The most up-to-date content on the planet
this just in
 RSS
WEEI » This Just In » Belichick: Pats 'turning over' WRs with picks
Sat, 04/27/2013 - 11:43pm  

Belichick: Pats 'turning over' WRs with picks

FOXBORO — Bill Belichick and the Patriots knew they had a big challenge in front of them when the draft began.

They wanted to overhaul their receiving corps with the losses of Wes Welker and likely Brandon Lloyd. Another weapon, Danny Woodhead is also gone.

Enter Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce, who were drafted on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Add in Danny Amendola and Mike Jenkins as well as Julian Edelman and reloading is exactly what the Patriots have done.

“We’ve done that at a lot of different positions,” Belichick said at the seventh and final round of the 2013 NFL draft on Saturday night. “We’ve turned over the tight end position, we’ve turned over the running back position, and we’ve turned over a number of the positions on the offensive line. Now we’re doing it at receiver. I think it’s a little bit of you have to figure it out as you go. You have a plan, you try to do it a certain way but as you get into it, you see how it’s going and what certain players are able to do or how quickly they’re able to adapt and what’s taking longer. You modify your teaching; sometimes you modify your scheme a little bit.

“Obviously, some of the things we do with Rob [Rob Gronkowski] and Aaron [Aaron Hernandez] are different than what we did with some of the other guys we had here. Some of the things we do now are a little different than what we did when we had Kevin Faulk. The team is always in transition to a degree. You have try to figure out where you want to go and how to try and get there. Usually you have to change things as you go along a little bit.

“I think that’s a balance you have to…when you put new stuff in, you have to usually take something out. You just can’t keep adding, adding, adding. At some point you have to trim the fat. It’s a balance, but at the same time you don’t want to take that experience and not take new plays or new adjustments or new things that you do and be able to utilize those skills, because a lot of the players can do it but you have to try to catch the younger guys up.”

Belichick also talked about the trade that sent Jeff Demps and a seventh round pick this year to Tampa Bay for power running back LeGarrette Blount, the versatility of linebacker Jamie Collins and his affinity for drafting Rutgers players, which continued Saturday with the seventh round pick of linebacker Steve Beauharnais.

One of the highlights of the day came at the beginning of Belichick’s press conference when he was greeted by Patriots beat writer Greg Bedard, a Rutgers graduate. Bedard celebrated the three Rutgers picks by wearing a No. 23 jersey from his days at the New Jersey school.

BB: It’s been kind of a long day here. It started off with Josh [Boyce] in the fourth round. Josh had a good career at TCU. Really top kid, strong, tough, fast. He’s had good production down there. We had him as a receiver there at the top of the round then we had quite a bit of time on our hands. During that time, we ended up working out the deal with Tampa for LeGarrette [Blount] and we’re excited to have him here. I think he’s a good football player. He’s had a lot of production. I think he got into a situation last year where they obviously went with [Doug] Martin, but I think this guy is a good football player, we’re happy to add him to our team. And then we took [Michael] Buchanan from Illinois. He’s had a good, productive career at Illinois. He’s played with a lot of good pass rushers up there.

He’s had production every year in a good conference, a steady player. And finally of course, Steve Beauharnais, who’s been a middle linebacker at Rutgers – another real productive guy, a real smart, football guy. We’re battling away on the free agents – a lot of those guys out there. Of course it’s kind of fast and furious with the post-draft signings, with all 32 teams trying to go after a lot of the same guys. We’ll see how that plays out, but we’re slugging it out there. Hopefully by Monday we’ll be able to get back to normal, get them in here next weekend and start rolling in rookie minicamp and have a good month, month and a half of catching everybody up and start putting the team together on the field. Instead of just a bunch of names on the board, we’ll actually see how it looks out there on the football field doing football. [I’m ] looking forward to that too.

Q: In the NFL Network interview, you talked about a re-do at the wide receiver position, with the two guys you drafted and Danny Amendola coming in. How rare is a potential wholesale change?

