Patriots Senior Football Advisor Floyd Reese addresses the media during his conference call on Tuesday, January 27, 2009.
FR:Let me start off by saying, first of all, thank all you ladies and gentlemen for coming. It's going to be a pleasure to visit with you. I think the second thing is, if you look at professional sports franchises over the last 10 or 12 years and you say 'name the top five,' the New England Patriots are going to be there someplace. If you look at ownership of organizations and franchises and you say 'okay, name the top five owners,' Mr. Kraft and his family are going to be in there someplace. And if you look at the top coaches in any sport, Bill Belichick will be someplace near the top. I just want to say it's a real honor and privilege for me to be a part of it.
Q:Can you start off by letting us know, kind of giving us an idea of the time line, how this started to come about?
FR:It actually started I guess maybe a week or 10 days ago. Bill [Belichick] called. I was in Connecticut-Bristol- and was on my way home and Bill wanted to see if we could get together and maybe visit. I spent some time with Bill and it escalated from there and finally [we] agreed to a contract and terms yesterday.
Q:Advisors come in different forms. Is this the type of role where you'll relocate and work in the office up in New England every day?
FR:Yes. I will be moving to New England. I'm going to head up there Thursday morning. Of course, this time of year is very busy. My family will relocate as soon as we can sell and buy, which is not an easy ordeal at this time, but we'll figure something out and we will be moving to Foxborough and living in the area.
Q:In terms of the contract itself, you mentioned you came to terms yesterday. Is this a long-term arrangement? Is it a one-year arrangement?
FR:You know, I would rather not talk about the contract, but I will say this: our plan is to be there for more than one year, yes.
Q:How do you define your role as a special advisor? What do you see it involving?
FR:Again, I think this is a very unique situation in a couple of dimensions. First of all, I have literally done just about everything there is to do in the NFL. I started as strength coach and coached for whatever it was, 15 or 16 years. [I] got into management [and] I have handled drafts, I've handled personnel, I've handled college, pros, equipment, video. I've done all those things. I think the important thing here and the thing to keep in mind is it's different from a lot of situations. This organization doesn't need a lot of fixing. They are in pretty good shape, so I think my objective is to come in and do whatever I can do to help Mr. Kraft and Bill [Belichick] win another world championship.
Q:How would you characterize your relationship with Bill [Belichick]? I know it goes back a long way.
FR:It does go back a long way and over the years I would say that we remained in touch. You know, calls, particularly during the season. Maybe at trade time [we] would talk and at draft time [we] would talk and of course if [we] played each other we would talk. We didn't get on the phone once a week and chat, but have always been, I think, close from the standpoint that I have tremendous respect for Bill [Belichick] and what he has done with the New England Patriots and Mr. Kraft. I mean, it's just incredible the streak they have going. So I think from that standpoint you always, when you're around Bill you're always lucky enough to get a little nugget of information that might help you do something better.
Q:How does it feel to finally have a position and to be back in the league in this type of capacity?
FR:Of course it's as thrilling as it can get because, like I said before, the opportunities most of the time are in areas or with teams that are broken, unable to win, don't have quarterbacks, don't have backing, maybe have issues with stadiums or facilities, fan support, whatever it may be. This opportunity is so at the opposite end of the spectrum from all of that. This is indeed a thrill because, like I said, none of those things are broken. They're all in very good shape. It's going to be my role to come in and help however I can.
Q:Do you see yourself and Nick [Caserio] essentially sharing the duties that Scott [Pioli] handled by himself before he left?
FR:Again, I think that will depend on how Bill [Belichick] and Mr. Kraft want to run it. As I said before, one of the advantages, to me, is that I've done it all. I've done it all in different roles. I've been a scout, I've been an assistant GM, I've run 13 drafts. Whatever role they want me to take, I can take.
Q:Have you have any kind of relationship with Nick Caserio prior to this, or are you starting off on the ground floor here?
FR:We're kind of starting off on the ground floor. I know him through reputation, and I know he's been very good at what he does. I think we'll get together and decide how everything's going to work. Like I said, I've done this for a long time. I've been there and done just about everything there is to do. My goal is to come in and just help where needed.
Q:As part of your interview process, have you had a chance to meet with Nick [Caserio] over the last 7-10 days?
FR:No, I haven't had a chance to talk to him. It was a visit with Mr. Kraft and [Jonathan Kraft] and then of course with Bill and we got the thing done. But, I'm sure when I get in there on Thursday or Friday or whenever, we'll sit down and spend some time. I'm sure we'll spend a lot of time together.
Q:With the writing of contracts, how deep is your background in that? I know you've done it extensively in the past. When did you start?
FR:I'd done contracts with the Titans/Oilers franchise for probably about 16, 17 years. As general manager, I did every contract that came up, from free agents, the number one draft choices, to unrestricted free agents, whatever it may be. That's an area that I'm at least very experienced in.
Q:How much did you miss being in a front office over the last few years?
FR:It's interesting because working for ESPN, the ESPN people were very good to me. There are some wonderful people there and I had a great time working there. Then when you would get away with a former player or someone involved with the NFL, you'd say that the people [at ESPN] were very nice and that they treat you great, but then you would always finish with the line, 'but, it's not the NFL.' I've spent my entire adult life in the NFL. I started coaching in the NFL when I was 24. I have done everything and this is my life. If there's anything I do know, it's the NFL. The ability to get back and get back in this position is a thrill.
Q:Are there any players on the Patriots roster that when you were with the Titans you were high on?
FR:Of course they've got several. One of the interesting things is that Bill and I would talk usually after each draft to discuss how things went and congratulate each other on the draft, which is not uncommon. It was always unique in that our draft boards… You can tell when somebody else is drafting, what their board looks like, and you know what your board looks like. We were always very, very close. The players on the Patriots' team, a lot of the players were people that we were going to draft a couple of slots before or a couple of slots after, but generally very close. I think that you look at their franchise and what they're doing both from a personnel and coaching standpoint, it's a marriage made in heaven.
Q:You said you've been through almost everything over the years, but the Patriots are in a bit of a unique situation here with Matt Cassel, a backup quarterback turned potential franchise quarterback. What are your thoughts on that situation? I know you really haven't hit the ground running yet, but what are your thoughts on Matt Cassel and how that might unfold?
FR:It will be interesting and I'm sure there will be a lot of discussion on it. I've always been one of those who has said that if you think you have two quarterbacks you probably don't have one. But this is a situation where having two quarterbacks may very well be true. That will be something that we'll have to sit down and work out and I'm sure there will be a lot of discussion back and forth.
Q:Any memories from 1976 and 1977 when you and Bill Belichick were on the Lions' staff together?
FR:It was always interesting because [Bill and I] were so much younger than everybody else. We were kind of forced together, and then he ended up buying a house that was close to where my wife and I lived and we became friends because of that. Everybody else was much older and we rode to work every day and back home and all those kinds of things. That staff was really a good staff. I don't know if Bill's ever told you about it. Jerry Glanville was the coach and Joe Bugel, who was a head coach, and Raymond Berry and Bill and myself. It was an outstanding group of coaches.
Q:With ESPN, how is that going to work? Are they going to get all of your exclusives now?
FR:[Laughter] I'm afraid the rules change. It's a little bit different. Like I said, they were very good to me and there are a lot of good people there, but one you get with a club, we go back to the old rules.