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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Thu May 16 - 02:00 PM | Tue May 21 - 11:55 AM

Bill Belichick Press Conference

To listen to the conference click on the play button to the left. To read a transcript click on the "Full article" button below.

BB: A couple of updates on camp, here. Last night we worked out at the stadium and I thought that might have been our most spirited practice in camp. We worked on some situational things and end-of-the-game situations, some specific plays that we might use and that type of thing, so it was a good, competitive practice and a pretty spirited group there. Today kind of marks a little bit of a transition for us in training camp. Today we shift our focus to Carolina. All our preparations for them continue through the week. Of course, we want to try to bank that for the regular season game. And that's kind of the way that it will be from here on. The training camp things are coming to an end and the transition of Carolina to the regular season or even Tampa and Washington are more like regular weeks and regular season-type scheduling and game planning and that type of thing will start to pick up as we go. I really feel like these next few days here are transition days for us from training camp to the regular season. Not that we're out of camp, not that we're in the season, but from a scheduling standpoint, that's what we're doing. There's an update on the roster. We've notified the league that we're going to place Terry Glenn on the reserved/left camp list. I just want to emphasize that this is exclusively a situation about the player not being in training camp for an extended period of time and that we followed the procedures and notified his representative repeatedly about the situation, and his failure to be here results in us having to take this type of action. On a personal note, I would just like to say that I fully expect Terry to be with the New England Patriots in the future, and we'll revisit the situation later. I hope that we can work together so that he can be the most productive player and person that he can with the New England Patriots, but it won't be this year on the field.

Q: Are you concerned that he may not want to be here in the future?

BB: Well, we'll address it in the future.

Q: What made you pull the plug at this time as opposed to a few days ago or last week?

BB: This isn't the way that I hoped it would turn out. We sent the letter notifying him on Aug. 3, and last week was a busy week, a hectic week. There were a lot of things going on. There were some emotional things going on. We didn't feel like we wanted to pull the trigger one minute after the five-day letter took effect. We gave it time. We're almost at two weeks here. There just comes a point in time as a coach when you've got to make the decision, you've got to do what you think is best for the football team, and I think that this is the time.

Q: Have you spoken to Terry at all?

BB: Not since Aug. 3.

Q: Have you tried to get a hold of him?

BB: I haven't spoken to him since then.

Q: Did you make any calls that maybe weren't returned?

BB: I'd really rather not get into the details of the last however many days it has been. We've notified the parties involved of all the things that are in place and we've tried to, on this situation, keep everybody abreast of what the consequences were and what the expectations were and I think it is all pretty clear.

Q: What goes into determining when not having a player with his ability is best for the football team?

BB: It's a…I think it's a little bit of a gut feeling and it's a little bit of just a determination on what you think players need to do to be ready. It's also about the language of the contract and the commitment. A player who has a contract is supposed to be in an NFL training camp. That's the way it is set up. There are procedures and policies that follow that, but it is very, very uncommon for an NFL player not to be in training camp. Football players are in training camp, they are playing football. That's the way it is. It is not a common situation. So when it comes up it's pretty serious. Again this situation is not related to anything other than that. It doesn't have anything to do with any league situations, any off-season camps, any anything. This is about being in training camp and playing football.

Q: If he is on that list, would that prevent him from being traded?

BB: He will not be traded this year.

Q: Why wouldn't you consider that later in the year when people need a receiver?

BB: Because he is on reserve.

Q: Can you not trade him off that list once he is on it?

BB: A player is either one of two things: he is either active, or he is on reserve. If he is on reserve, depending on which reserve he is on, but basically if he's on reserve, he is on reserve. You can't just flip flop…

Q: He's locked into that from now until the end of the season?

BB: That's right. That's right, until the end of the year. He is either on reserve or he is active. That's the only choices there are.

Q: Did you consider not putting him on that list to keep the option open of moving him? Did you discuss that?

BB: He wasn't on the list until we put him on it. We made the decision to put him on there.

Q: Did you openly discuss a trade? Was that something that was considered?

BB: No, nope. No we did not.

Q: Did you send him a notice on top of the original five-day notice?

BB: We've followed all the procedures that need to be followed. What specifically they were, whatever they were we did them. That's an organizational thing, it's not something that I personally do, but I know that we are in compliance there.

Q: Now the rule is that now that he is on this list that he is there no matter what?

BB: Exactly, that is exactly right. This is not an on and off thing. As I said either you are on or you are off and once you are on…it is like putting a player on injured reserve. It is a different category from reserve/left squad, but injured reserve is the same thing. Once you put him on injured reserve, that's it, they are on injured reserve. They are not on one day and off the next and one the next and back and forth. That's not he way it works.

