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Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, July 30, 2015.

BB: Good morning, how are we doing? We're obviously in the first day on the field here as a team. It'll be a first step, and hopefully we can build on some of the things we did in the spring and get off to a good start here in training camp. I think overall the team for the most part is in pretty good conditioning based on what we saw yesterday and the previous couple days before that. We'll see how it goes when we get into a regular type practice here later on in the week. We have a few guys who aren't quite ready to go yet. We'll take those guys day by day and see how that turns out. Overall, it's always good to get everybody out there on the field. We have a nice warm week, so it'll be good for us out there.

Q: Guys like Jerod Mayo, Donta Hightower and Chandler Jones who have been injured in the spring, is it safe to say that they're good to go now?

BB: We have a lot of guys who are in different situations. Each individual is different, so we've talked to all the players who are in various stages of rehabilitation. Some guys are able to do some things. Some guys are able to do less than that or different things, lower body injuries, upper body injuries, so forth and so on. I think each guy is different and each situation is different. We treat them all individually and try to do the best we can for each individual player based on his situation, his injury, his experience, the position he plays and so forth. So, it's really not a standard answer for I would say anybody, but I've spoken with all those guys and I think we've talked about what our plan is and we'll go with that and see how it goes. Maybe we'll be on it, maybe we'll have to alter it. It's pretty common. We've coached a lot of players, been through a lot of these situations, so we'll just take it all individually.

Q: How do you prepare for a season where you don't know if Tom Brady will be your quarterback for the first four games of the season?

BB: Right now we're preparing for today, practice today.

Q: But you have to think ahead, right? How do you plan for that?

BB: Right now we're practicing for today. That's all I'm thinking about. I'm not thinking about a month from now, a year from now, 10 years from now, six months from now. I'll leave all that up to you guys and the experts. Just today.

Q: Do you find any sign of distraction or is getting to the field a welcome avoidance of distraction?

BB: Today we're doing what we always do. We'll prepare for practice and we'll go out there and practice and evaluate it and make corrections and move on to this afternoon and tomorrow. It's training camp.

Q: You guys signed Tarell Brown, a veteran cornerback. What do you see in his skillset that will fit in well here?

BB: Tarell has got some experience, and of course he played against us last year. He's been in the league for a while. We'll let him compete with the other players at that position and see how it goes.

Q: From what you've seen, does he have a certain experience, like in man coverage?

BB: I think he's probably done just about everything a corner would do in this league – man, zone, press, off, some inside, some outside. We'll see. He's coming off an injury, an offseason procedure, so we'll see how he does and just take it day by day. I don't know. I've never coached him other than two days. Haven't had him before, so we'll see how it goes.

Q: When you set your practices for the week, do you adjust for the weather?

BB: No, we don't know what the weather is going to be. We were standing out there a couple days ago and it went from one type of weather to a very severe rain in a matter of minutes. You tell me what the weather is going to be. I don't know. Whatever it is we've got to play in. Whatever we get, we'll play through. If it snows, it snows. If it rains, it rains. If it's hot, it's hot. If it's windy, it's windy. If it's not windy, it's not windy. We can't control any of those things. 

Q: Do you have to remind your players that last year's Super Bowl season is in the past?

BB: We don't talk about last year. We talk about today.

Q: Do you feel a renewed energy as a head coach coming off such a successful season?

BB: Again, I'm not really worried about some other year or some other time. I'm trying to do the best I can to get our team prepared today to have a good practice, to take another step forward in our preparation so that we'll be able to stay on schedule and do what we need to do tomorrow and the following day. That's really what I'm worried about. I'm not living in the past or dreaming about something in the future. I'm trying to do a good job with our team today, and that's what each of our players should be doing as well is making the most out of this opportunity that's right in front of us because that's the only thing we can do anything about.

Q: Last year, the phrase was "On to Cincinnati." This year, it sounds like it's, "We're focused on practice and we're preparing for today." Does the adversity you overcame last year help in dealing with it this year?

BB: I've coached in this league for a long time. I've been a head coach for a number of years. It's the way we've gone about it every training camp, every practice in training camp. 

Q: Yesterday the player's union filed an appeal for Tom Brady's suspension. Would you prefer to know that you'll be playing without him for the first four games or have the uncertainty with the possibility he will be able to play the whole season?

BB: I'm worried about today's practice and how our team performs. I don't have any control over all the other questions that have been asked here about the weather and a bunch of other stuff. So, you're asking the wrong person.

