HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
July 25, 2019
BB: Day one. Hopefully we can get off to a good start. We have a long way to go – take it one step at a time. We'll see if we can have a good day today.
Q: What are your expectations for Jamie Collins?
BB: I'm hoping the same thing for every player – that they'll go out and compete, and earn whatever role they earn with the team. I can't control that for anybody.
Q: Does he seem different at all coming back the second time around?
BB: He's been great, yeah. Jamie's been great.
Q: Most of the 2018 draft class is coming off of injuries. What challenge will there be in introducing those guys along with the rookies from this year's class?
BB: Just put them out there and let them compete like they've done all spring and we'll see how it goes.
Q: Does the staff have to walk through how they will run practice on the field due to all of the coaching changes?
BB: We always do that. We always try to plan the practices, go through each drill – who's going to – how it's going to be run. Even if we've done it a hundred times before, we still go where it's going to be set up and what one side of the ball is going to do and what the other side of the ball is going to do just so we're prepared for it. So, it's just part of our normal preparation.
Q: Is that in a meeting room or are there walkthroughs on the field with staff?
BB: Yeah, I mean, we've had however many practices it was in – 10 – the spring. We're doing the same thing today as we did all spring, but there's always a few bumps in the road in training camp. That's part of training camp. We have a lot of people who are doing a lot of different things – eating, sleeping, staying at a hotel, practices, walkthroughs, lifting. So, there are things to work out with a large group of people, but overall it gets run well and we have a lot of people in the organization that work hard on those operational aspects of it, and I think it goes pretty smooth. I've been in a lot of training camps, but overall I think it functions pretty smoothly. It's never perfect, but it's functional.
Q: What kind of role do you envision for Braxton Berrios?
BB: Whatever he earns.
Q: Does slot receiver seem like a likely place for him?
BB: If he earns it. I don't know. It's the same for every player -- they have to earn whatever role they have on the team. They earn it. I don't tell them what it is. The player has to go out and earn it.
Q: Did you have any qualms with how the Texans pursued Nick Caserio this off-season?
BB: I think that's all water under the bridge.
Q: Are you pleased to have him back for the season?
BB: Yeah, I'm looking forward to having a good day out there on the practice field today, and trying to string them together throughout the course of camp. That's what we're all here for.
Q: Is there anything that has changed about your approach going into training camp?
BB: Every year is different, so you just have to try to do the best you can each year to maximize whatever the opportunities are. Every year is different.
Q: Do you anticipate Nick Caserio having a similar role?
BB: Yeah. Again, we've had a number of changes on the staff. Not everything will be exactly the same as it's been. It's not that way anyways, so I'm sure a lot of things will be the same, there may be a few differences. There are differences for all of us – there's differences for me, there's differences for other coaches – so, I'm sure there'll be a little bit of both. Each year is a little bit different.
Q: Could his experience coaching receivers help as you guys transition coaches?
BB: Nick helps in a lot of ways. Nick has a lot of experience. I'm sure he does much more than any other personnel person in the league does with his added coaching responsibilities and interaction with the coaching staff. So, yeah he's a great asset in a number of areas.
Q: Does he have powers that technically consider him a General Manager by league rules?
BB: Look, whatever the rules are, they are. I didn't write them. Whatever they are, they are. Look, titles aren't the most important thing in the world around here. To us, winning is.
Q: Does he have executive power over roster decisions, or is that your power?
BB: I've never talked about contracts, so I'm not going to start talking about them now. So, I don't know why you would bring it up.
Q: Can you provide some clarification?
BB: There's no clarification. I'm not talking about contracts, period. Players, coaches, or anybody else's. I never have and I don't plan to.
Q: Talk about Ty Law's worthiness for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
BB: Yeah, I've talked about Ty a lot, and Ty was a great player for us. He had a great career. I coached him as an assistant coach in '96 and as a head coach when I came back in 2000, so I think he's one of the top players in his position – certainly as good as anybody I've ever coached at that position – him and [Everson] Walls. It was the end of Everson's career, so it was a little bit different. End of [Frank] Minnifield's career in Cleveland too, but yeah he was a great player. He had a great impact on our team and our organization. I don't think we would have had the success we've had without him. We would have had success, but he was a big part of it.
