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Bill Belichick on DHK explains why training camp is important to him even after 43 years of coaching

Ryan Hannable
August 21, 2017 - 5:29 pm

Patriots coach Bill Belichick joined Dale & Holley with Keefe on Monday for Patriots Monday where the coach talked a lot about his coaching strategies. To hear the complete interview, visit the Dale & Holley with Keefe audio on demand page.

With Belichick in his 43rd year of coaching and Tom Brady his 18th season in the NFL, some may wonder what they can get out of training camp, but Belichick detailed every season is a new year and training camp is a time to refine their skills.

“As it relates to training camp, look I have been coaching for 43 years, but at the start of training camp as a coach I have to refine my on-field coaching skills," he said. "I have to refine my in-game coaching skills. It is something I haven’t done for six months and it is with a different team. It is with different players, different options than a year ago or two years ago. There is a whole preparing process involved there that I don’t care how long you played, each year is different because you have to start all over again. You have a new team and you’re doing something you haven’t done in six months. If you stopped doing something for six months and tried to pick it up later — it might be related, scouting players or going through draft process, things like that, but it’s not the same -- it’s on-field coaching decisions, that didn’t start until two weeks ago.

“Then as it relates to players in general, experienced players know a lot about the game, but again there are new players. Every team you play is different. Each opponent is different. They have different players, different strengths and weaknesses and they have made changes to their system just like we made them to ours. So, I think that is important to tell any player. I don’t care how long he’s played in the league. If he’s been in the league 17 years it doesn’t mean he knows the team we’re playing because whatever changes they made from last year to this year, or maybe we’re not familiar with that team, then it is your job as a coach to try and get him prepared for that team. There’s a lot of things as a coach you try and do for every player, not just the rookies.”

Belichick also explained how he doesn't completely know what he has in his team until after a few games into the season. Things can turn out differently than how they had expected them to go.

“Midseason to me is always about the time where I think you kind of know what you have," he said. "September, I think we’re all trying to figure out a little bit in football. You go into the season thinking one thing and then after you play three or four games, a lot of time you’re not as good at some things as you thought you were or maybe you’re better at some other things than you might have thought you were. Maybe some guys are performing higher, some guys lower, whatever. It takes a little while to find that equilibrium."

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