Belichick deflects on Reed; assesses safeties

When asked if the Patriots have interest in safety Ed Reed, who was waived by the Texans on Tuesday, Bill Belichick said today: “I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to comment on players that aren’t on our team.”

Earlier, Belichick was asked about the process the Patriots go through to determine if they will sign a player that gets waived such as Reed.

He explained that the team usually has an indication that a player could become available, which allows time for the personnel department to gather more intelligence.

“We try to stay ahead of that, and of course, sometimes that depends on what our situation is," he said. "There are a lot of players that could be available out there [and] if you have a need at a certain position and it’s a fit, then you’re more interested or more apt to do something.”

Along those lines, Belichick was asked his thoughts on the Patriots’ safety spot, where starters Devin McCourty and Steve Gregory have been backed up by rookie Duron Harmon, with 2012 second-round pick Tavon Wilson and special teamer Nate Ebner rounding out the depth chart.

Gregory broke his right thumb on Nov. 3 and was expected to miss a “few weeks” at the time, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

“I think overall, we’ve had pretty solid play out of the five guys,” Belichick said, noting that Wilson and Ebner have missed some time with injuries with their primary contributions coming on special teams.

“Devin, Steve and Duron have kind of been in a little bit of a 3-for-2 situation, or sometimes 3-for-3 when we go to a dime defense and all of them are on the field at the same time. … I think those guys have all worked hard and when they’ve been on the field have all been solid contributors. We’ve certainly had a lot less problems this year than we had last year, the last couple years, with balls getting thrown over our head. We’ve made more plays on the ball back there. That’s been a pretty solid part of our defense. Tackling has been good; not perfect, but good in terms of not giving up big plays.

“There is always room for improvement and you always get tested every week, like I’m sure we will this week with a guy like Cam Newton. He can launch it as far as any anybody, [they have] a good group of receivers. It doesn’t really matter what we’ve done before, it will be what we do this week.”