Q: Can he spend time with the team? Do you expect him around?

BB: No, he's left the squad.

Q: Why not move him once you resolve the dispute over the contract and bonus?

BB: We talked about what our options were and we just didn't…in the end this was the decision that I made and I feel like we needed to make at this point in time. As I said I would like to…I've spent a lot…I've probably spent more time and more energy with Terry than any other single player, including going to Ohio, visiting him there. Terry and I have spent considerable time together talking about both previous situations and current ones in a number of different places, not just in Foxboro. I've had individual coaches do the same thing, travel to different points to meet and talk with him because his availability wasn't always in Foxboro in the off-season. So to keep the line of communication as strong as we can, I think I have extended myself and I think the coaching staff has extended itself pretty far. I still have expectations that we'll be able to address this in the future and my expectations are that I hope something can work out positively for Terry Glenn both personally and professionally with the New England Patriots. So with that in mind, that is what we are going to try to do. It won't be for a while, so that's pretty clear that we won't have a chance to do that, but right now with our football team I've got to make a decision. I've made it. We are going to go forward and I am going to spend my time and energy with the players who are here and they are working pretty hard.

Q: What makes you think you can re-visit this later and find an accord with him?

BB: I'll try to do it later. We'll see what happens. I don't know.

Q: Is he subject to team rules, regulations, workout regiments, during this season? Anything at all?

BB: Nope. He is not on the squad for the year. We still retain our rights to him and all that and so forth, but we…we're separate for the rest of the year.

Q: Did you ultimately make this decision to put him on this list?

BB: Yes.

Q: Could you explain the thought process of what not keeping him around and keeping the option open to you of trading him, rather than just closing the door right now?

BB: Because I think that this is a very serious situation in terms of a player not being in training camp and at some point I had to deal with that. I felt like I had given it enough time and enough opportunity for it to be resolved and it hasn't been. So I determined that we needed to take the next step. That's my thought process.

Q: Could you explain the severing of ties? Would it not have been easier to leave the option open of trading him?

BB: I took into consideration all the things that I thought I could and in the end that was the decision. I couldn't calculate all the exact factors and how they worked, but I just think that this is the decision that we need to make now.

Q: How much of a disappointment is it for you personally that you have tried to reach this guy emotionally?

BB: It's disappointing. It's disappointing. I can't put a percentage on it or anything, but it is disappointing. But I am not through trying and at some point we'll re-visit it or try to re-visit it and just take it from there. But right now we need to move on and he's had ample opportunity to come back into camp and it hasn't happened.

Q: What was Mr. Kraft's reaction when you told him of your plans to do this?

BB: Support. I informed him of the decision that we were making and he was supportive of it.

Q: Did you seek a recommendation from Bob Kraft before you made the decision?

BB: I talked to him after I had…it's been quite a few days, I have been thinking about this situation for a while. When I arrived at the decision I told him the decision and he supported it.

Q: Do you think the team has been hurt by all this distraction?

BB: Are you asking that of me personally or of the team?

Q: As a squad?

BB: I am not sure. I don't know. He hasn't participated a lot with the team so I don't know how much of a…I can't speak for his personal relationship with the players on the team. Certainly things like on-field timing with quarterbacks and other receivers and routes and being that kind of specific, I would say no because he's had very little involvement in that. But personally it has been a drain on me. I would put my energies into something that's been more productive. Obviously this won't be very productive for us this year, but that is part of the job. When I have to make a decision, and in this case I did, and I'll make it.

Q: Is this kind of a unique situation for you and your years in the NFL?

BB: Well I think there are very few situations in the league where players, I'd say established players, leave camp. It seems like there are always a few free agents that maybe they get to camp, see what the competition is, realize they are out of the league and leave camp. There's those every year. But I think there's maybe one other player this year, there aren't many, so yeah I would say it is unusual.

Q: What advice do you give Terry Glenn right now? What should he be doing?

BB: I haven't really thought about that because the situation has changed. The advice I would have given him and I did give him previously was come back to training camp and return his commitment to the Patriots, but since that is not an option now I'd have to think about what the right thing to tell him would be now.

Q: Was this official before the agent said Terry wanted to come in and talk to the Patriots?

BB: We have submitted it, I'm not sure what the exact timing was. We have submitted it. My understanding of the agent's comments or conversation with Andy [Wasynczuk] was more along the nature of the signing bonus and the terms of that or resolving it or whatever that was about. Terry physically being here is a separate issue from that.

Q: When did you talk to him in Ohio?

BB: I was in Ohio in February.

