Jabaal Sheard is one of players the Patriots signed via free agency recently. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Jabaal Sheard is one of players the Patriots signed via free agency recently. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Bill Belichick was in midseason form Tuesday morning speaking for the first time since the Super Bowl, talking for over 40 minutes without saying much at all at the AFC coaches breakfast at the NFL’s owners’ meetings in Arizona.

According to the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe, Belichick answered “I don’t know” 23 times, and said “We’ll see” another 23 times.

Before getting on the coach for his lack of expansion, he really was just being honest when it comes to the new players the team has signed recently with their roles because with it being late March and the season not starting for another roughly six months, even Belichick doesn’t know how things will shake out for them in the Patriots’ system, especially since he hasn’t coached any of these newcomers before.

For example, Jabaal Sheard. The Patriots signed the former Browns outside linebacker/defensive end as their biggest signing of free agency so far. Sheard recorded 8.5 and seven sacks in the league before a slight dip the past two years. Even with his production in Cleveland, Belichick truly doesn’t know how things will work out once he puts on a Patriots uniform.

“We’€™ll see how it goes. He’€™s been a productive player,” Belichick told reporters.

Will he be more of a defensive end or an outside linebacker?

“We’€™ll see how it goes,” said Belichick.

The same goes for veteran tight end Scott Chandler, who should serve as a nice complement to Rob Gronkowski, but like with Sheard, Belichick didn’t commit to anything.

“€œHe’€™s been a productive player. We certainly had a lot of trouble with him. We’€™ll see,” Belichick said.

When it comes to replacing Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner at cornerback, the Patriots have signed two veterans in Bradley Fletcher and Robert McClain. Given it was Belichick’s first time speaking following any of the offseason acquisitions, he was asked about Fletcher and McClain.

With how deep the Patriots are at corner, no job is safe, and Belichick certainly didn’t speak like either were even guaranteed a spot on the team.

“We’€™ll see how it goes,” said Belichick. “Competition, and see how the competition turns out. I don’€™t know.”

“There is competition at every position every year. It’€™s no different than any other year,” he added.

A reporter tried to get more in-depth on how Fletcher, the former Eagles corner, could fit in with the Patriots. Belichick continued to give the same answer, as he doesn’t really know what he is going to get from Fletcher since he hasn’t coached him yet, nor has be been in the Patriots’ system.

“We’€™ll see. He hasn’€™t played in our system, so we’€™ll see how it goes. I don’€™t know,” said Belichick.

How has he been used before?

“I don’€™t know,” Belichick said. “We haven’€™t had him in our system. We’€™ll see how it goes.”

The Patriots lost running back Shane Vereen to the Giants via free agency. When asked how the team would try and fill his void, Belichick once again stressed competition.

“I don’€™t know. We’€™ll see how it goes,” Belichick said. “We have a number of players at that position. We’€™ll let them compete and see how it turns out.”

While some would like to get more from the coach, he’s never been a guy to fill reporters’ notebooks with loads of information. He only speaks in absolute truths and with it being March 24, nothing is set-and-stone yet, especially when it comes to new players on the roster.

There’s still a ways to go until the season-opener and Belichick has a long time to get to know his new players and find roles for them within the system.

“€œWe added players to our roster last year in the middle of the season,” said Belichick. “I don’€™t think there are any games scheduled anytime soon.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2015 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

Owamagbe Odighizuwa (Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images)

Owamagbe Odighizuwa missed all of 2013 following two hip surgeries but came back with a strong 2014 season. (Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images)

OWAMAGBE ODIGHIZUWA

Position: Defensive end

School: UCLA

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 267 pounds

Achievements: 2014 All-Pac-12 second team

What he brings: Odighizuwa’s body is built like a Greek god, according to NFL.com. He is relentless and competitive, never abandoning a pass rush, though he isn’t tremendously skilled in that area. For CBS Sports, his burst and power helps him beat tackles to the outside and can beat tackles inside with “good initial quickness and a powerful bull rush.” He is very tough to block.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 1-2

Notes: Odighizuwa missed all of the 2013 season after having two hip surgeries but came back in 2014, was named team co-captain and performed well enough to be named All-Pac-12 second team. In the combine, he posted an impressive 4.62 second 40-yard dash, a 39-inch vertical jump, a 127-inch broad jump, a 4.19-second 20-yard shuttle and an 11.75 second 60-yard shuttle, all of which were among the combine’s best. He and his three younger brothers were raised by their mother, Abieyuwa, who left their father when Owamagbe was 10. His name is pronounced oh-wah-MAH-bay oh-DIGGY-zoo-wah.