Q: What is it about Tom Brady's ability to put blinders on and focus on the task at hand?

BB: Look, right now everybody is in the same exact situation. It's the first day of training camp as a team. We've had some meetings. We're all going to go out there and try to establish our performance for the 2015 season. That's the head coach, the assistant coaches, all the players. Nobody has done anything for five, six months, depending on the individual, whatever it happens to be. We've all got a lot of work to do, and today is the first step as a team after the spring. We're in a little different stage now. We've done some things that are important from the spring, but now is our first opportunity to do that as a team as it's going to lead directly into the 2015 season. We're all in the same boat. It doesn't make any difference what anybody did or didn't do, whether they're a 15-year veteran or whether this is their first season. We all are going to have to perform in 2015, and we all need the preparation to do that. So, today is one step in that preparation process, and that goes for everybody. 

Q: Jimmy Garoppolo was never asked to do three, five, seven-step drops at Eastern Illinois. How quickly do you pick that up and where do you think he is in the development?

BB: Well, I wouldn't totally agree with that first statement, but he's made a lot of progress, like probably most all players make in their first year. Now we're into a second year and we'll see where that continues and where we're able to pick up on the learning from last year, and that goes for all of our second year players. We'll see. It's different being out there in pads, different being out there in a competitive situation, which we haven't gotten to yet but that will be coming shortly. We've had a lot of work in the spring of what we'll be doing today, particularly at that position. We'll see how that goes as we go forward for everybody. 

Q: Clearly at this point you're not making a lot of comments on the Brady situation. At what point do you think it will be appropriate for you to address those questions again?

BB: I think Robert [Kraft] addressed that yesterday. 

Q: Is there a point in the future where you think you'll want to talk about this ever again?

BB: I think Robert addressed that yesterday. You can go back and read the transcript. I think you can read what he said and that's what we're going to do.

Q: Do you agree with everything he said?

BB: You can go back and read what he said.

Q: But that doesn't tell me whether you agree with everything he said.

BB: You go back and read the transcript of what Robert said, he advised everybody in the organization not to talk about it, and so we're not talking about it. You can go back and read that yourself. It's in the transcript. 

Q: You added a few new pieces at cornerback this offseason. What do you like about that position group heading into training camp?

BB: Again, I think that the entire team, whether they were here last year or not here last year or whatever the composition of any individual position is stands on its 2015 season and will stand on its 2015 performance, not on some other year, not on some other game, not on anything other than what happens this year. So, we'll see how it goes. I can't tell you how any group is going to perform and I don't really care how any of us has performed in the past. There were some good things, there were some things that weren't so good, but that doesn't really matter. What matters is this year and this is our step towards starting to this year and training camp. That's the way it is. It's not about what happens some other season or with some other team or who is here or who isn't here. This team will be defined by what it does and we'll start doing it today.

Q: There have been some reports that you will use virtual reality training this camp. How much will you use that as a teaching tool down the road?

BB: I really don't know the answer to that question. Technology is affecting all of us in many different areas of our life and a lot of different … I'd say there are a lot of different ways of teaching. We'll utilize whichever ones we feel are best for teams, groups, individuals. I think there are a lot of different ways that people learn, and what we want to do is try to teach our players as efficiently and with the highest level of retention and understanding that we possibly can. In reality, we're all teachers. We're trying to find a better way to teach and a better way for the players to learn and comprehend the information that we're trying to get to them. Those methods are varied and technology has changed to give more options. There are some traditional methods that I think we as educators have found are less effective than they we thought they were in the past. Maybe it was the best we had then but now we think there's a better way. Maybe there is and maybe there isn't as it relates to the subjects we're teaching. We've always tried to stay ahead and advance ourselves as teachers the best that we can. We look at a lot of things. Some things work for us, some things are beneficial, some things help some people but not others, so in the end we have to try to make those determinations as to what's best for the group, what's best for an individual, what the time and energy and cost is to utilizing those tools, in the end whether that's worth it. That encompasses a lot. I know it's a long answer there to a short question, but there are really a lot of things that potentially could be looked at. How many of them are practical or functional or worth whatever it is that you have to put into it, that's something that we may or may not know the answer to. In some cases, we might experiment with them and make the determination after we get a little more experience and information on that particular whatever it is – tool, device, whatever it happens to be.

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