HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
BB: Alright, good morning. Did everybody have a good summer? It's cooled off just in time for camp for us here, so I think we kind of caught a break on that the next couple of days. It's always good to get going this time of year. There's been a lot of hard work and preparation put into the 2019 season, going all the way back to February 4th; various aspects of team-building, training, off-season program, OTAs, mini-camp, so forth and so on. Now's a chance where we can really start to see it all come together. We have a lot of different types of players on our team. Some guys that have been here before, some that are new, some that have been with other teams in the league and are at various stages of experience. We're excited to work with all of them and excited to see how it all comes together. We'll just take it one step at a time, one day at a time. We've obviously got a long, long, long way to go, but we're looking to make progress every day and just kind of continue to move the ball forward. Just a quick comment on the NFL Top 100 project – I guess there's some things that have been released as a part of that promotion or whatever exactly it is, I'm not sure. I'd just say it was a great honor for me to be a part of the selection process and be a part of the show. There are obviously thousands of great NFL players and coaches, legends, involved in the game. Many of whom I've watched or observed or studied throughout my entire life. So, it was a tremendous process. Very difficult in terms of the selection but it was, again, a great honor to be a part of it and to go down and be at NFL Films and see that operation was extremely impressive. They do a great job of preserving the history of the game. It's extremely well run, professional. They have great resources and I think they've done a tremendous job in their presentation of the game. Kenny Rodgers, the Sabol family, the entire NFL Films group. Just being on set with Chris [Colinsworth] and Rich [Eisen] was a great honor, a great thrill, and many of the other legends that were there with us, so that was something I've never been a part of and was very insightful and certainly gave me a greater appreciation for this great game and what the National Football League has accomplished and the individuals that have written the stories over the last 100 years. It was a great experience for me. But moving back to the present here, we'll get underway today and, like I said, take it one day at a time and see how it goes.
Q: Did every player report that you were expecting to report?
BB: Yeah, we'll have something at the end of the day if there are any things. If we have any announcements we'll make them at the end of the day. It's pretty early, it's like 10:00 a.m., right? Yeah, it's early.
Q: Do you enjoy training camp or do you find it to be grind?
BB: Training camp is a very necessary part of getting the football team ready. I enjoy all parts of football season. From beginning to end, off-season, in-season – I enjoy all of it.
Q: Do you expect to have a new contract or contract extension in place for Tom Brady before the start of the regular season?
BB: Yeah, I'm not going to talk about player contracts or any other contracts for that matter.
Q: It's your 20th season now as the head coach here. Do you ever allow yourself to reflect on how long you've been here and just everything that has happened over 20 years?
BB: Yeah, I haven't spent a lot of time on that, Ben [Volin].
Q: What does it mean to be in a place for 20 years?
BB: I enjoy it here. I appreciate the opportunity to be here. I enjoy coaching our team. I hope I can do a good job. I want to try to give them the best that I can and put ourselves, put our team, put our individual players and coaching staff in the best position that we can to compete. I hope I can do that this year.
Q: Isaiah Wynn avoided the PUP list for training camp. Do you expect him to be a full go at the beginning of training camp?
BB: Yeah, we'll see where everybody is. That's part of the start of training camp is to evaluate everybody's physical condition, especially the players that didn't participate last year or that are new to the team that are dealing with some type of condition, let's call it. I don't know. We'll see how it all goes.
Q: What type of benefit do you think it'll provide the team to be able to get in two rounds of joint practices on the road?
BB: I think it'll help our team improve. We'll see.
Q: Will there be any challenges associated with being away from your facility for essentially a couple of weeks there leading up to the first two preseason games?
BB: There are always a lot of logistics in moving a football team somewhere. It's a lot of people, it's a lot of equipment, it's a lot to do. But we have people in our organization that do a great job of that and we have to do it on all of the away games each year. We've had away games overseas, in Mexico, across country and everywhere else. It is what it is.
Q: How, if all, does knowing you have joint practices coming up change how you want to structure your practices here at Gillette Stadium?
BB: Well, I mean, you take it into account. We know what we're going to do in Detroit. We know what we're going to do in Tennessee. We'll try to do the things that we need to do to prepare for what we're going to do there. We have a little bit more control over it if we were by ourselves, but there's a great benefit to working with those two great organizations. We'll work around what we would do by ourselves and either work it in with them or find some other time to do it.
Q: How does Julian Edelman's approach whether it be at practice or just the way he enters the building set the tone for the rest of the team?
BB: We have a lot of hardworking guys on our team. Julian's one of them. We have a lot of guys that come to work. Most everybody for that matter just comes to work with a purpose and a great attitude and a great work ethic every day. I think we all feed off each other on that.
Q: Have you noticed Julian Edelman extending himself to help younger receivers develop?
BB: We have a lot of players that do that. I'd say really all of our veteran players do it. He does it, but they all do it.
Q: Have you received any update from the league on Josh Gordon's situation?
BB: That'll be a league matter. You should talk to them about it.
Q: Is there an advantage to having new coaches around?
BB: I don't know. I mean, it's the National Football League. There's changes on every team every year. Every team changes players, and I'd imagine every team in the league has had staff changes. We've had staff changes almost every year – I would say every year – I can't think of one that we didn't have one. It's the National Football League. That's the way it is.
Q: Is there an oversight challenge for you?
BB: I mean, every year you try to do the best you can to put your team together and put them in the most competitive position possible and that includes everything. It's every single aspect of the organization that's encompassed in that plan and that goal. I don't see this year different than any other year, and I don't think any year will be any different fundamentally. It's different in that there are different changes and different modifications or adjustments or things you might have to do differently. But, even if you had the same people you might be doing them differently for any other season. So, each year's its own entity, and that's the way I try to approach it.
Q: Joe Kim has a new title, Director of Skill Development. Will this change his role?
BB: I don't think it'll change much.
Q: How is the way you evaluate players in training camp different from the way you evaluate players in mini-camp, or other portions of the season?
BB: No, I think it's fundamentally the same. But, we're going to be in the same basic practice format that we were in in minicamp for two days, and then things change on Saturday. So, for these two days, it's kind of a continuation of where we were in the spring. We don't have pads on, we don't have contact, we're not going to be able to evaluate the running game, interior line play and so forth and so on. But, we'll get to that and we'll get to it against two other teams and we have four preseason games – same as every other team in the league, other than the Hall of Fame teams – so that is what it is.
Q: How valuable is it to have former players like Troy Brown around?
BB: Troy's done a great job for us and it was good to have Deion [Branch] and Kevin [Faulk] in the spring. We've got other players here from time to time, so that's always a plus and it's good for our players to connect with those guys. They've heard about them, they've seen them on training tapes, they've heard us refer to them in various situations or examples, so actually seeing them and interacting with them – I think it's good for the players, and I think it's good for us that do get to see them again. We always have a bunch of those guys around, one way or another. We look forward to seeing Rodney [Harrison] come in in a couple weeks and I'm sure he'll have other teammates here for that, so that's all good.
Q: Is there any concern with Sony Michel's development following his knee procedure in the spring?
BB: I think Sony's working hard. I think we have a lot of players that are in a lot of different stages of physical – let's call it – readiness at this point in time. We're just going to take it day by day. That's how it goes.
Q: How would you describe Matthew Slater's impact on the organization?
BB: Very good, very good. He's a strong leader. He obviously has a strong role in the kicking game, but he's one of the most respected players on the team, as he should be by everyone. High quality person. He's been a great part of our team for over a decade.
Q: Do you feel pressure to repeat as Super Bowl champions?