BB: I don’t know, but look at the guys who have caught balls at that position and we don’t have a lot of them on our team. [Julian] Edelman and then a couple balls here and there, so we’ll see how it all comes together. I don’t know.

Q: Is there any part of it that’s invigorating for the coaching staff to get with a new group and try to get them up to where you want?

BB: Yeah, sure. Every year is exciting; every year is challenging. We’ve gone through that with other positions on our team. We did that with the tight end position a couple years ago. We did it at the running back position when that turned over. Certainly, almost the entire defense has turned over, other than Vince [Wilfork]. The specialists all turned over; other than Steve [Gostkowski], they all turned over a couple years ago. It’s part of football. Q: What is the thread among all three Rutgers players? Is it the school and the program and the coaching that you know of and you’re familiar with, or is it not pieced together? Are there individual reasons that tie together somehow?

BB: I think certainly it’s coincidental to a degree. But I just would say that the players – I mean, I’ve known Coach [Greg] Schiano for quite a while. I’d say the players he recruits and the program he runs is in a lot of ways similar to what we do. So the fact that he’s recruited those kids four to five years ahead of when they come into this league and they’ve been in a program that’s, in a lot of ways, probably similar to ours, then it’s probably not that surprising that we would like some of the kids he’s produced, both talent-wise and total makeup. I would say certainly with this group, these three guys, they’re all very bright. Football is important to them. They’ve all been productive. They’re unselfish players. They work hard for the team. They do a lot of little things in the game like communication and special teams and all those types of things. So there’s a common thread: they’re football guys that work hard at it, that have had good careers there and that continue to get better because it’s important to them. And they’re smart, instinctive players.

Q: How much of a head start in your system does it give those three players?

BB: I don’t know. We’ll have to get them in our system and let them start playing and learning and get some reps out there and see how it goes. I don’t know. I’m going to coach them all the same, give them all the same opportunity, and evaluate what they do. I can’t make any predictions or projections on anybody.

Q: Did Josh Boyce do something at the combine that maybe helped his cause?

BB: Well, for everybody it’s their whole mosaic. It’s a big jigsaw puzzle; it’s a lot of pieces that go together. I don’t think there’s any one thing. Josh has been a productive player. I think our grades were consistently, on all the scouts that saw him, pretty consistent. So I don’t think we saw him a lot differently from one scout to another, from one year to another or from one part of a year to another or at the combine or at the training camp or during the season or all those things. He’s been pretty consistent all the way through, more so than other guys we could use as examples. He had a strong combine but he’s been a good player in a good conference. He’s been productive. I think he does a lot of things well.

Q: Is it common to get a lot of consistency from all your scouts on one player?

BB: I would think it depends on the player. If the player’s consistent, I think it’s common. If the guy is, for whatever reason not, then you see a lot of fluctuation. Sometimes that could be scheme changes or injuries or something that’s nagging him. It could be a guy who gains experience and does better. It could be a guy who maybe is a senior or whatever the circumstances are, slumps a little bit or his production slows down. Especially at the receiver position, we know a lot of that is a function of the quarterback. Sometimes that looks like it’s reflected in the receiver but a lot of times there are other things going on or a change in offensive scheme and things like that. They’re all different. I think we have plenty of guys that are consistent and then there are other guys who some things are better than others. Some are strong at one thing, not so strong at another. It’s harder for a scout to evaluate that. Do you evaluate the good things? How much do you take down the down things? Can you straighten out the things that aren’t good or are the things that are good more circumstantial? Are they going to be able to translate to the next level? Are his strong points going to outweigh his weak points? Are weak points going to outweigh his strong points? You get all types.

Q: Is there any advantage to having a football player or athlete that has excelled at another sport?

BB: I don’t know.

Q: Do you like athletes who played other sports and succeeded?

