HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
JUNE 7, 2022
BB: So, first of all, sorry to see what happened with Bruce (Cassidy) yesterday. Really enjoyed my relationship with him and I'll always support the Bruins but, he was a good friend, and somebody I had a really good relationship with. Took the team to the playoffs and got pretty close to the finals and all that. I understand what the business is, but I'll miss him.
A big congratulations to Romeo (Crennel) on his great career, saw the retirement yesterday and certainly he had a great influence here and many other places where I worked with him. Contributions to the National Football League in so many ways and he mentored so many other young coaches not to mention hundreds and hundreds of players, just really a first-class guy. In his two stints here, he achieved a lot of success. Certainly we, and I personally, owe a huge debt of gratitude to Romeo for what he did for me, what he did for our football team, and the success that we had with him here, but also on a personal level – with the Giants.
So, moving on here, veteran minicamp. Good to basically have everybody here. We have a couple guys that have excused absences, other situations, but I'm looking forward to getting everybody out there and getting going. It's a longer day for us, another part of our process of going from phase one, to phase two to phase three, OTAs, to now a minicamp, a full schedule here, three days in a row, so that'll start to get us ready for the type of schedule and day that we'll have in training camp. That's really our goal now is to prepare the team for training camp and then continue for them to prepare, in the time before training camp. Then we'll get off to a good start in July and August when we come back again. We've strung some days together here, need to have another good week, just keep grinding and moving along. One step at a time. Still have a lot of work to do but, we're making progress, headed in the right direction, so that's good.
Q: Bill, would anyone that we don't see out there be considered an excused absence? Are there any unexcused?
BB: No. Talked to the players that aren't there. No issues.
Q: Some of the offensive players have noted that the terminology is a bit different under Joe and some of the coaches than it was with Josh. What went into changing some of the offensive terminology this offseason?
BB: Well, we've had a lot of changes offensively in the last couple of years. Good time to streamline things – we did that defensively a couple years ago, feel like this is a good time to do it offensively. So, there's an element of that every year.
Q: When you say streamlined, does that just mean the language?
BB: Sure, that's part of it.
Q: And is that for players' benefit or coaches or for both?
BB: Well, anybody that's been here for 20-something years understands the process, and what words mean certain things, and what refers to certain situations and all that. Somebody that's coming in here that's only been here a couple weeks wouldn't have any way of correlating all those things, so I think there's other ways to sequentially teach them, as an example. So yeah, absolutely. We do that normally every year. But it's been more on offensive this year, probably more on defense a couple years ago.
Q: Is that couple years ago on defense in 2019?
BB: 19 and 20, yeah.
Q: Bill, what is Mac's role in collaboration of the direction of the offense, things he likes, things he doesn't like. I understand he's a 23-year-old, and he's a player, not a coach, but what role will he have in helping to shape things?
BB: We'll do everything we can really, to make it as good for him as we can – he's our quarterback. Lot of components to that, I don't know.
Q: I remember a video of you and Tom when you sat down with him to do 'Football Life' and he's sitting there saying 'I like this, I like that,' and you were just breaking it down on a Tuesday with him, as you did each week, so his input, I would think – Mac's – would be valuable, he's here for a few more years, at least.
BB: That's the way it would be with every quarterback. That's what it was with Mac, that's what it was with Jimmy [Garoppolo], that's what it was with Jacoby [Brissett] when he played for a game. That's the way it was with Mac last year, that's the way it was with Cam [Newton]. That's the way it'll be with any quarterback.
Q: Same as it will be with defense with the middle linebacker or whoever?
BB: It's a little bit different on defense.
Q: Bill, you wouldn't call it a new system, would you? Or would you say this streamlining process you're going through — is it a new system on offense? How big are the changes that you're making?
BB: I don't know. We make changes every year. I wouldn't be able to rank them.
Q: Some of the rookies from last year who weren't able to be on the field in games – Perkins, McGrone, Bledsoe – have you seen the type of progression and improvement from them over these last couple of weeks that you hoped for?
BB: Yeah, we've seen progression from everybody. Again, just trying to get ready for training camp and we'll see what happens when we get to training camp. That's when the real evaluation will start, but yeah, all the guys that have been here are bigger, faster, stronger, understand our system better, understand the NFL, schemes, what's going on on the other side of the ball better. The integration between defense or offense and special teams, training routines and so forth. That's all better. But, we'll see what happens when we get to training camp and the competition starts.
Q: Bill, are there any new additions to the roster, for minicamp? I think I see a new kicker out there?
BB: No. I mean, we'll have some tryout players here, but there's no additions to the roster, no.
Q: Are we going to see you guys run an entire new offense, sets of plays we've never seen before, or is it just the plays that you've had, and the schemes that you've had, just, maybe behind the scenes you guys are talking about those in different ways? Is that closer to the bone in terms of some of the changes that you've made?
BB: I don't know.
Q: It's early for that?
BB: Yeah, I mean, if you're asking if we're going run the Veer offense, no. Not really sure what we're talking about here.
Q: What impact has Devante Parker made on the other receivers in the receiving room? I mean obviously he's been in the league for seven years
BB: Yeah, I think most of the new players are pretty much all in the same boat. They have experience in the league, but they don't have experience with the Patriots. The guys who have experience with the Patriots are ahead of the players that have experience with the league, just because they've been here longer and have more familiarity with what we're doing. That's not taking anything away from anybody, but I'd say most guys that come in here have a full plate trying to adjust to what we do, how we do it, in a lot of different ways, not just x's and o's but again, training terminology, the process, time management, et cetera. So, they've all adapted well, but I would say they're all adapting – it's usually different for all of them and they're figuring it out.
Q: Career racquetball record against Romeo?
BB: Pretty close.
Q: How many matches?
BB: Quite a few. It's got to be up there in the triple figures. Same with Bill Parcells. Played a lot of racquetball.
Q: Bill, what's the goal over the next three days here? What constitutes a successful minicamp?
BB: Well, each player has his own individual personal things to try to work on. We'll see the team come together, we'll get through some situations that we didn't cover the first two weeks, and hopefully we'll be able to move along to the next group of situations when we get to the start of training camp. But that will be a day-by-day evaluation. We'll see how it goes. We'll see how things go today. There may be some things we want to hold back on, there may be some things we want to push ahead on. We'll take a look and see how things go today and do the same thing tomorrow. It's really kind of the same process every day - if we're not ready to move ahead, then there's no point in moving ahead. If we're moving a little faster than we thought, then maybe we can add a little more than we thought we'd be able to add. We have a general outline, but that's modified really on a daily basis.
Q: From that general outline, is it fair to say most of the offense and defense will be installed over the next few days?
BB: I mean a good part of it, certainly not all of it, by any stretch. Fundamentals are fundamentals, so, if you have good fundamentals they transfer to other plays. If you have to go back and reteach fundamentals, then it's hard to execute plays no matter how many plays you have in or don't have in. Having a good fundamental base is a big part of installation. We work on the fundamentals to go with the installation, and then hopefully we go out there and can execute those plays and then move the process along. So, I don't even know what our full installation is going to be. It'll just depend on how things go and what we're able to do. There's no like, set 'all this is going to go in.' We'll see what we need. If we need it – there's things we know we're going to need, and then there's other things that as they come up, if we're ready for them we'll do them, if we're not, we won't.