Related articles:

Oregonlive.com: UCLA’s Owamagbe Odighizuwa, a Portland native, searches for his career’s happy ending

Los Angeles Daily News: UCLA’s Owamagbe Odighizuwa spells trouble for opposing offenses 

Los Angeles Times: UCLA’s Owamagbe Odighizuwa continues to climb NFL draft charts 

Video: NFL analysts discuss Odighizuwa as he runs the 40-yard dash.

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen

Bill Belichick spoke for the first time to the media since the Super Bowl Tuesday morning at the AFC coaches breakfast at the NFL owners’ meetings in Arizona.

Bill Belichick spoke for the first time to the media since the Super Bowl Tuesday morning at the AFC coaches breakfast at the NFL owners’ meetings in Arizona.

The coach was in midseason form, not offering much to the media on hand in the nearly 40 minutes he spoke at a roundtable.

Belichick commented for the first time on losing Darrelle Revis to the Jets, but the coach offered very little.

‘€œIt’€™s NFL free agency. It’€™s like that in the NFL,’€ Belichick told reporters. ‘€œPlayers leave teams and go to teams in free agency every year. That’€™s not a big story.’€

The Patriots could have picked up the $20 million option on Revis’ contract to keep him in New England for 2015, but the Patriots declined without really expanding on the answer.

‘€œIt’€™s NFL free agency,’€ Belichick said. ‘€œWe do what’€™s best for our football team.’€

As for how the Patriots defense will look without Revis at corner, Belichick muttered, “I don’t know.”

Belichick was also asked about losing cornerback Brandon Browner, as the Patriots also declined to pick up his option for 2015 and Browner signed with the Saints.

“You should ask Sean [Payton] and the Saints,” Belichick said, saying Browner is no longer on the Patriots’ roster.

He was also asked to expand on losing Vince Wilfork, as the defensive tackle signed with the Texans last week. Belichick didn’t even answer that question.

“I released a pretty comprehensive statement on that, he said. “I think that about covers it.”

The owners’ meetings wrap up on Wednesday, with the NFL draft scheduled for April 30-May 2.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

ESPN NFL analyst Sal Paolantonio joined Middays with MFB Tuesday morning to discuss the latest from the NFL owners’ meetings, including the latest on the tampering charge against the Jets and Deflategate. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

ESPN NFL analyst Sal Paolantonio joined Middays with MFB Tuesday morning to discuss the latest from the NFL owners’ meetings, including the latest on the tampering charge against the Jets and Deflategate. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Jets owner Woody Johnson made comments at his season-ending press conference about Darrelle Revis while the cornerback was still under contract with the Patriots. The Patriots reportedly filed tampering charges to the league, and then at the start of free agency Revis signed with the Jets.

Paolantonio believes the Jets should be disciplined with a “significant draft pick” taken away.

“They definitely broke the rule and the Jets should be punished,” said Paolantonio. “I think the NFL takes tampering very seriously and they should. Free agency is as unfeathered as you could possibly get it. We just saw a crazy round of free agency in the NFL with trades and teams signings players to these outrageous contracts and all kinds of player movement all over the league. You don’t have to be talking expeditiously to members of the media or to the public about other teams players.

“It’s not the way these ‘partners’ in the NFL want to be doing business with one another and I think the NFL is going to take it seriously. I think Woody Johnson did speak out of turn. I think he did break and rule and I think they should be docked a significant draft pick.”

The Deflategate investigation led by Ted Wells is now in its second full month. Paolantonio said there are a few theories to why the investigation is taking so long to complete.

“I don’t want to conjecture about that,” he said. “I think there are a lot of theories about why it is taking so long. One, that it was handled poorly. Two, that their investigation has determined that it was wide-spread all over the league. I know they talked to a number of teams around the league about it. So maybe that is also a plausible theory. The third is they don’t have the Patriots dead to rights and they don’t know what to do.”

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

The Bills-Patriots division rivalry is sure to be taken to a new level with Rex Ryan taking over as head coach.

