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Belichick on Murrell, Payton & more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Bill Belichick answered questions from reporters this morning before the Patriots’ joint practice with the Saints.

Here are a few of the newsy nuggets:

Marques Murrell back on the field. The reserve outside linebacker/rush defensive end was carted off the field Tuesday afternoon because of heat-related cramping-type issues, but Belichick said he would be back on the field this morning.

Deflecting question on Welker. Belichick was asked if it was crazy to think Welker might play in the preseason opener. He said he'd evaluate that decision, as well as all others on playing time, tonight.

Not aware of Sean Payton imitation. Prior to the Patriots’ game against the Saints last season, New Orleans coach Sean Payton stood in front of his team and did his best impersonation of Bill Belichick. That story later came to light and is part of Payton’s new book. Belichick was asked his reaction to that, and said he was unaware of the imitation. “Based on the way they played, I’d say he did a pretty job,” Belichick said, drawing laughter from media members.

Lauding Sam Cunningham. Belichick opened his remarks by congratulating Sam Cunningham, this year’s inductee into the Patriots Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony is scheduled for 4 p.m. tomorrow. “He was a guy who played at a time where a lot of people right now probably don’t appreciate what fullbacks were, in the 70s and early 80s. Guys that not only blocked but ran the ball, caught it, and really never came off the field,” he said.