FOXBORO — Bill Belichick opened his press conference recapping the Patriots’ second day of the 2014 draft by making a joke about curfews and blowing past them.
But in taking Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round — with the 62nd pick overall — Friday night, the Patriots are trying to make sure they don’t allow Tom Brady to play past his prime in New England.
Brady will be 37 next season and is signed through 2017. Ryan Mallett is a free agent after this season and, according to various media reports, could be dealt to the Texans before training camp even opens.
So, not wanting to be caught short, the Patriots drafted the strong-arm QB with a quick release with the hope that he can learn from his idol, Bardy, and maybe even supplant him toward the end of Brady’s run in New England.
“We know what Ryan’s contract situation is,” Belichick said. “We know what Tom’s age and contract situation is. I don’t think you want to have one quarterback on your team. I don’t think that’s responsible to the entire team or the organization.”
Did Belichick talk with Brady about the pick?
“I talk to Tom on a regular basis,” Belichick said.
Belichick did not specify whether he drafted Garoppolo as a potential backup this season or the quarterback of the future in Foxboro but did hint that Garoppolo would certainly have to learn a lot quickly to be game-ready.
“I don’t think any rookie player is ready to come in and play in the National Football League at any position, certainly quarterback is in that,” Belichick said. “Every player that comes into this league has a lot to learn, a lot to improve on and has to learn a new system and all the things that we see at this level. It’s the same game, but it’s a different game. They all have a lot to learn. We try to teach it to them the best we can.
“My crystal ball isn’t any clearer than yours [in the media] is, so I don’t know what going to happen this year. We’ll see when they get on the field, we’ll see what they can produce and contribute. That will be up to them and the people they’re competing against. I can’t control that.”
Here is the complete Belichick late-night press conference, conducted just before 11:30 Friday night:
BB: Late night tonight, past curfew. So let’s see, second round: so we took Jimmy Garoppolo. We spent a little time with him this spring. He’s got a lot of qualities that we admire in a quarterback. He’s been a very productive player ‘ little different level of competition, but hopefully he can make that adjustment. With the situation we have at quarterback, I think that we felt as an organization that we needed to address that to some degree in the future, so we’ll see how all that works out but I think you’re better off being early than late at that position. In the third round, we felt that the trade we made with Jacksonville ‘ we’ve been able to pick some players that have been productive for us on the third day of the draft. Hopefully that will be the case tomorrow, however those get utilized, whether we pick them there or use them to position for players that are sliding ‘ that are on the board so that we can slide our picks one way or another. We’ll see how that goes, but hopefully we’ll be able to be productive with those picks and continue to improve our team this weekend. I feel like the two players we’ve added are good people that fit in well in our system. Hopefully they will be able to be productive for us.
Q: On thing Jimmy talked to us about was his work ethic. What do you know about it at Eastern Illinois and how big of a factor was that in evaluating him?
BB: I mean, I think he’s worked hard. He’s a hard worker in the weight room, prepares well. Seems like he had a real good grasp of what they were doing and could explain it very thoroughly and the adjustments they had to make and so forth. I’m sure he’s on top of it, but this is a whole different level than that, with all due respect to the program he was from. I’m not trying to minimize that, but it’s a little bit different level.
Q: Do you view that situation as similar to 2011 when you drafted Ryan Mallett in the third round and had Brian Hoyer here and you gave him a year to learn before he maybe bumps the next year if that’s how it unfolds?
BB: It could. I don’t know. It could. I don’t have any control over how anything is going to unfurl. We put the players out there and they compete and we evaluate them. I can’t control that.
Q: I was asking more about having three quarterbacks.
BB: We’ll do whatever is best for the team. We’ve had four, we’ve had three, we’ve had two. So whatever’s best for the team, that’s what we’ll do. Nothing is set in stone. We’ve had different numbers of guys at different positions. I don’t think there’s any concrete formula. We’ll do what’s best for the team.
Q: Do you envision Ryan Mallett being here as part of the competition?
BB: He is.
