FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Some quick-hit notes from head coach Bill Belichick's news conference following tonight's second and third rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft.
Thoughts on Ryan Mallett. "We just felt like he was a good player. He’s had a lot of production. He’s won everywhere he’s been: high school, college," Belichick said. "He did a good job at Michigan. They came in and changed offenses and that was definitely beyond his control. I think he’s been a successful, productive quarterback all the way through his career: high school, college. He’s an impressive guy to talk to."
Belichick also noted how Mallett is the son of a football coach. "He’s definitely a football guy. He's a great kid to talk to, and he’s very into football. You can’t wear him out; as long as you want to talk about it, he’ll be there," Belichick said. "However many hours it is, he’s ready to go watch the film or go talk about a new technique or a route or a read or whatever."
"Both his parents are educators and he’s a kid that’s eager to learn and has a great thirst for knowledge for football and for his position, which there is a lot going on there," he continued. "I think that he’ll certainly get an opportunity to receive a lot of knowledge at that position around here, so we’ll see how it all manifests itself."
On passing up pass rush help. Belichick downplayed the team not drafting a pass rusher in the first three rounds of the draft. "We have some young players on our roster and I think that those players – in all the various positions, not just at that specifically – but I think younger players will still continue to develop," he said.
Dowling injuries not major concern. Second-round draft choice Ras-I Dowling played in only five games last season due to multiple injuries, but Belichick said the team believes the cornerback is healthy. "I think he’s ready to go. He’s got a lot of qualities that we like in a corner: he’s a smart kid, been in a good program, done well in that system," Belichick said. "We can see him playing all the different types of coverages that, at some point or another, we would use. He’s a good tackler, plays well in the kicking game, so I think he’ll be a good addition for us."
Belichick also left open the possibility of Dowling playing safety, while noting the effect his size and physicality could have against teams with larger receivers.