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Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript 7/27

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday July 27th, 2016.

BB: Well, it's always good to get started. It's been a good offseason, put in a lot of work going all the way back to January and all of the things that were part of the offseason. All the guys that were able to run ran well. I think the team looks like it has worked hard. I think we're in good football condition. I think Moses [Cabrera] has done a good job with the training of the group. It looks like the guys that are ready to go are ready to go. We've got players that are in different stages of rehab, so we'll just take those guys day - to - day. Some of them won't be participating but we'll just see how that goes. And on the roster, so we'll have an exemption for Nate [Ebner]. I've talked to Nate several times; wish him well in his endeavor. It's a great opportunity for him to follow his passion, participate in the Olympic Games. We're pulling for him to bring back something around his neck. That puts our roster at 88 [players]. We added Jon Halapio and Bear Pascoe to fill that out, so we're at 90. It kind of feels like usual. We're at the bottom like everybody else in the league is, starting all over again. We've got a long way to go. We've got a lot of work to do but it's exciting to start on that trip. It starts with a couple of steps here today and tomorrow then we'll be able to get into pads here on the weekend and get into some more traditional - type football activities, but these are good build - up days and they'll be important for us. We have really 10 practices until we go with the Saints and then the Bears, so that'll be five practices and two games. So, we have 10 practices here to kind of get some installation done, work on our fundamentals, getting into the basics of training camp, and then we'll really have seven opportunities between the practices and the games to compete with those two organizations and see where we're at, at that point. We have finally some definition with Tom [Brady's] situation, so our priority now then is to get Jimmy [Garoppolo] ready for the start of the season, for the Arizona game, so that'll be obviously a comprehensive process. Tom will return as the starting quarterback when he comes back, but in the meantime we have to prioritize the first part of our schedule and that'll be to get Jimmy ready to go. That's pretty much where we are for today. It'll be a day - by - day, step - by - step process. I think the players are, hopefully, ready to handle the challenges of training camp; working in different spots, doing the things that we did in the spring but doing them at a more competitive level, eventually in pads, eventually against good competition on the practice field and in preseason games. Like I said, we'll just go day - by - day here.

Q: What is your reaction to the ultimate outcome and everything that went into Tom Brady's situation?

BB: Just what I said. No commentary on it. We know what we have to work with and that's what we're doing.

Q: Can you give any more details about how you will prioritize getting Jimmy Garoppolo ready for the season?

BB: Not really. It's day - by - day.

Q: Will he get more reps?

BB: We'll do what we think is best. Whatever we think is best, that's what we're going to do. That's the priority.

Q: Is what is best more reps?

BB: We'll find out.

Q: Between Tom's situation, getting Jimmy ready, and having a rookie in Jacoby Brissett, have you ever had a more challenging situation at quarterback going into training camp?

BB: We'll just let it go and see how it goes. I think we have a good situation. We have three players we want to work with. Look, in some other years I've seen teams that probably don't feel like they have anybody, or maybe they have one. I think we're in a good situation. We'll just see how it plays out.

Q: Have you talked with Tom at all about how to deal with the four weeks that he will be away?

BB: We're day - to - day. What we've talked about is today and tomorrow and what else I've told you.

Q: When will you talk to him about that situation then?

BB: I'll see him every day between now and whenever that day is. We'll talk every day like we always do.

Q: But will you talk about his time away specifically?

BB: We talk every day.

Q: How would you characterize Jimmy's work ethic leading up to this point? Josh McDaniels said Jimmy has really been paying attention to the details.

BB: Yeah, it's good. I think it's good. He works hard, no issues.

Q: What is the biggest improvement you've seen from Jimmy over the last year with this now being his third season?

BB: Experience, everything. It's everything; all of the things that go into playing football – preparation, execution, knowing the opponent. We could sit here and talk about it for a day. [It's] everything.

Q: Do you feel like you have a good handle on Jimmy and how he'll handle some adversity in game situations as opposed to the practice field?

BB: I don't know how else I can put it. We're going to get him ready the best that we can. That's what we're going to do.

Q: Do you have to change the offense for when Jimmy is behind center?

BB: We'll see.

Q: Do you have to carefully manage the guys that will be returning from the Physically Unable to Perform list so as to save themselves from doing too much in training camp?

BB: Well, their clearance to play is by the medical department, so that's really not in my control.

Q: Then when they return will you be managing their participation?

BB: When they're cleared then we'll do what we think is best for that player, and they're all different. They're in different various stages of whatever it is that they're working through, so we'll just take it day - by - day.

Q: What has it been like having Dante Scarnecchia back in the building?

BB: Good, it's almost like he never left. It's been good.

Q: Did you ever discuss with Tom his decision to ultimately drop legal action?

BB: We're going forward. Yeah, we're going forward. That'd be a great thing for you to talk to him about.

Q: If you'd arrange it I would be happy to.

BB: That'd be a great thing for you to talk to him about.

Q: How much does the competition level amp up once you put the pads on?

BB: A lot. We really haven't had a lot of competition so far. We had the teaching camps in the spring. We split up reps, gave everybody the opportunity to work with different teammates, and so forth. We'll start seeing a much higher level of competition soon. We'll see how it plays out.

Q: Is speed a factor as well in assisting in the evaluation process out there on the field?

BB: Sure. Look, we all know that younger players have less experience and are going to make some mistakes and hopefully they correct them, and learn from them, and improve quickly at a faster rate and show us that they're capable of handling the volume. Guys that have more experience will probably make fewer mistakes, generally speaking. They physically may be in a little different spot than some of the younger players so we'll just have to see how all that weighs out.

Q: How important is it to have Tom here to lead the younger quarterbacks?

BB: Everybody that is here is here for the same reason; to get ready to play, to improve on what they're doing and get ready to go. This isn't about players coaching other players and players doing other stuff for other players. Look, everybody has got a lot of work to do. I haven't coached a game. Our players haven't played a game in a long time. We've all got a lot of work to do and there's no shortcut to it. There's no magic pill you can take. You've got to go out there and do it. So, that's what we all need to do; me, assistant coaches, veteran players, rookie players, everybody. We just need to go out there and grind through it day after day and work at it and get better. There's no shortcut. There's no secret to it. We've just got to go out there and grind our way through it.

Q: Has there ever been a time throughout this entire process that began on January 18, 2015, that you've thought, 'This has really been detrimental to my team'?

BB: Well, really I never dealt with it until I would say the decision has been made that looks like, 'This is what it's going to be.' It's been in some version of litigation, appeal, appeal depending on how the litigation goes. It's been in the same place for a year and a half, basically. There's definition to it now. We'll move forward based on that definition.

Q: This is your 42nd year coaching. Is every year different to you?

BB: Absolutely. It absolutely is even though fundamentally I think a lot of things are the same; things you have to do in camp in order to prepare for a season, but each year is different. Players are different, teams we play are different, things change in the league, there are some rule modifications, or whatever. Things like that. So, every year is different and the chemistry – each team is different. Even with some of the same players there's still always a little bit of a different mix. We'll just have to see how it all goes. I don't try and predict it. I don't try and control it. It will just work itself out. We've got a lot of snaps out  there, a lot of days, a lot of training camp days. It will all take care of itself.

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