HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
JULY 28, 2022
BB: Morning. Just following up here from yesterday, still working in the red area. Create some little situations here. The team generally did a good job trying to do what we needed to do. We need to clean up things, start to improve every day, we'll do that, move onto new situations related to what we did yesterday, but always things to work on and mistakes to correct from yesterday. Not a lot to report here, just trying to keep getting better every day and keep moving in the right direction.
Q: Bill, I know it's only day two, but early impressions of DeVante Parker so far?
BB: It's good to have him, he had a good spring. We'll just take it day-by-day here and not try to evaluate guys based on one play or one practice or one period. There's going to be a lot of football played and we'll see how things turn out over an extended period of time. Consistency and production.
Q: The extension for Davon Godchaux—what makes him somebody you want to lock up for an extra couple years?
BB: He's one of the best defensive linemen in the league. Glad we were able to work that out with Davon and Drew Rosenhaus. Obviously both sides are happy, contract's signed, you know. Go forward.
Q: Robert Kraft was named a finalist for the Hall of Fame yesterday in the coach and contributor category, what was your reaction to that?
BB: Great, he's been there for quite a while and there's certainly things he's done in this organization and his contributions in the league – he's a strong candidate.
Q: You were very kind about Mac Jones and his development a couple days ago. We're not used to hearing you talk so highly of a quarterback at this point in the year – do you think about managing expectations for a guy like Mac who's at center stage right now?
BB: There's no expectations for anybody. The expectations are for everybody to come out and work hard and do a good job and improve, and that's for all of us: coaches, players, rookies, veterans. Every position on the field. Nobody's done anything yet, so we'll see what we do.
Q: With the rules of training camp – 90 minute sessions, no pads – do you ever get wistful about the old days of two-a-days?
BB: Yeah, I can't worry about what the rules are or aren't, all the teams have the same opportunity. So, we just try to make the most of what we have.
Q: Any thoughts on how you've adjusted to getting the team ready to play over the last ten years? There used to be a lot more practice time, contact – are there things that you've had to emphasize to make up for that?
BB: Sure, a lot of things have changed, but this is pretty much the way it's been for the last two years. Ramp-up period, practice, different times, things you mentioned. So that's kind of what it's been for the last couple years. New CBA, it is what it is. Started in '20, had the COVID year so there was no preseason, that was different, but the ramp-up period and all that is similar.
Q: It's been like a decade since they've really changed camp – are there any areas that you've had to emphasize to get your team ready to play?
BB: Yeah, like I said it's a lot different than what it was, but it doesn't really matter. It isn't that different from what it's been the last couple of years, so whatever the adjustments are, they are. Time or pads or whatever it is, we look at each year as what the team needs, what our opportunities are, and how to make the most of them. That's different from last year, next year will be different from this year, every year is different. Circumstances are different, our preseason schedule is different, who we're working against, how that fits, whether we're on the road or home and so forth. Have to adjust to that year to year
Q: How have you seen Billy Yates grow into the coaching role coming from the playing side?
BB: It's Billy's second year with us, he has a lot of experience in our system as a player, with Coach Patricia in Detroit, obviously those systems are similar, so he has a really good background, good players perspective like some of our other coaches: Troy [Brown], Jerod [Mayo], guys that have been in this system that add a perspective that those of us who haven't played – they can see things that we don't see. So, they're valuable people on our staff and Billy's doing a good job for us.
Q: Bill, with Cole, how have you seen him progress throughout the last couple of weeks and months?
BB: Cole's worked really hard, he's one of the first guys in the building every day and last to leave. He's done a good job on his assignments, shown a lot of maturity in different situations that we've put him in. But, it's a long way to go, and obviously he has talent, but it comes down to production and consistency, and we'll find out over a period of time how that is. Love working with him, though. He's a good worker.
Q: What's stood out about Terrance Mitchell?
BB: Mitch has done a nice job for us, yet another very experienced player, has been in a couple of different defensive systems. Some of the things we're asking him to do are a little bit different, but he's adapted well. He's smart, he's experienced, he's a good instinctive player and he's had some good production through the opportunities while we've been here, and understanding what those are and aren't. We'll see how that goes when we get the padded training camp practice going.
Q: Obviously, Mitchell was running a pretty different defense in Houston, but Nick [Caserio] being there, is there any similarity as you look for players, he looks for players – similar traits even if you're applying them to different defenses?
BB: I mean every player is different, each player has his own fit into any defensive system, so that comes with every player but, as far as his work ethic, his ability to communicate with his teammates, make on-field adjustments, handle different situations appropriately. Instinctiveness and preparation as a player, experience, those are all positives.
Q: When you think about Nick Folk, is there a lot of difference between kickers who succeed at that level and their approach mentally – we've heard them talk about 'onto the next kick,' is that anything you discuss with him or see similarities with guys who have stuck in the league as long as he has?
BB: Yeah, I think there's definitely a common thread on those guys. We've been very fortunate, we've had some great ones: [Matt] Stover in Cleveland, [Matt] Bahr and those guys at the Giants and so forth. But more recently, [Adam] Vinatieri to [Stephen] Gostkowski to [Nick] Folk, all very professional. Got Nick at the later part of his career, Adam mid-career, Steve obviously was the beginning of his career, so, they came in different stages, but ultimately a lot of mental toughness, a lot of confidence, having to adjust to the kicking situation here in New England. It's not the easiest thing in the world, it's not like kicking in a dome, so, there are challenges out on the practice field and in the stadium every day. There's no perfect conditions, so to speak, or very few anyway. So those guys have a lot of consistency. Nick does a very good job, as the other ones did too. Nick does a really good job of adjusting his technique to the situation and the specific conditions of that kick, whatever it happens to be. The wind, the rush, the operation, and so forth. We're fortunate we've been able to have Jake [Bailey] and Joe [Cardona] as a good unit here for an extended period of time, that's always good. There's things that are just little things, but they're big things when you're kicking: no huddle field goal when you're not using a kicking ball, now you're using a quarterback ball stuff like that, you know, there's a lot of little things that come up and when you sit down and discuss them with Nick, he's got a real steady, professional approach to all of it. Knows what he wants to do, knows what he has to do, but he doesn't overanalyze it or make too big of a production out of it, still comes to putting your foot on the ball properly. Nick's a really, really smart kicker.
Q: Ty Montgomery is obviously a guy with a pretty diverse skillset – what can he add to this team?
BB: We'll see. Everybody will get an opportunity, we'll see what anybody can add to it, I don't know. That's what training camp's for. It's for each player to establish his value to the team. That's offensively, or in a kicking game, or defensively, or whatever the combination is. That's all we can do is give players an opportunity, but what roles they earn, that's up to them.