Like with the Jets, Ryan knows the Patriots are the team to beat in the AFC East and he and the Bills are not backing down.

The Bills-Patriots division rivalry is sure to be taken to a new level with Rex Ryan taking over as head coach.

Like with the Jets, Ryan knows the Patriots are the team to beat in the AFC East and he and the Bills are not backing down.

“They’re clearly the team to beat and we’re coming after them,” Ryan told reporters at the AFC coaches breakfast Tuesday at the NFL owners’ meetings in Arizona.

Buffalo had one of its best seasons in years last year going 9-7, which was their first winning season since 2004. They also beat the Patriots in the regular-season finale at Gillette Stadium, possibly giving the organization some momentum going into 2015.

With the offseason moves the Bills made, along with the other teams in the division in the Jets and Dolphins, Ryan feels the AFC East is “the best in football.”

In his six seasons as coach of the Jets he went 46-50, leading the team to two AFC championship games.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter joined Dennis & Callahan Tuesday morning to discuss what he’s heard about all NFL matters at the owners’ meetings in Arizona this week, most notably Deflategate. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Adam Schefter

Adam Schefter

ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter joined Dennis & Callahan Tuesday morning to discuss what he’s heard about all NFL matters at the owners’ meetings in Arizona this week, most notably Deflategate. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Roger Goodell told SI’s Peter King Monday Ted Wells’ investigation into Deflategate is “getting near the end.” Schefter said he hasn’t heard much, but like all the other league investigations, he does expect “stiff and stern” punishments if wrongdoing is found.

“I have not heard much about it at all,” said Schefter. “I do know they are having a difficult time connecting with Tom Brady at some point. I don’t know if they actually interviewed him or not. I still never heard the answer to that. I know that there were some issues trying to schedule an interview that I don’t know did or did not [happen]. I don’t know where they are at and I don’t know when we are going to find out. Obviously everyone is waiting on that.

“There are all these investigations going on simultaneously — the Browns texting, the Jets tampering [Darrelle] Revis or Falcons piping in crowd noise. I think we’re going to see a couple of these situations, some of these teams, losing draft picks. I don’t know how it will shake out, but I do think NFL will be stiff and stern in its punishment if it finds wrongdoing was done.”

Schefter isn’t surprised with how long the investigation has taken, and he looked back at Wells’ last investigation into the Miami Dolphins and the bullying allegations with the team a few years ago.

“No, because they retained Ted Wells and if you look back at the Miami situation they hired him roughly the first week of November and his report came out on Valentine’s Day, so that was roughly three and a half months,” said Schefter. “Ted Wells wants to be very thorough and he wants to go back to when they changed the ruling on the air pressures in the balls where they could take some balls out where Tom Brady and Peyton Manning lobbied so quarterbacks could dictate the air pressure in the balls, and so he’s going back to then. There is a lot of background work involved in this and because of that he is trying to be thorough and exhaustive and come up with something that is conclusive and tells the right story whatever that story is.”

The Patriots will play in the first game of the 2015 NFL season on a Thursday night in September at Gillette Stadium, customary for the defending Super Bowl champions. Schefter is hearing the most likely opponents are either the Eagles or Steelers.

Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

On Patriots’ decision to allow Revis to sign with the Jets: “The reason they let him get to the Jets — a few reasons. It wasn’t like they let him get there. They made what they thought was a fair bid. The Patriots are very smart business people and they have handled their football operation in a very successful way over the years and they have a certain price they are willing to go to and they are not going to pay more than that. They are not one of these teams that gets into bidding wars.”

On the Jets signing Revis: “The Jets did what they had to do. They had all this cap space. Does it make sense? Is it going to make a difference of them winning the Super Bowl next year? Probably not. The Jets fans [are all fired up now]. They are excited. They don’t care.”

On the AFC East’s offseason: “I think the whole division has gotten very incestuous and interesting. We have Jets disciples spread throughout the AFC East. Mike Tannenbaum in Miami, Rex Ryan in [Buffalo] with some of his assistant coaches and we have a whole new regime in New York. It all branches out from New York and they are all trying to bring down New England and they are all making moves designed to try to slow down the Patriots. Now when you look at it, they all in my mind [got] better. Every single one of those teams has gotten better, but there are still a couple of factors that cannot be duplicated and that is Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. The quarterback and head coach. They still remain in place.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable