Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Monday, August 9, 2010.
BB: I hope everybody had a good weekend. We're back at it here. We've got a big week ahead of us, a lot of things we need to do and start pulling together as we get ready for our first game on Thursday. I think the rest certainly did everyone good both physically and mentally and today will be a big day for us in terms of getting back on track and building on what we put down as a foundation last week. Injury-wise, Ty [Warren] and Nick [Kaczur] have both missed a number of practices and are both being evaluated by our medical staff and we'll see what comes of that. We'll just have to wait until we get a little more information there. Otherwise, I'd say everybody is pretty much in a day-to-day situation. We got some guys back at the end of last week and we'll hopefully see more back this week as we get closer to full strength. That's about where we are today.
Q: Logistically, how is it going to work Tuesday and Wednesday with the Saints here? Is everything going to be together?
BB: We're going to start apart at the beginning of practice and warm up and go through whatever individual periods or drills or group periods each team wants to do and then we'll come together and start working, probably about maybe one third of the way through practice and then we'll work together the rest of the way.
Q: Have you been talking with Sean Payton the last few weeks to work everything out?
Q: I know in the past it's often been the home team's structure. Is that what it's going to be like the next few weeks with the Saints and then with the Falcons?
BB: I think for what we want to do, there's no problem. Both teams probably want about the same thing out of it.
Q: Will all the work take place on the practice field or will you use the stadium?
BB: No, we'll be on the practice fields.
Q: Will there be an actual scrimmage where your players are being signaled in off the sidelines or more seven-on-seven?
BB: No, it will be a combination of both. We'll do some individual drills. We'll do some group drills and then we'll do some team drills - offense, defense, special teams. I think we will get a chance to look at everybody.
Q: Will you script everything? Will you know what offense or defense they're going to run every play?
BB: No. No, we'll do down-and-distance situations. We'll play those situations however we play them and they'll play them however they would play them.
Q: When you think back to last year's Saints game, it wasn't the greatest of games for your secondary. What kind of a test will that be for a secondary that is still fairly young?
BB: They were the best football team in the NFL last year, so we can throw accolades at them all morning. They're good players, they're well coached. They certainly handled us down there in every phase of the game. They handled us defensively. They handled us offensively. We had a couple plays in the kicking game, but [those] were far outweighed by everything else. It's a new year, but we know that they're a great football team and it will be a good opportunity for us to compete against somebody that we know has a high quality of performance, coming off a great year.
Q: What do you remember about 2001 and the similar sort of thing with the Giants and how did that help your team in your estimation?
BB: It's just part of the whole structure to get your team ready for a season. I haven't really thought about 2001 too much. We do what we do against each other and this will be a chance for us to do it against somebody else. And their schemes and players are different than ours so it just creates some new matchups. We'll see it again Thursday night, but it definitely gives us an opportunity to just get more snaps against them. However many it will be - 150 plays or whatever it will be - on Thursday night, it gives us an opportunity to do a lot more than that and create some situations that may or may not come up on during the game - two minute, red area, different kicking situations and so forth that we don't know whether they're going to happen or not, but in practice at least we can script those out and make sure that we get a chance to work on them against somebody else.
Q: Do you want to go live with tackling?
BB: We'll probably practice at team tempo that I think both teams use.
Q: It's been nine years since you've had joint practices with another team. Is there a reason you chose this year to do it again after so many years of not doing it?
BB: It just worked out that way this year.
Q: The officials are coming in to explain rule changes and points of emphasis today. Is there one that stands out to you that could have a big impact?
BB: There are some changes. We'll see how those go - moving the umpire and things like that. We'll see how it goes. I'm not sure what kind of an effect it will have. We'll kind of have to wait and see.
Q: Throughout your career you've had players miss large amounts of training camp. What have you noticed that has allowed some players to succeed having missed a lot of training camp where some players don't?
BB: I don't know. I think each one of those [situations] are different. Every situation is different. Each player is different. Each team is different. The dynamics that go into that particular season or that situation are different, so I don't know that anything is the same. I don't know that there is a common denominator. It would take a lot of research and thought. [We] just deal with each one independently.