Q: Today, but in the summer? You turn on the TV and the league that is broadcasting the draft is talking about ‘
BB: Well go talk to them. If they’ve got all the answers, go talk to them. A lot of people have got all the answers, so go get the story from them.
Q: You mentioned that there are a lot of qualities that you like in Jimmy. Can you give us an idea of what those are and is the ability to throw the deep pass one of them?
BB: Well I’d just say in general without getting into any specifics or we’d be here all night the general qualities a quarterback needs to have are being able to manage the game, being able to do what the team needs to win, be accurate, be smart and be productive. I’d say he’s done those things.
Q: Was there one thing that perhaps separated him from the other quarterbacks you brought in?
BB: I don’t know. Each player has their own, everything that comes with that player, you can’t pick and choose ‘ take this guy, give it to that guy. Take that guy, give it to this guy. Whatever the guy is, he is. And that’s what you draft. You draft the total person. That’s what we do.
Q: You spoke of the level of competition. How significant were his performances in the All-Star games?
BB: I don’t think it hurt. I don’t think it was, I don’t think it hurt him. I don’t know how much it helped him, but I don’t think it hurt him, let’s put it that way. It’s certainly a better level of competition. The game plans are simple. The defense can’t play two coverages or whatever it is. It’s not like that’s some very difficult ‘ it’s not really what a quarterback does, but it’s a better level of competition and so forth. There’s some value to it, but it’s not a real game, if you will.
Q: How about the interaction that he has with an NFL staff? Is there anything you can glean from that?
BB: I’m sure when you coach those All-Star games, you’re able to spend a whole week and you can certainly learn a lot about all the players, their ability to process information, how important football is to them, how attentive they are, how much they’re really putting into it. If you ask them to change something form what they’ve been used to doing ‘ how adaptable are they? How set in their ways are they? How coachable are they? Those kinds of things. You certainly [can] gain all that when you don’t do it and you’re looking at it from the outside. I think it’s a lot harder to evaluate that. But I think it’s a big advantage when you coach those players over several days. You tell them something and go out on the field. Do they correct it? Can you move on? Does the pace slow down? Can they not correct it? Can they get it without really going over it on the field? Can you just tell it to them in the classroom and they make the adjustments? You learn things like that. You get a better feel for specifically what you’re asking them to do and how well they do it. When you’re watching don’t know exactly sure what they’re being told. You have to kind of think you know but you don’t know for sure. It’s always easier to evaluate the players you coach than somebody else’s players. Certainly the coaching there is a little bit different than what is in college and there’s an exposure to the pro staffs. But, the overall complexity to the game, that’s the bottom line. The complexity of the game is a lot different than when you’re competing, having game plans and that kind of thing, as opposed to an All-Star game, especially at that position.
Q: How big of a difference is there projecting a quarterback, who like you said have to process so much information, than it might be at another position?
BB: I think all the players coming into this league from college have a lot to learn ‘ some more than others. I don’t know exactly what he was told there anymore than what I know exactly what Dominique [Easley] was told at Florida. I have an idea, but we’ll just have to see what happens when they get here. That’s the way it is with all players. I don’t want to assume anything. We’ll give them all the information at the same rate and see how they learn it. Some guys may need a little more time. Some guys may need a little less time. In the end, they usually can get it one way or another if they work and it and put the time in and work at it. If they don’t, then they probably won’t learn it as well.
Q: Can you share where you had Jimmy ranked on your board among quarterbacks?
BB: Of course not. We don’t get into that.
Q: Every draft takes on a different feel. Do you see a big drop in players form the low 60s to the 100s?
BB: There’s depth at certain positions. There’s less depth at other positions. To tell you the truth, I’m just trying to focus on how we can make the most out of our opportunities, not trying to characterize or grade or evaluate an entire draft. I’m just trying to do what’s best for the Patriots. That’s my job. I’ll let you guys analyze the rest. I don’t know.
Q: In the trade with Jacksonville, were you guys trying to acquire more picks or was it just something that materialized at the last minute?
BB: No, it’s just what I said it was. I felt like the value that we moved back, 12 spots, and added a sixth round pick ‘ I felt the value of moving back for whichever player we pick tomorrow based on where we were that we could maintain the integrity of that value and add a pick so that’s why we did it.