Q: Did you get an indication in that discussion that he was coming around to your way of thinking?

BB: We talked about a lot of things, but I thought it was a productive conversation and I think we both had a good understanding of a lot of things having spent the time together. There were other coaches involved in that process as well. I felt it was a team effort. We were trying to do things that would be mutually beneficial to both the player and the team.

Q: How do you hope he spends the next four or five months?

BB: I hope that whatever personal issues he needs to resolve, I hope he can resolve them. And then we'll talk about football issues at some point when the season is over.

Q: If he wants to talk during the suspension is the door open?

BB: Sure.

Q: The NFL suspension, would he still have to sit out the first four games next year?

BB: I have nothing to do with the NFL suspension. I have no jurisdiction over that whatsoever. None.

Q: Is that on hold?

BB: You are asking the wrong person. I have no interpretation or jurisdiction on that.

Q: So you don't know if he comes back next year and plays for you if he has to sit the four games out? At this time today, you don't know that?

BB: I don't think that…it's not my decision to make. So there's obviously some interpretations to be made here or maybe a ruling to be made. I'm not sure exactly how that would come out.

Q: And they haven't told you yet?

BB: Well that's not really the issue yet. The issue as it stands right now is simply and purely a player with an NFL contract is supposed to be in training camp. He's not here. He's been notified that he needs to be here. A significant amount of time has passed and he's not here. That is the issue. Beyond that, we'll have to talk about those other things later. That's not part of this conversation.

Q: Right, but you have notified the league that he is on the list where he is suspended for a year, the left camp list?

BB: We haven't suspended…he is not suspended. Look he is not suspended, not suspended, he is on reserve. It is like placing a player on injured reserve, but this is reserve-left camp. It is not in any way, shape, or form a suspension and it is in no way connected to the NFL ruling of a couple weeks ago. Now how that ruling will play on this one, I am not positive. You'd have to ask somebody who has jurisdiction over that ruling, which I don't.

Q: When you notified the league that you were placing him on the list, they did not say at that time…?

BB: They are separate. They are separate. I can't help you, it is out of my court.

Q: There is no generic rule set in stone?

BB: It's a situation that probably is going to have to be interpreted, maybe there is a rule. I don't know. But I can't represent the NFL in any type of discipline. I simply can't do it. I have no say, jurisdiction, input, whatsoever. Zero.

Q: So in other words you'll cross that bridge when you get to it?

BB: I don't even know what bridge we are talking about.

Q: Through this whole process have you ever understood as a coach why he left camp that day?

BB: I never received an explanation from him, no. No.

Q: Do you hope that during this period that he will realize that they're going to keep playing, that he will see the light? He said he was shocked or his agent said he was shocked?

BB: It's hard for me to comment exactly on what the process should be on the players end. I think that is something that we'll just re-visit after the season. In the mean time the decisions that he makes should be based on whatever his personal situations are at that time—good, bad, or indifferent. If asked I would be happy to find some time to devote to trying to either give input or talk about the situation. But again I feel like right now my responsibility is to the football team, to the players who are here, to the coaches who are here and that is a little bit of an understaffed situation offensively as well. So I feel like I need to devote my time and energy to the football team and the people that are here working and I owe it to them. That's what I am going to do, that's not to say I going to neglect Terry, but I can't…at this point I just don't think I can reach out until the season's over because of the commitments I have to the team. If he reaches out I'll try to certainly meet him half way. But we've got a football team to run.

Q: You have not ambushed him, is it unfortunate that he and other players don't get the advice that common sense would indicate they should get? That guys who are supposed to take care of them are not?

BB: In the end everyone is accountable for their own statements and their own actions. Sooner or later we all have to be accountable for them, whatever they are—good, bad, or indifferent. That's the way it is for everybody, on the field, off the field, whatever they are. The whole situation is unfortunate. This is not the way I would have liked to have written the story, but as I said I had a decision to make and I made it and I need to devote my time and energy to our football team and we need to move forward.

Q: Who plays his spot?

BB: The same players that were playing it for the last three weeks.

Q: In the game Saturday, who starts in his position?

BB: It's a preseason game. There's competition at the position. We are going to look at the competitors and when we start the regular season whoever plays the best in the preseason games and in conjunction with the practices, those will be the players who play in the regular season. We'll try to use the personnel as advantageously as we can and that's what we have done.

Q: Who on the team has played the most in that position in the past?

BB: Well probably Bert Emanuel.

Q: Are you comfortable with what you have left?

BB: I like the way that our team is working. I like the way that they are going about their business and trying to get better on a daily basis and I think that is the right way to do it. I think if we continue to do that we'll be OK.

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