Patriots coach Bill Belichick expressed remorse in his first comments since Aaron Hernandez was charged with murder, saying Wednesday it was a “sad, sad day” and that he was “shocked and disappointed” that one of his players was connected to a situation like this.
“Personally, I’m challenged by decisions that affect the team on a daily basis and I’m not perfect on that either, but I always try to do what I think is best for the football team,” he said.
Belichick said his thoughts and prayers were with the family of the victim, Odin Lloyd, and that he extended his sympathy “to all of those who were impacted.”
Like owner Robert Kraft said in his first comments on Hernandez earlier this month, Belichick said the team would examine the way it evaluates players. He added that the team does extensive research on a player’s family situation, where he grew up, his lifestyle, work ethic and maturity, among other things.
“We’ll learn from this terrible experience,” Belichick said. “We’ll become a better team from the lessons that we’ve learned. We have so many players on this team that work hard, that do the right thing, that set a great example of being a professional and being a solid representative of this team and the community.”
After making an opening statement, Belichick said he would not answer further questions on the matter.
“I respect the judicial process and have been advised not to comment on ongoing legal proceedings and I am advising our players to do the same,” he said.