PATRIOTS HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
August 9, 2021
BB: Alright so we finished up the week the last time we talked here. Had a situational day in the stadium, which is good, kind of get into the game process, substitutions, communication, a few situations, things like that. Then we got a couple training camp days here yesterday and today, and then start getting ready for Washington. A long way to go. Just taking it day by day. Trying to string some days together and improve from the day before, correct our mistakes and move on here. Be interested to see how things go in Washington, and I look forward to getting out there on the field.
On if having only three preseason games this year impacts the team's overall approach to the preseason:
BB: We'll just take it week by week here. Not sure where we'll be next week, but we'll see where we are this week. We have a pretty good idea. See what happens between now and Thursday. We'll do what's best for this game and then kind of go from there. The scrimmage just kind of adds into it, the joint practice days, they count for something. Not sure exactly what, but they count for something.
On if he is excited to face a less-familiar opponent on Thursday:
BB: Every day is a good opportunity for us. Try to make the most out of every day.
On visiting Canton, Ohio over the weekend for the Hall of Fame festivities:
BB: Always good to be in Canton. It's a great spot. A lot of history there. It's great to see the players. Unfortunately we lost a few here and last year and two years. Great to see the great players and coaches that were on hand. It was good. David Baker's done a tremendous job with the Hall and everything about it, the enshrinement. Of course it was bigger than ever with multiple classes that they had in there, so that made it pretty interesting too. Glad to be there for some of the people that I've competed against. Maybe we'll get one of ours in next year.
On if he thinks Matthew Slater should be selected to the Hall of Fame once he retires given that special teams players do not usually make it:
BB: Compares to who? There aren't many like him in there. He would be setting that bar if that were to happen. It's not something I have any control over. I don't have a vote.
On if he is surprised that more Patriots players from his previous championship teams have not been selected to the Hall of Fame:
BB: Again, that's all out of my control. I'm not really even that familiar with the process.
On Quinn Nordin's performance so far in training camp:
BB: Quinn's improved. He's still got a long way to go, but he's improved. It's a good opportunity for him to kick inside. Of course it's ideal conditions. Can't get it really much better than that. No wind, turf. We'll keep challenging him in different situations and see how he responds just like everybody else. No rush.
On the team's situation at the long snapper position:
BB: We had another player in in the spring too, so with only one snapper in camp we needed to make sure we know what our depth potentially could be there.
On the mixed weather coming up:
BB: Whatever it is, it is. Can't control that. Whatever we get, we get.
On why the team wanted to re-sign Carl Davis in the offseason and his performance so far in training camp:
BB: Well it was good to have Carl on the team last year. Unfortunately he didn't get to play a lot. I think he fits into our defensive system here. He's had a good camp. Glad we have him. See how it goes. Training camp's really a lot about consistency and being able to sustain it for all of us. He's doing fine.
On if he saw Peyton Manning's Hall of Fame speech:
BB: No. I missed it. We had practice yesterday.
On how the team decides who to bring in for workouts and visits:
BB: If the player doesn't have much playing experience, then it would have to be kind of a special situation if you will. Steve Neal. Not saying it's Steve Neal, but the Steve Neal's of the world. There's not very many of those, but they pop up from time to time.
On if the team brought back LS Wes Farnsworth:
BB: We did.
On Devin Asiasi's health and recovery after just coming off the COVID-19 reserve list:
BB: We've had a few players in that category. They're all as you said a little bit different, and this is not an injury, but an injury that we're not really familiar with and as you said, everyone's a little bit different, so we'll just treat him that way. He's out here participating. We'll monitor his progress and just kind of take it not even day by day, I would say monitor it as he goes through practice how he's doing until we're sure he's ready to go out and be a full participant, but I would say we're not quite there yet. I don't know how that's going to go. As I said, we've dealt with that with a few other players and some have reacclimated quicker than others, but again, we just have to stay on top of it and monitor and communicate with them on how they're doing, how the physical exertion and output in practice affects him.
On who monitors the players recovering from COVID-19:
BB: Well it's really the medical staff, but the position coaches would be aware of it at their position and again, just make sure that the players are in a safe working situation. Obviously if he noticed something, he would call the trainer over, but the trainers kind of monitor it too. As I said, we've dealt with a few of these. Just don't know how it's going to go. Just have to keep an eye on it, but we wouldn't put them out here if they hadn't passed all the tests that have cleared them, but clearing a person and having them play football is two different things.
On the team's process of deciding who to bring in for workouts and visits:
BB: Well our personnel department just goes through I don't even know. I can't even tell you how many like YouTube-type tapes we get. People send us DVRs or DVDs or whatever they are, and you know, stuff like that, recommendations from various people. There are other free agent camps that are scattered throughout the country from time to time in addition to all the normal football environments; Canada, college, the other professional leagues, indoor leagues and so forth. Just kind of keep our eye on all that.
On the importance of veterans taking younger players under their wing:
BB: We're all here to help each other. We've all been helped along the way by somebody, so I think everybody has that same attitude because we've all got it from somebody somewhere along the line, and there's somebody behind us that will get it from some of us.
On if he witnessed veterans helping out the younger players back when he was an assistant coach:
BB: Generally speaking I would say that was the case. There were a couple isolated examples that would fall into the other category for sure, but not too many.