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Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript 4/30: 'He can run, plays on his feet'

BB: All right. Late one for us. I think this has been a good process here. A lot of work from [director of player personnel] Nick Caserio and [director of college scouting] Monti Ossenfort; our scouting staff. They really worked hard over the last really year, but even…I feel like we were well prepared for the whole process, even though we got a late start on it in February. Those guys did a great job, and the coaches as well. [We] just sat there and watched a lot of names come off the board, but [we] feel good about our selection of Malcom [Brown] at 32. We'll see how it goes. He's a guy that's played inside, on the nose, all the way outside to the five-technique, kind of everywhere in between. He's been moved around a little bit: played a little more outside this year, a little in Coach [Charlie] Strong's defense; a little more inside with the previous staff. He has plenty of snaps in a variety of spots. [I] look forward to working with him and [we'll] see how it goes here tomorrow.

Q: Based on mock drafts, Malcom Brown looked like a guy who would go a lot earlier than 32. Were you surprised that he lasted as long as he did?

BB: I think this is one of those drafts where you see guys in those mock drafts – one draft has him at 15, another guy has him at 65, the same player. I don't know. It just seems like there's a lot of spread on a lot of players in this draft. I don't know. I don't really put a lot of stock into that.

Q: How much do you like his maturity and what he's shown with his family life?

BB: Yeah. I think that's impressive. Staying in school, finishing up at Texas, starting a new program this year in his [junior] year and all that, I think he did a lot of things that would lend themselves to making good decisions, being loyal, committed, sticking with it, finishing the job, all that type of thing.

Q: Is part of what makes him rare his athleticism for a player his size?

BB: Yeah, I think he's athletic for 320 [pounds] or whatever he is.

Q: How does that show up on the field?

BB: He can run, plays on his feet. He's got good quickness.

Q: How close were you to trading that pick?

BB: We picked Brown.

Q: What do you like most about him that will translate to being a good pro?

BB: I think for anybody to make that transition, it takes a lot of things. Hopefully he's got all the components that are necessary, or at least a lot of them. He's got a long way to go, like every rookie does coming in. He's got a lot of work to do, a lot to learn. It's a lot different in this league, playing against a lot bigger people on the other side of the ball. But we think he's got an opportunity to do that. We'll work with him and see how it goes.

Q: You have a lot of guys in the front-seven mix who have the ability to do a lot of different things. I know you covet versatility. How can you take advantage of his versatility at 320 pounds?

BB: I don't know. We'll just see how it goes. I don't know. We'll just have to bring him in here, teach him what we do, evaluate him relative to our other players and then eventually we'll get to game planning and so forth and try to what we think is best for the team – him and everybody else. It's not about one guy. It's about utilizing all the athletes we have, all the players that we have. How that all works, I don't know. It might be different from game to game, it might not, we'll see.

Q: Did anything in the first round of the draft surprise you?

BB: We're kind of just more focused on what we're doing. After about the first 20 picks, there's not really much – you're standing there and watching until that point. But after that, you can see how things are falling, taking a look at the guys we might want to consider and watching it unfold pick by pick, and whether we were going to move one way or another or stay or you know. It's just normal.

Q: How much were you set on selecting a defensive lineman as opposed to someone else on defense or an offensive lineman?

BB: We try to consider all the guys we felt like would help our football team at that point for value. Malcom Brown is who we selected. There were other good players up there. There are other good players up on the board that would help us – I'm sure they'll help a lot of other teams – but we did what we thought was best for our team.

Q: You talked about the two different coaching staffs. What kind of evolution did you see from his [second] season to his [third] season?

BB: He just played outside a little bit more this year than he did in the past. I think for a guy his size to play out there and be a little bit more in space, you just saw him in some different situations, different matchups than you did when he was between the guards, on the center or in the gap, or that kind of thing.

Q: You guys like those Malcolms, huh?

BB: It's coincidence.

Q: Can you compare him to anyone physically?

BB: Yeah, we have a lot of 320-pound guys around here, so we'll see. Every guy is their own player, so we'll see. [We'll] work with him and see how it goes.

Q: You lost Vince Wilfork this offseason. Is it unfair to say he's a replacement for Vince or are there similarities or differences?

BB: Yeah, I'm sure there's both. We'll see.

Q: What do you see for the rest of the draft in terms of depth here that could help your team?

