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Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript

New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick addresses the media prior to Training Camp practice at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, July 28, 2013.


BB:** We're kind of starting to roll through camp here. I feel like our team is getting into a little bit of a routine as far as our schedule and meetings and walkthroughs and meals and rest and practice and all that. Today is the first day where we have everybody in pads. We've certainly done a lot of work without pads, going all the way back to the spring relative to the passing game and doing some non-contact things, as much as we can do to prepare the team and get into our installation. Today is the start of where we're able to see the contact. Certainly will help us in our evaluations of some of the bigger linemen and people like that, feel the play and working those positions. We'll see how some of our guys, with their work in the offseason whether it's gain strength and explosion and power and all that, how that all transfers onto the football field in a functional matter or evaluating our younger players to see what their capacity is for that. We're at the start of that long evaluation period. We'll get underway with it today.

Q: A lot of guys keep describing Chandler Jones' length as 'freakish'. Does he fully understand how to use that in terms of leverage?

BB: I think he definitely understands how to use his physical attributes but like any player, he's in his second year. There will be things that he can learn and improve on and refine and develop as we go forward. That's part of the natural progression of any player, is to take advantage of his skills. As you study more, learn more, different techniques, train, you're able to utilize your strengths more effectively in time than you were before you did all that. I think he's in that process.

Q: With so much continuity on defense, does that allow you to take a more complex approach to the game plan?

BB: Our game plan is made weekly based on who our opponent is and what the circumstances are that individual game. It's not really anything we're working on now. Now is the time to build our base and install the breadth of our system. We'll try to teach everybody what to do, develop some versatility on defense or flexibility so that we have different players than can play similar roles based on need or based on matchups. Then we'll select from those when we get into game plan situations. We're not really thinking about game plan too much right now. We're just trying to install and teach our system so that we can then draw from it when those times come.

Q: The quarterbacks have cameras on their helmets. What are you seeing with that and how does that help?

BB: It's something we haven't done before so we'll take a look at it and see how effective it is or what we can get out of it. I'm not sure exactly how effective that will or won't be but it's something we're trying that's a little bit new. We'll see how it goes.

Q: Is there something you're hoping to get from that?

BB: Anything we can do to help instruct and coach the players better, that's part of our job.

Q: Is it a different view – more field level than shooting from behind them up high?

BB: Yeah, sure.

Q: Wouldn't it be almost too shaky?

BB: I don't think that's the issue, no.

Q: Have you looked at some of that film yet?

BB: Yeah, we've been using it for about a week now.

Q: Brandon Spikes looked like he ended practice a little gingerly yesterday. Is that anything of note or will he be at full-go today?

BB: All our players, when we go out to practice in the morning, anybody who has something that's existing from a previous day, then we'll take a look at it and see where they are that day. We're day-to-day. Everybody is day-to-day.

Q: How has Dane Fletcher looked?

BB: Dane was out there all spring; he didn't miss anything in the spring. I think that his movement skills and speed and all those things are at a good level. We'll start the contact process for him today; him and the other veterans just reported on Thursday, so we'll work through that part of it. So far I don't think he's had any physical limitations to what we've done but we're starting another phase of that today.

Q: Jake Ballard said yesterday he was a little uneasy going from drill to drill and the ACL injury was still at the forefront of his mind. As a coach does that make you uneasy knowing he's uneasy out there on the field?

BB: I'd say that's a little different than any conversations I've had with him so I'm not really sure exactly what you're referring to.

Q: He was saying when he goes from drill to drill he thinks about it. It comes to mind when he's out there on the field. Does it make you uneasy that he's thinking about it?

BB: Our medical staff handles all those situations and I think they handle them very well. Every player that's come back off some type of injury has to go through a process where they build up and work to get back to the competitive level that they're used to being at or that they need to be at. That's a long process and he's still in that process.

Q: Kamar Aiken was active for a game last year and on the practice squad but what does he bring to the team and on the field?

BB: I think he's in a good competition with a lot of other players at his position. He has some experience last year from the practice squad at the end of the season, as you said. But this is his first training camp with the team and we'll see how it all goes. He's got a little bit of an edge experience-wise, but I don't think that's overly significant.

Q: Is Armond Armstrong's status related to his past history in terms of he might not be able to play or is it more managing it?

BB: No, I think it's a different situation.

Q: Is there a long-term concern with his status? The illness list is not too commonly used.

BB: If we have anything, we'll talk about it but not at this time.

Q: Are you beyond the point, given your time in the league, that you get surprised about significant injuries in camp league lost to injury.

BB: We saw guys get hurt in the offseason. Unfortunately this is not the first time it's ever happened. Guys get hurt in OTAs, guys get hurt between OTAs and the start of training camp. It's not unprecedented.

Q: When you look at players developing from their first year to their second year, is it more mental than anything else? Is it physical or is it a combination?

BB: I think it's a combination. A big part of it is mental. Certainly when those guys step on the field, they have a lot more experience and expectation of what the way things are going to be both in terms of level of competition, the people they're going against, also what they're doing, what the scheme is – for a guy who is in the same system two years in a row. I think those things are a huge advantage. There's definitely an element of physical development and that's not to be understated but I think the mental part of it is probably bigger just knowing what they need to do, knowing what the competition is going to be, knowing how they need to prepare for situations that they had never been through the year before. I think that's certainly an advantage for them in the second year.

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