BB: Some do, plenty don’t. It’s part of the whole puzzle. It’s one piece. Maybe it shows their versatility or their competitiveness or something. We’ve had guys that have done that. Steve Gostkowski was like that. Lawyer [Milloy] was like that. They end up in one sport or another but I don’t know. Wrestling – Steve Neal. Some of those guys have. I could probably name just as many guys that have and didn’t do well, so I don’t know. Certainly I think depending on the sport you can see the strengths in that area. [Jeff] Demps was fast, Neal had good balance. [Tom] Brady’s throwing mechanics are pretty good so maybe there is a correlation in a particular skill from one sport.

Q: Who is going to work most closely with the new receivers?

BB: It will probably depend on what we happen to be emphasizing. Chad [O’Shea] of course. There will be other guys involved with them. When they’re involved in the kicking game, it will be Scott [O’Brien] and Joe [Judge].

Q: Brian Daboll maybe a little bit?

BB: Sure, we didn’t bring him here to tape ankles. He’s going to be involved with different guys. Josh [McDaniels] will be involved with the players and I’m sure I’ll be involved with them to some degree.

Q: Where do you see Jamie Collins? Do you see him initially as an edge player or do you see him at linebacker?

BB: That’s a good question. I have my own personal opinion on that. We’ll try him at different things and see how it all comes together. I think if he’s versatile and I’ll use Rob [Ninkovich] as an example – I think that’s a good one. If he can do multiple things and do them at a high level, maybe he’ll go where he’s needed or maybe he’ll go where he’s best. I don’t know. A lot of times that happens on the offensive line. You have your five best players out there. Maybe one guy would be better at another position, but to get the best five out there, a guy has to play maybe his second best position. It may happen with Jamie, it may not. I’m not sure. It’s similar to what we did with [Dont’a] Hightower last year. There are a lot of things he did, what he ended up doing and with Ninkovich for that matter. What Rob did one year and what he did another year and what he might do from game to game, it could be a little bit different. Maybe that’s their role and maybe it isn’t. Maybe they’ll do a little bit more of one thing. We’ll just have to let that play out.

Q: On the trade for LeGarrette Blount, were you looking for a bigger, power back or were you just trying to add another running back?

BB: I think we felt like we had an opportunity to get a good player at a price we thought was fair, good value for what we gave up and so that’s why we did it. Our job is to acquire good football players – that’s what we’re in the business of. When you can get a good football player and the price is right – if we can afford the price, depending on what it is, whether that’s financial or compensation, depending on what the trade terms are. It’s all tied in together. If it’s a good player at the right price and it’s affordable then you have to consider it. Sometimes they work out, sometimes they don’t but in this case it did.

Q: Was [Blount] primarily short yardage and goal line last year with Tampa Bay?

BB: No, I would just say [Doug] Martin really became their guy. When he played, I wouldn’t say he was limited in that role. Certainly his first two years he wasn’t.

Q: Steve Beauharnais is the same size as Tracy White. Do you see any of him in Beauharnais?

BB: No. Well, yes, but no, not really. I see them as different players.

Q: On Demps, was track the reason it just didn’t work out?

BB: We just felt the overall trade was good for our football team. Any time you get something, you have to give up something – or most of the time. You usually don’t get something for nothing. We gave up something and we got something. We feel good about what we got. I’m sure Tampa feels good about what they got so that’s why it was done.

Q: What’s the feeling now that the draft is over?

