Belichick on football & suntans

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Patriots coach Bill Belichick touched on football and contract-related topics in a brief meeting with reporters today.

The start of organized team activities: “It’s going all right. We have a long way to go. Just taking one step at a time. We had some nice warm weather. It’s been nice, work on our suntan a little bit, get out there and break a sweat. It’s been good.”

Coaching the defense: “This is a good time of year. You’re working with a lot of young players, new players, starting from scratch, starting the whole building-block process for all of us. All of us get back into coaching football and thinking about strategies and adjustments and all those kind of things, so I think it’s a fun time of year for any coach to get back on the field and start coaching in all three phases of the game – offense, defense and special teams.”

Scheduling preseason practices with the Saints and Falcons: “It just worked out that way. Talking to Sean [Payton] and Mike [Smith], we just felt it would work out. We talked a little bit about the logistics and how it could benefit us and, of course, them. We just felt like the timing and the scheduling worked out. Certainly playing on the same day every week [in the preseason] is helpful, as opposed to short weeks and long weeks and that kind of thing. It gives us a chance to get on a regular schedule. I think the same things for other teams.”

Plusses and minuses of preseason joint practices: “I think a big plus is to work against different teams, different matchups individually, and different schemes. It slows down your teaching installation a little bit because you have to do what they’re doing. I think that’s OK. I think there is more benefit to it in this particular year, and that’s why we elected to do it. They are quality teams, great programs. New Orleans, I think their season last year speaks for itself. It will be good competition for us.”

Already having 2 rookie contracts completed: “We’ve always contacted the players and the agents after the draft process is over, about this time, when they start coming to camp. Sometimes it works out [with a contract], sometimes it doesn’t. I don’t think I’d read too much into it. I think Floyd [Reese] and Scott [Pioli] in the past have always done that. Sometimes it comes together, sometimes it’s a process that takes a little longer and people want to wait to see what everybody else is doing.”