the circumstances were. Discipline is out of our hands. It's a league matter.

Q: So those three cases you mentioned…

BB: Well, I don't know how many… I'm not counting them, but it's come up before.

Q: With Terry?

BB: Yeah.

Q: Before you got to the Patriots?

BB: I was notified of it when I took the job. After I took the job. This is not a first time occurrence of this type of situation. It's the first time that he's been suspended. It's not the first time that we've been notified that there was a problem. We in fact have taken steps to try to help that situation so that evidently it was a communication problem or I don't really know what it was because it's not under our jurisdiction. But we did try to improve the communication so that whatever obligations he had could be met. And that was obviously with his cooperation.

Q: On these occasions when you've been notified, does that include situations before you became the head coach of the team or since you became the coach?

BB: Both. Both before and after. And again, it's not our discipline so I don't have the… I don't even know the… Because when it goes away, it goes away. It's not a decision that we make. If it comes down, it comes down. It's the league.

Q: Did you acknowledge this when you returned his fines from the previous regimes?

BB: Well that was a totally different situation.

Q: But you knew what had gone on by that point.

BB: I knew what had gone on?

Q: That these letters of notification or whatever…

BB: Well, that… The first one I found out about was after I took the job and it was relative to… I think it got cleared up sometime later in the spring, I can't even remember when. March, April, February, May, I don't know, somewhere in there. That didn't have anything to do with the fine. That was by the team, from the '99 season, about whatever it was at the end of the season, a treatment or whatever it was he missed. I don't know, I wasn't here for that. That was a team fine and a team discipline. The league discipline is totally, I don't know how else to put it to you, we don't have anything to do with it. It's not our…

Q: So you don't know when those tests are?

BB: No idea.

Q: Or whether they've missed…

BB: No idea. Don't have the slight… Don't even know who takes them, don't… Have no idea. That is totally done under the league's jurisdiction and supervision and that's part of the confidentiality of it: we have no idea who, what, why, when, where or anything else as we are not a part of any of that in any way, shape or form whatsoever. None.

Q: Do they notify you though, that a player has initially failed the test and an appeal is in the process?

BB: They only notify us if they… They tell us whatever they want to tell us. They tell us if there's a decision or if it's a decision that's being appealed or whatever it is. We don't ask them. They just tell us when they have something to tell us. That's it. We have nothing to do with it.

Q: Were all of those previous notifications with Terry or were there other players that were in that kind of situation?

BB: I wouldn't say it's uncommon.

Q: But did they all involve Terry?

BB: All I'm saying is that this situation with Terry had come up before. Okay? It's really not my place or even really within my boundaries to talk about league discipline and what the league does or doesn't do from a disciplinary nature, okay? All I'm telling you is that procedurally, this situation was not that uncommon, alright? It's happened before and I really can't talk about the confidentiality of other tests and other league discipline matters and that kind of thing, it's because it's by the league.

Q: So was it just Terry or were there other players involved from this team?

BB: I can't… I'm not going to comment on league disciplinary matters that are not under my jurisdiction. I just can't comment on them.

Q: Outside of league discipline, Terry Glenn has given the team plenty of reasons over his career to discipline him. Is there a point where it's no longer worthwhile?

BB: I think there's some point, with every player where that… I think there's a point with every player, sure, where that could be the case. I'm not saying that's the case with Terry right now. I don't feel that way. The disciplinary rules are to keep the team and the organization in order. That's what they're there for. Releasing players and removing players and that type of thing is… That's really kind of a different decision-making process. At some point they become intertwined, I understand the question, I understand what you're saying. At this point, I don't see that, but I'm not going to say, if you're asking 'Could that ever conceivably happen?' I don't know.

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