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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 8/2

Read a transcript of Bill Belichick's day 6 training camp press conference on Wednesday, August 2, 2017

BB: OK, so just another day of training camp for us. Another chance to get better, work on the things that we've been working on and continue to move ahead in our installations. Just grinding it out.

Q: How has Rob Gronkowski responded to the first three days of full pads practice?

BB: He's doing what everybody's doing. 

Q: Does he look like he looked at this time last year before he was injured?

BB: Well, last year he was, I'd say, about the same place he was now, and then he was injured in the Chicago practices. So, we'll see how it goes. A long way to go. 

Q: When there's a fight at practice, the rule is that those guys involved are asked to leave. Is there anything positive that you can take from that sort of instance in terms of the competitiveness or intensity the players are showing?

BB: Well, I don't know what the rules are. I just try to coach the team the best I can.

Q: I was just referring to your rules.

BB: I don't know what rule that is. I do what I think is right in all situations, so that's what I do. 

Q: What typically happens if there is a fight between players at training camp?

BB: I do what I think's best. 

Q: What happened after the fight yesterday?

BB: I'm not going to get into that. 

Q: Will there be any consequences for those players today?

BB: Look, I'll do whatever I do with the team. It's between me and the team. All discipline matters are. Hopefully you can respect that.

Q: After five practices, what have you seen from David Harris in terms of picking up the defense?

BB: Yeah, you know, Dave's a pretty sharp kid. I think the learning won't be a problem, not saying he's all the way caught up, but he learns quickly and he has a lot of experience. He's got a long way to go to understand the way everything works defensively - communication, how we play different plays and so forth - but he's definitely moving along, making progress. I would say a normal to a little above average in terms of the pace.

Q: When do you start to know if a rookie can contribute on the team this season?

BB: Well, sometimes you don't know that until the end of the season. Sometimes guys don't contribute much early in the season or in training camp, and by the end of the season - Malcolm Butler - they take on a bigger role, or vice versa. They start off with a role and then, for whatever reason, don't end up in that role. So, I don't know. Again, this is a key time for us, this week of training camp, next week where we start to string a lot of practices together and see what kind of consistency each of the players can perform at. Anybody can go out there and have a good play or a bad play, for that matter. I don't think that's really the measuring stick. It's more of we look at eight, nine, 10 practices and 300 plays or 400 plays or however many plays the guys have and the reps that they get over that period of time. That's really what you're looking at is a longer exposure and more opportunity and see them matched up against different people, different situations and so forth. That's really what it's about. It's a whole evaluation period, not one practice, one play, one drill. They all count, but it's the ability to sustain it, consistently perform. 

Q: What have you seen from Harvey Langi so far in terms of versatility at different spots?

BB: Yeah, I think we're trying to figure it out. He's trying to figure it out. Does he have versatility? Is he better off in one spot? He's certainly learning that the more you do, the more there is to learn, the more communication there is, the more adjustments there are. So, we'll see how it goes. You know, I don't know. Yeah, you've seen him at different spots. We're looking at him in different roles. Certainly, he's a good guy to work with, but how it all falls into place for him is going to be probably determined over the next two to three weeks. 

Q: Is that similar to Deatrich Wise, Jr.? I've noticed he's played a little inside and a little outside.

BB: Yeah, well that's what he did at Arkansas. So, I mean, I'm not saying it's the same as Arkansas, but he did that there. I'd say it's probably a little broader stroke for Harvey, but regardless, they're multi-position players potentially. Again, we'll just have to see how much they can do and how well they can do it. 

Q: Is Deatrich's length more valuable inside, outside or is it pretty equal?