Q: Is it fair to say there has been more of an emphasis on red area this year in camp and is that a reflection of your performance in that area on both sides of the ball last year?
BB: We definitely want to be a good a red area team. I'd say this year we've done it a little bit more every day, so there's a cumulative effect as opposed to a heavy concentration on fewer days. So probably it's the same number of plays in the end, it's just structured a little bit differently.
Q: Does repeating it every day help players retain it?
BB: There are different situations that come up every day. It's not the same thing over and over again, but I think it's probably...we talked about it and I feel like our conclusion is that maybe it's a little more realistic. You go into a game and you don't have 40 plays in the red area, you have five or eight or 10 or whatever it is and that's it. And that's it and that's kind of more the way we've practiced it. We've practiced a handful of plays daily, which is probably closer to the way it will be in most games, as opposed to a heavy concentration of plays on three days. This is 10 days of a lesser concentrations, but in the end you have about the same number of plays. From a teaching standpoint, it's probably a little easier to get it all in at once, but from a practice and making it as realistic as we can make it, there are some advantages to breaking it up, so that's what we're doing.
Q: You mentioned that Nick Kaczur is being evaluated by the medical staff. If he isn't doing well physically, can you talk about the other options you have at that position both inside and outside of the organization?
BB: Again, we'll deal with his situation when we know more about it. The players that are here, I think, have done a good job. We've played a number of different players - I mean, really all of the players on the offensive line - and they have played a number of different spots other than a couple of guys who haven't moved much, but most of them have. So we've evaluated them against our team. We'll see how it goes here in the preseason games and practices and see how they do.
Q: When a guy like [Aaron] Schobel gets cut like he did last week, do you have the personnel staff go back and take a closer look at him?
BB: Nick [Caserio] and the personnel staff look at all the players out there. Any player that is not on the roster we have evaluated and he has some kind of status with us, whatever the category [is], and there are a number of categories. That's what the personnel staff does: they look at all the players. The ones that are on other teams, we keep track of them, and the ones that aren't on any team, we keep track of them.
Q: What could a guy like Aaron Schobel bring to the team?
BB: I'm sure he could...depending on what his situation is, would have some value to different teams. But again, that's all relative to a lot of other circumstances and that would vary from team to team, so I can't speak for other teams.
Q: I know you expect a certain amount of progression from players in their jump from rookie to their second year. Are you seeing that kind of jump from guys like Julian Edelman, Brandon Tate and Darius Butler?
BB: Yeah, absolutely. I think in general our rookie class from last year, those guys have made a big jump. Guys that have played like Edelman and [Sebastian] Vollmer and guys that didn't play as much like [Rich] Ohrnberger and [George] Bussey and [Brandon] Tate and [Tyrone] McKenzie and guys like that. I think they fall into some different categories, but whether they actually played a lot last year or they didn't play a lot, I think that group has made a big jump both in their mental understanding, their offseason training, and where they are physically, their techniques and some of the finer points and their skills at their positions, whether that be offense, defense or in the special teams areas including Jake [Ingram] or Julian [Edelman] as a returner and things like that. I think overall that group has done very well.
Q: Any progress with Derrick Burgess?
BB: I don't have any update, no.
Q: Is there a point where you say, 'Ok -
BB: I don't have any update today, and no crystal ball, either.
Q: Ron Brace still on PUP?
Q: In general, if a player misses camp and then joins the team is there a concern how he will be received by the players who sweat it out for a month?
BB: I think there are a lot of dynamics that go into a team and those are all pretty unique. I don't think there is necessarily a book written on that. I think each situation is different. The interaction between any individual and the rest of the people on the team is unique to that individual and the circumstances that are around it. We all have that, so I think each one is its own case.
Q: You signed Josh Barrett on Friday. There was a report that he was supposed to undergo shoulder surgery. Will he still undergo that? Will he be placed on IR here?
BB: He is expected to undergo surgery, yes.
Q: Do you know if that will keep him out for the year?
BB: We'll see how it goes.
Q: When you acquire an injured player like that, is he expected to come up here and rehab or how does that work?
BB: Each individual situation is different. It depends on what the medical staff and trainers feel is the best way for the player to rehabilitate, so that's a joint decision between the player and the medical staff and the team.