Patriots coach Bill Belichick joined Dale & Holley with Thornton on Monday to discuss Jimmy Garoppolo and the Patriots as they gear up for the third preseason game Friday night in Carolina. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
Tom Brady has been excused from practice both Sunday and Monday for reportedly a non-injury reason. Belichick didn’t offer much for when he would return.
“When that clears up, I guess,” he said.
Some call the third preseason game a “dress rehearsal” for the regular season, but Belichick doesn’t really see the comparison as there isn’t much game planning that goes into the game.
“I don’t. I don’t know what that means,” Belichick said. “In terms of playing time it might be a little different, but in terms of game-planning and strategy, what we see in the regular season compared to what we see the in third preseason game I don’t even think you’re in the same universe. We’re still running our basic plays and we’d expect our opponents would run their basic plays. You get to the opener and start to get to game-planning and scheme, I mean you’re in a totally different ballpark, in my opinion. I don’t see any comparison at all. It’s too far away, I don’t see how you could compare them, from that standpoint.
“1-on-1 matchups, letting the players play, yeah, I would say you have a better matchup of guys like that, but it’s nothing compared to what we’re going to see in the regular season from a total scheme situation standpoint.”
Belichick also discussed Jimmy Garoppolo and how he didn’t have much notice in getting the start in the second preseason game last Thursday. He made an analogy to a relief pitcher years ago when they didn’t know what type of situation they would enter the game with.
“It’s the second preseason game and I think you could say the same about him as you could say about everybody else,” Belichick said. “There were some good things. There were some things that could have been better. You could say that about that about the coaches. That is what the preseason is for — go out there and compete and none of us have played in more than two games or coached in more than two games. We are still trying to get ourselves in an area of refinement that is as good as it can be. I don’t think any of us are there yet.
“Look, for any quarterback, I know in baseball now we have every relief pitcher goes in a certain inning, but there was a time when a relief pitcher was just a relief pitcher. I think that is kind of — if you’re not the starting quarterback, you don’t know if you’re going to play in the second play of the game, in the second quarter, in the third quarter, or it could be the last play in the game. You don’t know when you’re going to get called in so that’s a tough job, but your job for that game if that is what it is. You don’t know when you’re going to go in, if you are going to have a two-touchdown lead, or you could be behind by two touchdowns. Again, I know in baseball we have it all locked in to who goes in when we’re ahead, who goes in when we’re behind in which inning — but if you just had one relief pitcher and that is all you had that guy wouldn’t know if he was going in to close the game out in the ninth or try and keep a team in the game that is down by five runs in the third. That is what the backup quarterback position is — there are no curveballs, every ball is a curveball.”