BB: We'll see. It's a big advantage for him, if he can play with good pad level and use his length, not have it used against him, which I'd say he's been able to do as a football player through his career in college and so forth. Even in a few days here, we've seen examples of that, but we'll see more of that going forward. But those long guys that we've worked with in there - [Richard] Seymour, [Tommy] Kelly, guys like that - the 6'6" type of player that plays inside, there's not very many of them. We haven't had a lot of them. I mean, [Ted] Washington was 6'5'' but that wasn't really - that was a different kind of 6'5". So, we'll see how it goes. You know, we have more background with those players playing outside, like Chandler [Jones] and players like that.

Q: How beneficial is Tom Brady's workout and diet plan to his longevity?

BB: You'd have to ask him that question.

Q: Would you recommend his diet and workout plan to other players on your team?

BB: Well, we tailor everything we do to each individual, so we train players that are 185 pounds, we train players that are 350 pounds. We train players that have a lot of different things they do on the football field. Some are very specific, like specialists, like quarterbacks, kickers, snappers, things like that. Some players have a very extensive role - special teams, offense or defense, first, second, third downs - so we have different training programs. And again, each individual is different - their age, their physical makeup, their build and their strength and explosion and power and so forth. You know, we have a certain general way of training everybody, but it really becomes pretty specific depending on the individual and what we ask them to do. So, we don't want to train a player to do something that we're not going to ask them to do. Unless it's just part of the general training, we want to train players to do things that fall in line with what we would see them and ask them to perform on the field. So, depending on what the player is, then probably his age, his experience, his physical makeup, other medical issues, if there are any, his role and so forth all is part of what we look at for each individual player. So, what's right for one person isn't necessarily right for the next person. Not saying it's wrong, but maybe there's something better we can do for the other person.

Q: If a player has a repeated soft tissue injury or something like that, are you consistently changing what the approach is in terms of training, diet and all those things?

BB: Well, we're always looking to improve, so I mean that never stops. Certainly, if a player has a condition that there's a history of or there's a concern with, whatever that is, then we try to address it on the preventive end rather than sit in the training room and wait for somebody to come in with a this or a that or a something else - a tight back or a soft tissue injury or foot issues or whatever. If we know that there's something that we're concerned about - either they've had it or we think that because of the way they perform or their build or whatever that there's a risk. And our testing will sometimes tell us that, too, relative to like leg length - lower leg strength versus upper leg strength, or right leg strength versus left leg strength, or right leg flexibility versus left leg flexibility and things like that. We do that type of testing. If we see that there's an imbalance, then we would try to straighten that out rather than sit in the training room until the guy comes in, and then OK, here's the problem, now we'll try to fix it. We try to get those things taken care of before they become a problem. So that's really the idea. The idea is for the wellness to be on the front end of as much of these things as we possibly can. So, guys that are involved in more contact, like a lineman, for example, there's certain things we do to train and I would say prepare them and try to keep them out of potential injuries and situations that we've identified. We try to stay in front of everything as much as we can. If something comes up, then we address the problem to try to get the player back to being a full participant. But, we try to stay ahead of those things so that they don't occur. I think a lot of the players feel good about that, that something that was maybe a little bit of an irritant - maybe it didn't keep them off the field, but it was something that they noticed - has now been addressed, hopefully eliminated or minimized and they're able to perform at a higher level and the issue hasn't reoccurred. So, that's our goal, but when you have a lot of new players on your team like we do, then that process of finding out what it is - again, doing the testing, seeing where the potential problems or imbalances may be - and I think our strength and training staff do a good job of that and try to address them, make the players aware of them so they're working on them and then, for the most part, we've been able to avoid things in that area. 

Q: How much does having your sons, Steve and Brian, officially on your coaching staff for the first make this camp unique and special?

A: Right. Well, I think Brian was here last year but was more on the scouting side of it. But, I mean, they've been at a lot of camps, maybe in an unofficial capacity. But, it's great. You know, obviously, it's great to be able to work with them on a daily basis, but at the same time, we have to operate as a staff. Because there's obviously a strong relationship there, but there also needs to be an equality amongst the staff for everybody. Sometimes it's a balance there, but it's great to have them here. It's great to work with them, and I love seeing them every day. 

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