PATRIOTS HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
BB: Just trying to keep stringing days together here in the spring. We add a little bit each day and just keep trying to move things along. I feel like we're getting things accomplished but you always want to probably move a little faster than you're moving but when you look back you can see a lot of progress and we've seen that. Just another day here.
Q: Yesterday we saw some work with the kickoff returns. What has stood out to you initially about working with that group?
BB: Yeah, we'll see. We've got a long way to go. We'll experiment with some things and take a look at it but I think it's a long way to go.
Q: Is there any part of your job that you find fun when it comes to a rules change like that because you do have to experiment a little bit?
BB: Well there are things that come up every year, some bigger than others. But whatever it is, it is.
Q: When you're going back to watch that on tape after practice, is it almost like looking at a completely different play from what you've seen in the past?
BB: No, I wouldn't say that. I'd say there's a few modifications but there are a lot of things that are consistent to technique-wise. We'll see. We'll see how much of a change there is or isn't.
Q: How has Cordarrelle Patterson done in his first couple months here? What have you seen from him in his brief time this spring?
BB: You know all the players that have been here this spring have improved and worked hard to make progress. He's certainly in that group. Glad we have him. He's good to work with. He's a talented player.
Q: With so many new faces in camp, how much do you rely on your coaching staff to get them up to speed in the system versus having some of the returning players have a role in that as well?
BB: I don't think our numbers are any different than they normally are. It's about the same as it is every year. There are always a group of rookies, always a group of veteran players – a smaller group – and a larger group of rookies. I don't think our numbers are dramatically different. It's pretty consistent with what it's been – a combination of all those things.
Q: Based on what you saw from Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski yesterday, do you think it really matters they missed the weeks that they did?
BB: Yeah I think, look, every day is an opportunity for us to come out here and get in work and get better, get ready for training camp. So that's what we'll all continue to do.
Q: Did they look prepared for what was thrown at them yesterday?
BB: Well, again, I think the players and the coaches, everybody that's been out here, each day you get an opportunity to do things. Different players are in different stages and have different opportunities to do what they've done over the period of the spring. So it is what it is for each guy.
Q: With Matt Patricia gone and not having an official defensive coordinator, how does that change the dynamics for you and the rest of your staff to handle the defense?
BB: We look at the things that we have to do and we find some way to try to get them done. Put them in priority of importance and make sure they're covered. I feel like we have a really good staff. We have a lot of experience on our staff. They work hard. They work well together and it's our job to communicate the information to the players and that's what we're trying to do. Always trying to do it better.
Q: Did it change your hands-on work with the defense?
BB: Every year is different. Every week is different. As always, I'll try to do what I feel like is best for the football team, whether that's me or any other decision that goes with that. I'll try to do what I feel like gives us the best chance to win or helps our team improve the most.
Q: So far at practice we've seen Coach Brian Flores with the headset on and you hear his voice and his command. How have you noticed that his voice and his command have grown in your time with him since he first came to you?
BB: When he first came he was in the scouting department. Brian's held a lot of different responsibilities in the organization on offense, defense, special teams, scouting. So he's pretty much done it all. He's done a great job in every area too.
Q: What characteristics to do you see from him that makes him a coach you like to have on your staff?
BB: He's smart. He works hard. He has good leadership.
Q: We've seen some of the Iowa staff here the last couple days. Obviously they're here to see you guys but what benefits do you guys get from having them here?
BB: We go into a lot of schools every year and we get great cooperation from those schools. Certainly Iowa is one of them. We have a number of their players on our team but we have a great relationship with Kirk [Ferentz] and his staff – have for a long time. They run a great program. It's good to interact with them.
Q: Like you said, you do have a bunch of players from that program here. They obviously play different positions on different sides but is there one characteristic that maybe they have all shown to you to make them attractive to the Patriots?
BB: I think all those guys do a great job for us. They work hard. They're very team-oriented. They're very coachable.
Q: It's been a while since Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski have been on the field at the same time healthy. How different does that make the offense when you have both of those security blankets for Tom Brady?
BB: Yeah, I don't know. That's not really where we are right now. I mean we have a lot of different players working together. We're just trying to get everybody a lot of information and install our system as a total team. We don't have starters and stars and first teams and all that. That's not really where we are right now.
Q: Did you think Julian Edelman looked pretty good yesterday?
BB: Again, I think each player has an opportunity to come out here every day and improve and work on the things that will help them be ready for training camp. That's the same for every single player and every single coach that's on the field. The answer is the same for everybody. I don't know how else to state it. So, put whatever name you want in there; it's all the same for all of us. We all have an opportunity, and hopefully we'll take as much advantage of it as we can to help us get better, to have a better day tomorrow, to be more prepared for training camp in July.
Q: With officials at practice, can we expect something different today than what we saw yesterday in terms of what the team will be doing?
BB: It's another day for us to move forward. Each day we add things. Each day we do things. We review the things that we've done and try to improve on those, but we move ahead and work on new things.
Q: Was there any one part of the team that you looked and said, 'This is where we need to be better and this is the priority'?
BB: What are you talking about?
Q: Like defense, for example. Or offense, running backs – is there one part where you want the most improvement this upcoming season?
BB: Right, well, we haven't played a game this year and there aren't any scheduled for a while. So, I don't know what we have this year. We'll see. We'll see how we perform. I have no idea. We have a long way to go.
Q: But, based on what you had last year...
BB: Well, last year is last year. This is this year. It's not last year. We're in 2018 now, so it's time to move on. I don't know what this team will do.
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