BB: It’s still grinding away. We’re working through the free agent process, guys after the draft. I think that’s been an important part of our team through the years. Once again, last year we had several players either make our team or make our practice squad or in a couple cases, some combination of both. Maybe they were on one or the other for part of the year, but other guys came in that weren’t drafted and contributed to our team, like [Marcus] Forston, like [Brandon] Bolden, Justin Francis and other guys like that in the past – the Brian Hoyers and the Mike Wrights, you can go right on down the list. So that’s still an important time in the team building process. We’re grinding away at that. I’m sure there will be a lot of player movement in the next week or so. Players that are getting released after the draft after teams have filled their needs or acquired people or whatever happens. Then it’s going into phase two of our offseason program with players that are here, which means we can start working with players on the field, which we haven’t been able to do. That will be part of it. Rookie mini-camp at the end of the week, that will be indoctrination for those guys and then Monday, May 13, that’s when we’ll be able to bring the rookies in and let them get involved in everything. We’ll go into that and OTAs and get ready for training camp. It’s a day-by-day process. Hopefully we can take each one of the days going forward and make our team better, whether it’s on the field with our current players, whether it’s some kind of player movement, acquisition, transition, to get our team in a competitive situation for training camp. Once it’s integrating the whole team on the field during the OTAs, then it’s doing that. All those steps that lead up to that are important. The further along our team is now, the further along that rookies are when they come in, the better quality we’ll have in our OTA practices. The better quality we have in our OTA practices, the more ready we’ll be for training camp.

Q: Is there something about the wide receiver position specifically that makes it a greater challenge for new players to catch up to players who have been here?

BB: I would say that a lot of players that have come here, however they’ve come here, have usually commented on the amount or the learning or the adjustments, something, the pace. I’m not coaching any other team in the league so I don’t know what the other 31 teams do, but I would say that a lot of the players who come here feel challenged at that position based on…look, we’ve had an offense that’s been in place for 13, 14 years now. It evolves a bit every year, maybe gets modified a little bit, but it’s grown. It’s certainly – it has a lot more breadth to it than it did in 2000, 2001, 2002. That means a new guy coming in has to learn – to a degree – 12, 13 years of stuff instead of a guy that’s coming in and learning the system from scratch with a new coach and that type of thing. It probably is a lot. I think that’s challenging. The move from college football to pro football is a pretty big jump in terms of protections, coverages, blitzes and all those kind of things. You watch a lot of college film, sometimes you only see one or two coverages. You don’t see that in this league.




Audio On Demand

Phil Perry, CSNNE on the …

Phil Perry, CSNNE on the Patriots and NFL free agency

Pete talks with The Senator, Phil Perry about the Patriots trading for Dwayne Allen, ruling out a return to New England for Martellus Bennett. They also talk about the potential future of Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo and some of the big names in NFL free agency

NFL SUNDAY...the final segment of the year -- 2-5-17

Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.

Gabe Morency, Sports Rage TV and FNTSY Sports Net, joins NFL SUNDAY to go over the various props for Super Bowl 51 -- 2-5-17

Gabe calls the boys to handicap one of the biggest gambling days of the year - Super Bowl 51! Gabe has all the point spread info down and gets to all of the major prop bets that interest him.

Kirk and Callahan- Will I…

Kirk and Callahan- Will Isaiah Thomas win a title in Boston? 3-7-17

Kirk, Gerry, and Alex Reimer discuss whether or not Isaiah Thomas will win a title in Boston.

Kirk and Callahan- Celtics lose after Thomas mishandles the ball 3-6-17

Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.

Danny Picard gives his thoughts on the Celtics, the incredible season Isaiah Thomas is having and potential trade opportunities for Boston -- 2-19-17

The NBA trade rumor mill is beginning to swirl as the deadline approaches and Picard is ready to go! He talks about the possibility of Jimmy Butler coming to Boston, why Isaiah Thomas is not getting enough respect and the future of the Celtics.

Bradfo Sho, Ep. 18: Tom C…

Bradfo Sho, Ep. 18: Tom Caron

Rob Bradford is joined by Tom Caron, the man responsible for guiding the ship when it comes to Red Sox pregame and postgame shows, along with various other important duties with the New England Sports Network, including offering the play-by-play for both TV and radio throughout spring training. Tom and Rob discuss a variety of topics, such as nickname conundrums, radio vs. television, criticizing the team, behind-the-scenes for the broadcasts and where the industry is going.

