In addition to quarterback Tom Brady’s weekly appearance on sports radio 850 WEEI as part of “Patriots Monday” programming, receiver Deion Branch, defensive lineman Vince Wilfork and head coach Bill Belichick were guests.
Some of the notable soundbites from Branch, Wilfork and Belichick:
(on being limited early in training camp) “The body is feeling real good. I’m just happy that Coach gave me the opportunity to get back out there and start moving around with the guys. That’s what’s important. … Everything is fine. I think most importantly, my job is to just come in and do everything the coaches ask of me, and that’s what I’m doing. That goes with everybody down the roster. If you come in and Coach says, ‘take this day off, do half of this’, that’s what we have to do. There are no complaints.”
(on what he’s seen from Brandon Lloyd in camp) “A whole lot. This is pretty much what I’ve known of Brandon, and what I’ve been saying from watching film on him when he was playing with different teams. Most importantly, he’s a student of the game. That’s what’s very important on our team. Everybody can play the game of football; here it’s just all about ‘are you taking in what the coaches are giving you, can you comprehend everything, and then [display it] on the football field. He does a great job of that.”
(on the vibe he gets from the team) “Guys are working their tails off. That’s the only thing you can ask for. Being around this team for nine years now, you see people come and go, and thing I think that we have, and we had over the last couple years, is guys who want to play, and guys who want to win, and guys who have a passion for the game. I think this team shows that.”
(on the team's unorthodox upcoming schedule -- three games in 10 days): "I mean you can't install anything in two [days]. It's like playing a Sunday game and then playing on Thursday - you don't really have much of a game plan, you just try to get ready what you know how to do, and apply it to your new opponent, and then go out there and turn it around and do it. Yeah the installation, that's why this is such a big week for us this week, it's a longer week, it gives us time to install what we didn't get in prior to the New Orleans game. After this, that's really about it until the long week before Tennessee."
(On how quickly you can adjust your schemes based on the skill set of an individual player or players to exploit an opponent) "I think it's probably more an in-season game plan thing. I think right now the idea is for everybody to learn the basic plays, the foundation, what the basics are. Once we get that down then it's a lot easier to modify something if we need to. Probably the best example of that was when Randy [Moss] came in here, he was a unique player for us, we hadn't really had anybody like him before or since. During training camp, even though he missed some of that first training camp, it was still more of just, even in spring, just kind of getting things down and making sure everybody understood what they were doing, not just him, but everybody else. And then once when we got in the season we were able to take advantage of some of the things that he did well and modify some of our plays and some of our adjustments."
(On the importance of versatility amongst offensive linemen) "If we only take seven guys to the game, then either our backups have to play multiple positions or one of our starters would have to bump from say guard to center, or right tackle to left tackle or whatever it is for seven players to cover five positions and have the depth of it. Somebody's gotta back up somebody somewhere. They all can't just play one position. Depending on what the combination of people is it could be different, different movements. But in the end, like I said, seven guys have to be able to cover five spots, so versatility is a big key, and now's the time to work on it. And you get into the regular season and you try to work on your timing and keep guys where you think they're going to play the most of the game. Now is the time where they can work on their secondary position, or where they can give you depth. And we can gain confidence in them, they can gain confidence in playing the position that they have to, knowing that their primary spot is somewhere else."