Q: When you’re evaluating a player, what do you use to gauge his mental toughness? Or is that something you have to wait and see when you actually get him in here?
BB: We can’t wait to evaluate. We’re getting paid to try to figure that out, so we can’t really wait to do it. We can, but we go with the information that we have. I’d venture to say that every player we evaluated this year and in previous drafts, they’ve all been through challenging situations one way or another at some point in their life, whether on the field, off the field, injuries, unsuccessful seasons, playing time, whatever it happens to be. Other things that happen to them in life and their families and their personal lives and so forth. I think you can gauge to some degree how mature they are, how they’re able to deal with the problems that they’ve had. We’ve all had them. We all have to deal ‘ none of us lead the perfect life. Things have gone wrong. You have setbacks and how do you deal with it? How do you overcome it? You know there’s going to be some more and you try to evaluate their mental toughness or maturity or ability to deal with problems based on what you know about the player and what he’s done in the past and maybe you get some insight from coaches or other people that are involved with him. But then you try to put all that together and that’s part of the equation. It’s not the entire one but it’s part of it.
Q: In your interactions with Jimmy before the draft, what did you notice about his ability to process information?
BB: I think he’s a smart kid. I don’t think that’s an issue.
Q: There was a scouting report that came out today that was supposedly the Patriots’ report on Johnny Manziel. Was that actually a Patriots document?
BB: With all due respect, I hate to admit this but I don’t think I’ve been online in a couple days or weeks or whatever, so that’s not really an important thing to me. I don’t even know what’s online and what isn’t online. But I would say we probably have, I can’t even imagine, 10,000 pages of information. It’s a lot of information. There’s no way I can sit up here and tell you that I’ve read it all. I’ve read a fraction of it. But we have a ton of information on all the players that are in the draft. What’s online, you should go talk to the geniuses that are online. I don’t know. MyFace, YourFace, InstantFace. Go talk to whoever you want that does that stuff. I don’t know.
Q: Yesterday when you were speaking of Dominique Easley, you said the competition he faced in the SEC weighed heavily ‘
BB: I wouldn’t say that it weighed heavily. It is what it is. We can’t control it but there are a lot of NFL players that come out of that conference ‘ this year, last year, the year before and I’d venture to say next year. So you’re watching guys play against NFL players ‘ eventually. I wouldn’t say that’s a huge advantage or a huge disadvantage. I think it is a high level of competition and you can see him against other players that are, I would say, eventual NFL players. There are other conferences that you might have one guy off a team or you might have one or two guys. Like scouting Chris Jones last year. Not that we drafted him but we did a lot of work. Again, with all due respect, there just weren’t a lot of NFL players. There were a few but ‘ or Josh Kline or guys like that, they weren’t playing against a lot of other guys that are going to be or were in previous years coming into the NFL. That’s all I meant to say. I don’t think it’s a huge advantage. I just think you’re looking at a little bit different level of competition. But that doesn’t mean that players like [Khalil] Mack at Buffalo aren’t great players. It’s not their fault. They can just line up and play against the teams that are on the schedule, including Ohio State this year. But there just aren’t very many of those games at some of those programs.
Q: What about the competition level that Jimmy faced?
BB: Yeah, I would say his level of competition is less than, certainly, less than, obviously. He’s not playing at the level of competition in the SEC or that kind of thing. But again, that’s not his fault. He’s playing against the guys that are out there, like a lot of other players. I think it will be an adjustment for him. He’ll see guys that are a lot bigger, a lot faster, a lot more athletic than the guys he’s seen on the field the last couple years. The guys in the SEC are going to see that too. But the guys from other conferences, it’s just going to be a higher level of competition. It doesn’t mean they can’t adjust to it. A lot of times that competition brings out a better performance in those guys because it’s demanding. So, we’ll see.
We had an impromptu visit from Peter King from SI / MMQB to our Fenway Studios and decided to talk some NFL and Patriots with him.
