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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 5/22

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addressed the media on Tuesday, May 22nd ahead of OTAs at Gillette Stadium.

Head Coach Bill Belichick

BB: Good turnout today. Well it's always good to get back on the field and be working with everybody in phase three. We were able to do a little bit in phase two against air and get some teaching instruction in but this is much better. [We're] able to progress faster and just do more with our team starting yesterday and for the next couple weeks. It's always good to get to that point. We have a lot of new players on the team. Some we got a couple weeks ago and other guys have come to us at different points in time during the offseason but good to kind of get everybody out there and see them working. We have guys in different stages of rehab and so forth but it's a good step in the process. We've got a long, long way to go, a lot of work to do and so we'll just take it one day at a time and keep moving forward. It's been a good group and have a lot of good leadership, a lot of young guys taking more active roles as well as having some other guys that - Julian [Edelman], [Dont'a] Hightower - guys like that didn't play much last year that are obviously involved in things now. In any case, new team, new year and like I said, we'll just take it one step at a time and keep moving along.
Q: Tom Brady is not here today. Have you guys spoken at length what his plans are? 
BB: Yeah, I'm not going to talk about the people that aren't here. Guys that are here are improving, they're working hard and those are the guys we're going to focus on.

Q: You mentioned the leadership in some of the young players. Does anyone stand out to you? 
BB: Yeah, a lot of them do.
Q: Is it challenging to not have your starting quarterback and to be using your backup and third string quarterback? 
BB: All the guys that are here, not everybody is working, but all the guys that are out here working are improving and it's a great opportunity for them and for our team to come together. That's what's happening.

Q: I imagine you saw that Wesleyan lacrosse made it to the National Championship. 
BB: Yeah, John [Raba] has done a great job with the team. Always tough going against those Maryland teams but I'm sure John will have them ready.
Q: When Rob Gronkowski had mentioned that he's going to play this season, he talked about coming to meet with you. He called it a productive meeting. How much would you share the same view of that time? 
BB: Yeah, like I said Mike [Reiss], I'm focused on the guys that are here and those are the guys that we're working with in this OTAs process phase three. Those are the guys who I'm concentrating on. That's who we're focused on.

Q: How important are OTAs in laying the foundation for your year? How important is it for guys to be here? 
BB: Well, we've got a long way to go, as I said. We've got a long, long way to go. Each day is an opportunity for us and we try to make the most out of every opportunity. That's what we do all year long.
Q: What did you like about Sony Michel coming out of college?
 BB: Yeah, I think Nick [Caserio] covered all of that. I think Nick did a great job with the draft, going through all the people and everything. So I'll just second what he said.

Q: What stuck out to you most about Braxton Berrios? 
BB: Yeah, same thing. Same thing.
Q: What do you expect out of Julian Edelman as he continues to work his way back? What are your expectations for him at this stage?
 BB: Our expectations are day to day. Like I said, every day is an opportunity individually and as a team to improve and get better and take another step towards the start of the season and that's what we're all doing. All of us are in different states, different parts of that process, but wherever we are, we're all gaining on it.

Q: Are these still learning sessions right now as opposed to competitive? Or are they competitive as well in terms of what you can show you've mastered? 
BB: Yeah, they're non-contact practices, Tom [Curran]. 
Q: But are they competitive? Do you care how someone performs relative to someone else? 
BB: Well, there are a lot of restrictions that we have to abide by. That's what we're doing.
Q: With phase three in mind, what is the objective of getting out of these OTAs? 
BB: For everybody to improve every day, every opportunity we get. We're working a lot of people so meetings, walkthroughs, film sessions, individual periods, team periods. We've got a lot of people to get reps to. Nobody is getting all of them. We all learn from every play and that's the stage that we're in right now.
Q: Has Brian Hoyer taken on any more of a leadership role or handled any more the past few weeks?
BB: Brian does a great job. He's done a great job for us. He has a lot of experience. He knows our offense inside and out and he does a great job.
Q: The rookies have been here for a couple weeks now. How do you feel that have acclimated? 
BB: Well it's a long process. Those guys have got a long way to go. They're working hard. I think they're gaining on it. It gets a little tougher each day. We'll just have to see how it goes over a period of time. It'll get a lot more challenging than what it is now but we're making progress.
Q: Is there any method behind the unusual numbers for the rookies? 
BB: Yeah, really not too worried about all the important stuff, Mike [Reiss], like that - numbers and what color gloves you wear and all that. That's not really at the top of the list right now. Trying to learn football, trying to become a team, trying to get better each day, that's really where our focus is.
Q: Is that the message to the rookies with those numbers? Is that what you're reinforcing? 
BB: Yeah, I don't know. We're just trying to get better and work hard and become a better team each day.
Q: How has Coach Bret Bielema helped you this offseason and going forward? 
BB: We have a good staff. We have a lot of great people. I'm very fortunate to be working with a lot of talented people and they all help me a lot. They all do a great job - our support people, our coaching staff, scouting staff, all the other people in video, training, equipment and so forth, operations. We have a real good support staff and they all do a critical job as part of our success. Glad we have them.
Transcripts are provided by the Patriots media relations department as a courtesy to the media and are edited for readability. All press conferences are posted and archived in their entirety at

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