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Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Friday, May 29, 2015.

BB: First week of OTAs, so I feel like the players are working hard. We've got a lot of guys who have really done a good job in the offseason, and now they're starting to get the opportunity to play football out on the field, come together a little bit as a team and in different groups. That's encouraging. It's always good to be back out here, and I think that these guys so far have done a good job. We just have to build on it day by day, see if we can build on next week off of this week's start and string some good days together.

Q: Are you preparing to start the season with Jimmy Garoppolo as the starter based on Tom Brady's situation?

BB: We're just going day by day right now. Everybody's working hard trying to get better. That's what we're all doing.

Q: Are you OK with Mr. Kraft's decision to accept the league's punishment?

BB: He made a statement on it last week.

Q: How critical are OTAs for rookies?

BB: This is it. We've had a couple weeks with them prior to OTAs, just drills and footwork and bags and stuff like that. There's not a whole lot we can do. Now we can get another team in front of them, and they can start to see how all the plays come together, how it looks against somebody on the other side of the ball. The communication that they have to have with each other in order to make plays work. That's a big jump for them, big step for them. It's a new system for all of them. As a group, they're working hard, and I respect what they're doing. They've made a lot of progress. They've got a long way to go, but they've made some strides.

Q:With all that the organization has been through, how good does it feel to get back out on the football field and actually get into football again?

BB: That's what this time of year is for. We've had a lot of preparation time. We've had some offseason program time. We've added some players to our team, so now we'll start to see them perform out there together instead of just having a bunch of names up on a board, bunch of name cards. Now we actually have football players.

Q: Has it been tough to watch what has transpired over the last couple months?

BB: We're just working hard every day to come out here and get better. Coaches, players, everybody in the organization, each day we're trying to make it a little bit better than the day before. That's where we're at. That's what we're going to keep doing.

Q: Do you still have that same excitement level when you get out on the football field?

BB: Yeah, I mean, I love football.

Q: Do you have any opinion on the fan movement to delay the raising of the banner until Tom Brady is on the field?

BB: Right now, we're just concentrating on our practices out here.

Q: Has deflategate taken away from the joy of winning the Super Bowl in any way?

BB: That was a long time ago. We're on to next year. It's 2015. You can forget about last year; that was last year.

Q: The veterans know how to deal with this stuff, but do you have to give a special message to the rookies as they join to a team embroiled in controversy, like what to say and how to act?

BB: What they need to do is go out and work hard and try to earn a job on the team. That's what we're all trying to do is improve. Players are trying to compete for spots and coaches are trying to get everybody ready to compete and ready to play a very competitive 16-game, regular-season schedule. That's what we're doing. There's no other real objective.

Q: You don't just have rookies that are new to the program, but you also have free agents who came in and signed. Is their OTA experience any different than the rookies' in terms of learning the system and what they have to do at this stage?

BB: They have a lot more experience in the National Football League. We have a lot of guys who have played a lot of football, just not for us. I think that's definitely an advantage, but it's a new system and it's a new program. They've had a little bit of a jump on the rookies because they've been here since – whatever it was – Mid-April, late April, and the rookies didn't get here until a few weeks after that – whatever it was – two and a half weeks after that. So, there is a little jump on them.

Q: In regards to the quarterback reps in practice, are you doing anything different during this year's OTAs than you've done in the past?

BB: We're trying to give everybody an opportunity to learn our system and prepare to compete and play. The competition will really come in training camp. This is more of a teaching camp than a competitive camp. We want to try to give everyone an opportunity to learn and understand the plays and know what to do, and then we'll let them compete in training camp and preseason games and see how it goes. Then it's up to them.

Q:The camera above the field is something we haven't seen before. What does that do for you?

BB: Oh, I don't know.

Q:For a guy like Jimmy Garoppolo, how much does having a year under his belt help in terms of preparing in the offseason?

BB: It helps all rookies to get that first year, get that year under your belt and then come out in the second year. That's usually where you see the biggest jump generally in most players is from year one to year two. They understand the system, they've been through it, [and] they've been through the league for a year. Hopefully, we'll see that from our group.

Q: Is it tougher for the rookies and young players to filter out whatever happened last year and move on?

BB: Right now, we're in 2015. Nobody is looking back, nobody is looking ahead. We're just coming out here trying to get better day by day.

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