Bradfo Sho, Ep. 17: The curious case of Carlos Quentin

Rob Bradford is joined by two-time All-Star outfielder Carlos Quentin, who is attempting a comeback with the Red Sox this spring. Quentin's path back to baseball involves almost quitting the game less than a year ago, losing 40 pounds and trying to sell himself to general managers all over Major League Baseball. Quentin explains his journey, which has led him to the back fields at JetBlue Park.

Bradfo Sho, Ep. 16: Clay Buchholz

Rob Bradford catches up with Clay Buchholz to discuss the former Red Sox pitcher's new lot in life with the Phillies, while reflecting on his up and down tenure in Boston. Philadelphia general manager Matt Klentak also joins the podcast to discuss his team's pursuit of Buchholz.

The 1972 Bruins

Highlights

Saturday Skate - Bruins and the All-Star break

Guys talk the Bruins season so far and the All-Star Break

Saturday Skate - Firing Claude

Guys discuss if or when the Bruins will fire Coach Julian

K&C- Gerry thinks the tra…

K&C- Gerry thinks the travel ban is the beginning to the solution; Signing Kaepernick isn’t worth it; Reimer has a lead on Trenni in the Casting Couch Cat Fight 3-23-17

Hour 4. Gerry says the solution starts with the current travel ban. Tomase says even he wouldn’t sign Kaepernick to be a backup QB. Reimer is beating Trenni in the NCAA-hole match-up.

K&C- What should we do to stop terrorist attacks?; Mut is trying to copy K&C with his bracket; A tickle-fest featuring Goodell with Mike and Mike 3-23-17

Hour 3. Trenni, Tomase, and Gerry continue their conversation on immigration and Islam. Gerry thinks Mut is copying their idea with his bracket. Mike and Mike tickled Goodell during their interview.

K&C- Trenni and Tomase vs. Gerry on immigration and Islam; Headlines with Trenni; Gerry says President Trump has softened on his “total and complete ban” 3-23-17

Hour 2. Trenni and Tomase think we need to stop the anti-Muslim rhetoric. Gerry says we need to keep people from dangerous countries out. Headlines with Trenni features Rachel Maddow on The View. Gerry thinks President Trump has softened on immigration compared to candidate Trump.

OMF - LaVar Ball thinks h…

OMF - LaVar Ball thinks he has NBA teams worried, 3-22-17

HOUR 4 - The guys get into more talk about the negative ramifications of LaVar Ball's antics, and whether NBA teams will be hesitant to draft Lonzo, LaMelo, and LiAngelo. Also, the argue whether or not trading Isaiah Thomas is an option.

OMF - The NFL is cracking down on touchdown celebrations, again, 3-22-17

The No Fun League will be posting a "Do's and Don'ts" video to help NFL players prevent themselves from getting flagged for excessive penalties. Another Cleveland journalists says the Browns will make a run at Jimmy G next week at the NFL owners meetings. LeBron James fires back at LaVar Ball.

OMF - ESPN thinks Colin Kaepernick is getting blackballed, 3-22-17

HOUR 2 - The ESPN talking heads think that Colin Kaepernick is getting blackballed. The guys talk about the type of team that he COULD thrive on. Jason Whitlock compares Kaep to a former Patriot QB.

UNH and SI's Michael McCa…

UNH and SI's Michael McCann with some insight on the Hernandez trial, Bart Hubbuch and Brady's jersey

With so much legal stuff swirling around New England sports right now, Dale, Michael and Rich spoke to Michael McCann, law professor at UNH to get his insight to it all.

Bruins on dangerous ground to repeat the last two seasons and miss the postseason

Dale, Holley and Keefe discuss the Bruins on the heels of a bad loss at home to the Senators.

