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Patriots Replay Wed May 27 | 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM

Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript 7/27

BB: OK, well, not a lot to report since yesterday. You know, we'll hit it today and start rolling through training camp. Long process, one step at a time, we have a long, long way to go, and hopefully we can get off to a good start with a good day today. That's the goal.

Q: What have you noticed from Rob Gronkowski in terms of his approach and work ethic coming back from injury?

BB: I mean, that was all pretty much over with by the start of the offseason program. So, he's been trying to keep up with everybody else. We'll see how it goes.

Q: In the Super Bowl, it seemed like conditioning was an advantage for your team, especially in the second half. How much does year-long conditioning really start this time of year?

BB: Yeah, well, last year is last year. We don't really care about that right now. We're trying to get ready for this year. We've had an offseason - the offseason program, OTAs and all of that - so hopefully the team's ready to work in training camp. That will be another step in the building of our conditioning, which comes on a lot of levels - physical level, cardiovascular, contact, thinking quickly, reacting quickly in situations on the field. That's all part of it, yeah. So, we're in that stage. That's part of training camp.

Q: Would you like to have warmer weather when trying to work on conditioning?

BB: Whatever it is, it is.

Q: There were a few stories written this offseason about technology and things that can be used by teams to track workload of players while out at practice. Have you found that there are new systems or devices you guys can use to help in that regard?

BB: Yeah, well I think in that world, there's like 20 new products every day. We've looked at some things. We've used the things we feel are beneficial to us. There's probably a thousand things out there. We've probably used two of them. If we feel it's beneficial, we'll use it. A lot of it generates a lot of time, energy, a lot of numbers. I mean, there's a lot of great coaches - Chuck Noll, [Tom] Landry, I mean, you can go right down the line, [George] Halas. They won a lot of games. They seemed to coach pretty well without logarithms, exponential equations and everything else under the sun. In the end, it's about blocking, tackling, fundamentals. We'll emphasize those.

Q: There were lines of fans waiting to enter training camp this morning. Do you ever stop and think about how this has become much bigger than it was when you started coaching?

BB: You know, when I was in Denver, we were up at Colorado State, Fort Collins. We used to have 10,000 fans at practice. You know, it varies from team to team. We were down in Atlanta, and [when] you were down there, it's different. So, yeah, it's a good experience for the fans. You know, you get to see the team under different conditions than game conditions, which is where most of it is. We get great support from our fans. If they can be here, great. I'd say Giants practices, I mean it didn't hold a lot at Pace [University] or Fairleigh Dickinson [University]. But people take their week or two weeks' vacation to come and watch us practice. I mean, I don't think I would be on that list, but yeah, there was a couple house. It was all it hold. There wasn't as much space as what we have, but like I said, at Denver in Fort Collins, there was a lot of space. I mean, there had to be 10,000 people.

Q: Raymond Clayborn is about to go into the team's Hall of Fame. What are your recollections of him and the cornerback tandem with Clayborn and Mike Haynes?

BB: Yeah, really good. The Patriots had a lot of great players in that day. I coached against them when I was at the Giants. They were a hard team to defend. Coach [Chuck] Fairbanks and his staff - and Ernie [Adams] and I have talked about it a lot - there was a lot of talent here, a lot of great players. You know, I had Clayborn for a year when I was in Cleveland, obviously at the end of his career. But, great person, very professional, a good corner. Again, corners had a lot - formations weren't as spread out, so they were involved more in run force tackling than at times they are, not that they're not involved, but that was, I'd say, much higher. It was more prevalent then. But, yeah, good all-around player, could run, tackle, athletic, make great plays on the ball - good football player.

Q: Bruce Arians wrote a book and included some coaching secrets, which surprised people given that he is still coaching. Do you plan to write a book before you retire, given your passion for the game and its history?

BB: Yeah, really right now I'm just kind of focused on training camp and this season. That's what I'm working on.

Q: You mentioned yesterday there might be a roster update. Will there be any new faces at practice today?

BB: Yeah, can we get on that? Yeah, we're all over it.

Q: You have the floor now.

BB: Yeah, we'll get it all to you before practice. Don't want you to miss anything on Instaface. Better hurry up and get it out there. I'm sure there's a lot of people that have got to get their day started.