BB: I think we'll have to kind of recalibrate tomorrow and reset our board as if it's the start of the draft. Thirty-two names have been eliminated, some needs have been filled with other teams that have selected and kind of go through the same process. We're in a little bit of a unique situation. We have those three picks around 100, whatever it is, 96, 97 and 101, whatever it is. We have those three picks there together, whether we want to, what that will look like or maybe those picks are movable, maybe they're not, I don't know. It's kind of unusual to have three picks like that clustered together. We'll have to talk about that situation. It's still 60-some picks until we even get to that point, so there are a lot of 'what ifs' but we'll just talk about that situation and look to where we'd be here in the second round here at 64. [It's] kind of the same as tonight: a lot of teams are going to pick before we're really even close to getting up to bat. We'll do the best we can when we get our opportunity to go.  But really treat it as three separate days; reset the board today and then reset the board for Saturday after we get through the second and third round.

Q: Were there any characteristics that made Malcom Brown stand out to you?

BB: Well, based on the players that were on the board, we felt like he was the best player for us. So, a combination of his talent, work ethic, production, skill set relative to what we're looking for. We felt like he was the best for us.

Q: When you studied his film, do you see examples of him reading and reacting similar to the techniques that you would play here with your defensive linemen?

BB: Yeah, again, he's played a couple different systems. I think you can see the guy do a number of different things. He's not just always doing the same thing. There's plenty of film on this guy against good competition.

Q: From a general sense, the last two years we saw the trades really were different. You guys got a lot for moving down two years ago. Last year, we saw Seattle maybe not get as much from a similar spot. It just shows how the trade market can vary from year to year. How would you characterize, just from your sense of it, general discussions – was it heavy activity?

BB: I think at this point in the draft, the trades are really player driven. If somebody wants a player, it depends on how much they want him. We've studied the trade values through the years at different points, how many spots to different points in the draft and so forth and compared that to what our drafting charts would indicate. In the end it comes down to any other transaction: how motivated is the buyer, how motivated is the seller? When we're trading for a particular player at this point, when you trade up, you're not just – there's a guy you're coming to get, so what's the motivation? How much do you want to move out? If you feel like you can get the same player or a comparable player later and get something extra for it, then it makes sense to move back. If you don't want to give up that value, then [you] probably stay unless there's some price that makes you move. But I think each one of those is individual. I don't think that there's … if you're motivated to sell, then you'll sell cheap. If you're not motivated to sell, then it's going to take more and vice versa.

Q: How much does versatility along the line impact or impress you about him?

BB: I think it's a little bit unusual for a guy that size. He's got a variety of skills, but it's not unprecedented or anything. I don't think this is something that's never happened before. I certainly wouldn't put him in that kind of category.

Q: You said he played more inside this past year at Texas?

BB: In '13.

Q: When it came to your turn would you have been more prone to moving out if he wasn't available?

BB: I don't know. He was there. We don't sit there and have those discussions. If Phil Simms was there, would we take Phil Simms? I don't know.

Q: Phil Simms is way too old.

BB: I'm just saying. Throw up a thousand hypothetical questions, I don't know the answer to any of them.

Q: Last year you mentioned the way Dominique Easley could disrupt the pocket. Do you see similar traits with Brown?

BB: Easley is [290] pounds; Malcom Brown is 320 pounds. I think they're different players.

Q: What is Easley?

BB: [290] or whatever he is. They're just two different players.

Q: I understand college stats don't translate to the NFL, but he had a lot of run stops and a lot of plays penetrating against the run. Is that reflective of an area that you needed to address?

BB: We're not – we've got to evaluate players based on what we see. We give them a grade based on what we think they'll do for us. We can't really control who they play against or what system they play in or anything. We just have to take what we see and try to project it forward. I know we took [Richard] Seymour, It was a big crisis because he only had half a sack in college and he couldn't rush the passer. I don't think that's very accurate, but that was the big, couldn't get over that. I worry more about they are when they get in our uniform and what they actually do. We take them based on what we think they can do. We've been right some, we've been wrong some, just like everybody else in the league. It's nothing really…it is what it is.

Q: Matt Patricia was down at the Texas Pro Day. How important was his input in terms of evaluating Malcom?

BB: Our coaches and scouts have been out all spring. We've seen a couple hundred guys probably. I don't even know how many it is, it's been a lot. Guys that have seen different athletes were part of the… it's a big mosaic and there are a lot of different components of it. That's one. There are a lot of other ones, but that's definitely one. 

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