PATRIOTS HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
August 14, 2023
BB: Alright, so good to get back out on the practice field here today and yesterday. It's a big week for us here, heading to Green Bay tomorrow, so trying to keep knocking out a few things here at training camp and then Green Bay this week. Looking forward to that trip, been good working with Matt [LeFleur] and his staff and I look forward to Wisconsin.
Q: You've done them for several years now – what do you like about the joint practices most?
BB: Well, we get to look at somebody else, different players, different scheme, and learn from that.
Q: What made working with Coach [Matt] LeFleur and the Packers, specifically, an appealing opportunity?
BB: Yeah, it just worked out that way.
Q: With Sidy [Sow], in the first preseason game, to see him get some reps against Will Anderson, just the fact that they came out together in the draft, how valuable was that to sort of gauge the progress based on where they are in their stage of their career?
BB: Yeah, I'm not too worried about the other players. It's a good opportunity, good experience for everybody, so whoever they play against, we can't control. We just control the opportunities we get, what we do with them and learn from them.
Q: What did you see from Sidy and how he's doing then?
BB: Yeah, he's definitely making progress. Works hard, smart kid, out there every day. He's good.
Q: When you're talking about the league, have these kind of practices with other teams in any way kind of replaced what the preseason used to do for you?
BB: They're opportunities. We've been doing this since the 80s. I remember we came out and practiced against the Patriots when I was with the Giants. We did it at Cleveland, so, there's definitely some advantages to working against another team if it's cooperative and you feel like it's productive.
Q: Does it account for some of the evolution of fewer preseason games and less starters playing in the preseason games?
BB: Yeah, I don't know. Like I said, we've been doing it for a long time. The rules were different then, and we still did them, so I don't know. It's just good to work against different people, different schemes and see something fresh in training camp. When I came into the league, we had three full scrimmages that year – seven-on-seven, nine-on-seven, one-on-ones, and then a full team scrimmage.
Q: How many preseason games were they playing when you came into the league?
Q: Pretty much, guys used those to get in shape then?
BB: Yeah, there was no offseason. There was no OTAs. Season started when training camp started. It's just different. It is what it is.
Q: With your starting quarterback, for instance, is that why you wouldn't use your starter in a preseason game?
BB: Yeah, again we've talked about that multiple times before. It's the same answer every time.
Q: How does that look?
BB: The guys that practice the most play the least and the guys that don't practice the most get to play. That's how we evaluate them. We try to give everyone a fair look. It's the same thing we've always done, nothing has changed.
Q: Bill, when we talked to Malik Cunningham in OTAs he was mostly learning wide receiver and in that room. Has he shown you something now that he belongs more in the quarterback room?
BB: You know, he's been involved with both.
Q: What do you think about the way he's been developing at quarterback the last week plus?
BB: It's alright. He's got a lot to learn, long way to go but he's working hard. We'll see how it comes along.
Q: [Mike] Onwenu, he's on the PUP. Feels like things are moving fast here, this is going to be 14 practices. Is the start of the season starting to be in jeopardy for him if he doesn't come off that soon and what does the outlook look like for him?
BB: Day-to-day. Take it day-to-day. When he's ready we'll put him out there. If he's not ready, then he'll stay on PUP, same as all of the other players that are in that same classification. When they're ready, they're ready.