Bill Belichick shared some of his thoughts with the media on Thursday after the final practice of mini camp. Listen to the full interview here.
BB: Well we are wrapping up today. I thought the players worked hard and had a good number of practice sessions that have been competitive, but it's still a good teaching progression and we got a lot of people a lot of reps and I think that will do us good in the long run; working guys at different positions and all of those kinds of things. It's a good evaluation of where we're at and I think everybody has got a lot to work on. Coaches, players, individually, collectively, but we are off to a decent start here and I think we have a good foundation heading into training camp. That's what we were hoping for and we'll be ready for camp in five weeks.
Q: Without coordinators, how has the communication been and has the installation been like what it has been in the past?
BB: We've done what we've done. I think we've got a lot of work to do all the way around. Like I said, I think we have a lot of work to do but I think we're moving in the right direction.
Q: What is the message that you give to players here?
BB: That we have a long way to go, but they will be on their own for awhile and we need to continue to work to get ourselves into good condition, both physically and mentally. There are a lot of techniques and individual things that guys can work on between now and the start of camp in addition to the conditioning and that's what we emphasize to each different player and it's all different for each guy.
Q: What is going to be the toughest thing that Wes (Welker) is going to have to overcome to get back to 'football ready mode,' coming off the injuries that he has had?
BB: I think every player just needs to take it day by day and have one good day at a time, one after another. I think that's what we all need to do.
Q: Between OTA's and mini-camp, have there been a couple players that have surprised you?
BB: No, I think everybody has done some positive things and everybody has had some problems and everybody has things that they have to work on. Myself, all the coaches, all the players. It's early in the season and we have a long way to go and there are things that a lot of us can do better.
Q: What are your plans now?
BB: First we are going to try and go through what we've done here and evaluate it and talk about things we've done and make a plan going forward to training camp and then take a little time to get away…see if I can keep the ball in the fairway, maybe see if the fish are biting.
Q: Can anyone (during mini-camp) maybe elevate their position on the depth chart?
BB: No I don't think so. It's not a competitive camp, it's a teaching camp. That's what training camp is for.
Q: Is it important to leave here on a high and have the guys leave here with stuff to take with them?
BB: Well I think everyone that leaves here should be going with the same attitude: we've learned some things, I think there are some things that we can feel good about and there are plenty of things that we need to work on. We have a lot of work to do and I hope we do that between now and training camp.
Q: Have any of the newcomers grasped the Patriots' system in the short time span?
BB: Some do. We've got a long way to go. It's only been a few weeks. I'm sure they are learning things every day. They've learned a lot and made some gains and there's a long way to go.
Q: There was a lot of talk yesterday about an 18-game schedule between the union and the league…
BB: Right now…today, tomorrow, we have a 16-game regular season schedule and that's what we will play. Hopefully more than that, but regular season games, that's what we will play.