Q: Is the next step for Gronkowski to see how everything responds with contact and full pads?

BB: He doesn't have any limits that I know of.

Q: Despite Tom Brady's good health, do you envision handling his reps differently to make sure he is fresh and ready to go for 16 games?

BB: No, not really. I mean, last year, we were in a different situation, so that was what it was. This year, we're not in that situation. You know, we have three players at that position. We need to get all of them ready, and that's what we'll try to do. Again, it's a short training camp relative to, not last year, but relative to other years in my career. We only have a handful of practices before we go up against Jacksonville and then Houston and then Detroit, and then we're pretty much into the regular season. So, honestly, there's probably not enough reps for the quarterbacks. We could give them more, but we only have what we have, so we use the ones that we have the best that we can. I think it will be a challenge to get all three of them as ready as we'd like them to be or they'd like to be, but we'll do the best we can. We're working with the same opportunities as every other team in the league, so I'm not saying that. I'm just saying it is what it is. It's a lot to get ready for. You know, we see a lot of defenses, a lot of coverages, nickel, dime, some base defenses, odd fronts, even fronts, a lot of multiple things that it's a lot of volume out there. It's not a lot of time to get ready for it, but like I said, we'll do the best we can.

Q: Last year, Jimmy Garoppolo had the goal of getting ready for the first four regular season games. Do you envision giving him the same amount of reps as you did last year in training camp or will it be difficult to get him enough work this year?

BB: I mean, I feel like I just answered that question, Ben [Volin]. I mean, we have three guys to get ready and we'll do the best we can to get all three of them ready. There's a priority order to it, but I mean, Garoppolo is one play away from being in a different situation. [Jacoby] Brissett's one play away from being in a different situation. So, I mean, it's like that on every position, but there's ways to work more than one player at some positions other than place kicker, punter, quarterback. But other positions - you know, you've got two tackles out there. You can work more people at those spots. It's harder to do at quarterback or those specialty positions. So, we'll do the best we can. They're all important. Every guy is important. We need to get them all ready and we need to evaluate them all.

Q: How did Brandin Cooks acclimate to the team throughout the offseason and is there anything new you learned about him in that time?

BB: We learned a lot about him, like all the guys we haven't coached before that we had the opportunity to spend time with through the offseason program. We learned a ton about all those guys. They've had a spring, they've been through probably 75 percent of our installation, they've been through a number of practices and our training program and so forth. It's time to get out there in training camp - rookies, veterans, new players, old players - it's time for all of us to get out there and start playing and coaching football. That's what we do, so we'll see how it goes.

Q: David Harris came into your system late in your offseason program. What's the process like for getting a guy like that up to speed so he's ready for the start of camp?

BB: Yeah, it's a little bit of a challenge, although we've had this before. Different, but if you remember, I think it was '09 when we signed [Rob] Ninkovich and guys like that coming right in before training camp. One thing about David, though, he has a lot of experience. He's, as you said, played a lot of football and been in a lot of different systems. We gave him a lot of information when we signed him that he's studied over the last three, four weeks. We were able to catch up on some of that in the last couple days and so, I mean, we'll see. We'll see how quickly it comes to him or how quickly he's able to be comfortable with what we're doing. I think we'll be alright there, but there's definitely some work. But he's put in a lot of work. Coach [Brian] Flores has, as well, and we're just trying to get him as up to speed as we can at this point. But, you know, in a way, we're starting all over again in training camp. Even though we did a lot in the spring, and that was important and it certainly built a foundation and he missed that, but we had other players that weren't able to practice in the spring. We've been through that before. Even though they've been in our system, in this case, we'll just have to play a little bit of a catchup with him. But, I think we have enough time to get reps on the field, get communication with his teammates, understand the various schemes and adjustments that we make, and we'll just have to put in some extra work to try to do it. You know, he's a smart guy, he has a lot of experience and he knows our division, a lot of our opponents pretty well. Not that we're at that point yet, but when we do get to that point, he's pretty familiar. You know, we play the same schedule pretty much every year, with the exception of two games that the other division teams play, so I think there's a lot of things that will come up that will be relevant - not the same, but at least he'll be able to relate to them.

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