Q: I'm sure it was helpful for him to be developing, along with other players, when you came in as head coach.
BB: Well, we had a lot of good, young players here in 1996. That was [Tedy] Bruschi's rookie year, [Willie] McGinest was young, [Lawyer] Milloy was young, Law was young and then we added to that. Those guys were still here when I came back, and then we added the [Mike] Vrabel's and [Roosevelt] Colvin's and Rodney Harrison's and [Richard] Seymour's and guys like that. Look, it's always good to have good players and he was a very good one. Ty was tough, he would tackle, he could play against big receivers and he was physical against guys – you know, the Marvin Harrison's of the world – that were maybe a little quicker, but Ty had great instincts and size and playing presence, and he matched up well with those type of players too, as well as [Eric] Moulds, and some of the other big guys he covered.
Q: What are some of the keys to finding that edge within your team, especially coming off of a Super Bowl season? How do you find ways to keep them motivated?
BB: Well, every year is its own year, so we start all over again every year. We're not really worried about last year.
Q: Do you reinforce that message every year or do you think it's obvious by the way you behave?
BB: I think every year is its own year and you start from scratch and you build from the bottom up every year. That's what we're doing.
Q: Training camp has changed a lot since you've been in the league. What do you prefer about training camp today versus the way it was 20 years ago? What's harder for you now?
BB: It's all relative. We're all playing with the same rules. We just have to do the best we can to take advantage of our opportunities and make the most that we can out of the opportunities that we get – coaches, players, team. Every team comes to camp the same time. Every team has the same amount of preseason games and practices and padded practices and so forth. It's all standard. We just have to do the best we can with what our opportunities are. That's what we'll try to do. I'm sure that's what every other team will try to do. We'll see how it turns out.
Q: The NFL has some new player safety rules this year for training camp regarding certain drills that can no longer be performed. Do you think those rules will change anything about the way your team conducts training camp?
BB: No, I don't think those really affect us, well, the drills that we've done. But we'll certainly comply with them and make sure that there isn't an issue, but I don't think it will affect us.
Q: Have you had much discussion with Al Riveron concerning the new pass interference rules for this upcoming season?
BB: It's the same thing that we always do. We meet with the officials in the spring. We'll meet with them again in training camp. They're very good if you have any questions or if you have clips and you send them to them, they'll tell you how the play would be called or ruled. There's a good line of communication there. They've given us a lot of information. I'm sure there will be questions along the way, but they're always good about answering them and getting right back to you so that we can get on the same page, so that we can coach it properly. We want to coach the play the right way and in order to do that we have to understand how it's being officiated. There's always a good dialogue with them. I've never heard of any issues about communication. You might not like what you hear, but they're always good about telling you how it is and how they see it and how they're going to call it. Sometimes they change that, but then they tell you if there's going to be a change. We need to understand the rules. The players need to understand them. We need to coach and play technique-wise within that framework.
Q: What are your thoughts on the idea that you can challenge penalties now?
BB: It doesn't really matter what I think. It's what the rule is. We'll try to, like I said, understand it, use it and apply it properly.
Q: Does the process of coaching that rule start now or do you wait until game action so you can see how officials are calling it?
BB: No, we're going to coach it based on our understanding of the rule, and then when we practice against Detroit and Tennessee and the officials are there at those practices, I'm sure we'll communicate with them and they'll tell us what they see. "This was a foul, this wasn't a foul, this is OK, that wasn't OK." That's part of what training camp is for, too, is to take a new rule or a new situation like that. Last year it was the kickoff rule. Again, it's more than one thing, but that was an example of last year – the kickoff rule and kickoff situations – looking through options on that and trying to apply them and so forth.