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
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Dale, Holley and Rich Keefe discuss NBA lottery pick Lonzo Ball with his very outspoken father Lavar Ball. The guys touch on the Celtics, his feud with his sons' high school coach, Lonzo being better than Steph Curry and much more.
Kirk, Gerry, and Alex Reimer discuss whether or not Isaiah Thomas will win a title in Boston.
Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.
Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett talked to the Sox left fielder, who had five hits in the Sox win in Baltimore.
Rob Bradford is joined by both Lou Merloni and Curt Schilling to discuss the recent controversy involving Manny Machado, Dustin Pedroia, Matt Barnes and their respective teams. The two former major leagues offer insight to how baseball handles (and should handle) hitting batters as an act of revenge, with their own stories of involving similar situations as the one that unfolded in Baltimore. They also break down the decision to take Chris Sale out of his last start after eight innings. The former pitcher and batter cover it all from every angle.
Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts after he provided the big hit in the 10th inning driving in 3 runs as the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 4-1. Mookie talks about playing behind a pitcher like Chris Sale, and the amount of strikeouts from Sale lightens his work in the outfield.
Hour 4. The guys think the Globe was looking for more with Brady, possibly a Trump connection. Crazy Al joins the show multiple times.
Hour 3. Gerry and Mut defend Brady while Kirk thinks it’s a little suspicious. Callers weigh in on the Tome Brady piece. Climate marches are taking place across the country.
Hour 2. Gerry, Kirk, and Mut discuss the Celtics win against the Bulls and continue their conversation about Brady and Best Buddies. Headlines with Kirk features a new accusation against Sean Hannity.
Hour 3 - The guys talk about the rivalry that is building between the Sox and Orioles as Matt Barnes threw at Manny Machado's head. They also talk about Pedroia's actions during the game and his comments after the game.
Hour 2 - The guys talk about the Boston Globe article attacking Tom Brady and his charity work. Pete Abe's is an idiot saying his twitter account was hacked but in fact he is just an ass man.
Hour 1 - Glenn, Lou, and Christian react to the Bruins losing another overtime game and being knocked out of the playoffs by the Senators. They also talk about the Celtics and Bulls series and how the Celtics were able to win another game in Chicago.
Last two hours focused on our winter teams as they struggle in their first round match-ups.
Finish out the week on Freestyle Friday talking mostly about the Aaron Hernandez suicide and how it will affect his family in hour #2.
Hour One of freestyle Friday focused mostly on the Celtics and their matchup vs the now Rondo-less Bulls.
Kirk Minihane, Springsteen super fan, is joined by Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band. Kirk and Garry talk about what it's like on tour with Bruce, how the band goes about selecting songs for the tour, Garry's projects away from the band, and Garry's upcoming solo tour that will bring him to the New England area.
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.
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.
Keefe, Holley, and Ben talk about how the Celtics tied their series with the Bulls after a terrible start, why Gerald Green is starting and making an impact, and where is Jaylen Brown?
Christian Fauria and Dr Gill talk about the beginning of the Baseball season. Why players need as much time as they do to get ready for the season, and what they should be doing in their offseason.
Ken & Chris are back at the postgame recaps after a Monday K&C with Mut.
Danny talks about the Red Sox and Orioles game and the fireworks in the 8th inning when Matt Barnes threw at Manny Machado. Pedroia was shown talking to Machado saying he wouldn't have thrown at his head and Danny wants to know how bad does this make Pedroia look throwing a teammate under the bus.More from this show
Michele McPhee joins Kirk, Gerry, and Alex to talk about Hernandez’s suicide and the accusation that she may have contributed to his suicide.More from this show
Hour 1. Mut joins Kirk and Gerry. The guys can’t believe neither Boston newspaper covered the Hernandez sexuality story. Over the weekend, the Globe’s Bob Hohler wrote a slanted piece about Tom Brady’s work with charity.More from this show
Hour 4. While discussing what kind of music Aaron Hernandez may have liked, the guys realize they hate musicals. Robert Kennedy Jr. has voice spasms. The week ends with a tragedy.More from this show
Hour 4. The guys think the Globe was looking for more with Brady, possibly a Trump connection. Crazy Al joins the show multiple times.More from this show