Claiming the Patriots knew Aaron Hernandez was a murderer is this week's hot sportz take

So the Patriots knew all along that Aaron Hernandez was murdering people and still gave him a contract extension? That's what some folks would like you to believe. Dale, Michael and RIch Keefe delve in to the Hernandez talk to dissect what's real from what's BS

Ep. 56: Howie Carr

Ep. 56: Howie Carr

Kirk Minihane, future radio hall of famer, sits down with current radio hall of famer Howie Carr. Kirk and Howie talk about Howie's latest book Kennedy Babylon. If you like famous people engaging in sex scandals, hard drug taking, and murder this is the podcast for you. Its a fascinating look at Boston's most famous family and the problems that took the family down.

Ep. 55: Kirk has a proposal for Callahan and the Producers

Kirk Minihane, host and overlord of the morning show, brings Gerry Callahan and producers Chris and Ken into the studio to hear his show proposal. Kirk is thinking about making some changes to the morning show and wants to hear his crew's opinion.

Ep. 54: Richard Deitsch

SI's Richard Deitsch returns to the podcast to talk with Kirk about the K&C casting couch, how ESPN wimps out when they are called out for slander, what's going on with Bill Simmons, and the rise of podcasting.

Enough About Me - Ep. 56:…

Enough About Me - Ep. 56: Howie Carr

Kirk Minihane, future radio hall of famer, sits down with current radio hall of famer Howie Carr. Kirk and Howie talk about Howie's latest book Kennedy Babylon. If you like famous people engaging in sex scandals, hard drug taking, and murder this is the podcast for you. Its a fascinating look at Boston's most famous family and the problems that took the family down.

#DORK 6: Quentin Tarantino Movies

Rich Keefe & Ryan Davey rank the Quentin Tarantino movies and discuss how they all connect in the Tarantino-verse. Plus "This Week in #DORK," "Davey's Video Game Minute," "Pick of the Podcast," and "Black Panther Reads iTunes Reviews."

The Real K&C – Potted plants & indefatigable pull carts 3-22-17

Ken Laird & Chris Curtis recap a Wednesday K&C with John Tomase back in for the first time in several months to discuss Boston’s reputation of race among other items.

K&C- Kirk is done with Co…

K&C- Kirk is done with Comcast; Gerry is in a bad mood; Carrabis takes down Pete Abraham 3-21-17

Hour 1. Alex Reimer joins Gerry and Kirk the morning after Kirk’s epic Early Edition. Kirk gave quite a performance on Comcast and says he’s officially done with TV. Gerry is in a bad mood because of the A-hole tournament. Jared Carrabis took down Pete Abraham in a blog on Barstool.

More from this show

K&C- Kirk says goodbye to…

K&C- Kirk says goodbye to Early Edition and Comcast 3-21-17

Hour 4. Kirk said goodbye to Comcast on Monday night. It was great television.

More from this show

K&C - How did Aaron Herna…

K&C - How did Aaron Hernandez get away with murder for so long?; Headlines with Kirk; Tomase says Kirk and Gerry are racist 3-22-17

Hour 2. Kirk, Gerry, and Tomase discuss the ongoing Hernandez trial. Headlines features Ellen’s finger injury. Tomase says that getting mad at Bomani Jones for calling Boston racist means you’re racist.

More from this show

K&C- Pete Abraham’s hor…

K&C- Pete Abraham’s horrible explanation on Brand X; Is the national anthem just a song? 3-21-17

Hour 3. Pete Abraham tried to defend himself on Brand X. Pete’s explanation for calling “Brad T” the grand wizard was embarrassing. Gerry, Kirk, and Alex argue about Kaepernick and whether or not the national anthem is important.

More from this show

K&C- The FBI and NFL foun…

K&C- The FBI and NFL found Brady’s jersey; Headlines with Kirk; Ken Laird is nervous the Bruins won’t make the playoffs 3-21-17

Hour 2. Brady’s jersey was found in Mexico. In Headlines, Gerry is angry at Chelsea Handler for a tweet. Ken Laird says he’s worried the Bruins won’t make the playoffs.

More from this show

News & Analysis