BOSTON (CBS) — It’s only the second morning of Patriots training camp, and Bill Belichick is already getting a little snippy with reporters.
There was no more “Instantface” fun on Friday morning, as the Patriots head coach was in no mood to give any early evaluations on his players or their progress. It’s not because Belichick always has very little to say about individual performances. While OTAs and minicamps held earlier in the offseason provided some groundwork for what players can expect over the next month, the opening days of camp are more instructional than anything, so there really isn’t much to evaluate. Execution on either side of the ball doesn’t matter as much until players put on their pads and start hitting each other, which will happen on Saturday morning.
But badgered with questions on how a handful of his players have looked so far, Belichick went on a three-minute rant and essentially said that asking for such evaluations this early in camp is pretty silly.
“You guys are asking a lot of questions about what we’ve seen from this guy or seen from that guy. We have yet to put on pads. I understand this is a pretty talented group of evaluators in this room, but in all honesty, our evaluations come more in training camp when we actually practice and can fully execute the techniques and plays we’re trying to do,” snipped Belichick. “The main thing we try to get done in the spring and the main thing we’re trying to get done these two days is to teach the players what to do and give them the most fundamental instructions we can given the restraints that we have on practice.
“When padded practices and real training camp starts tomorrow, and will continue for quite a while after that, including preseason games, that’s when the real evaluations start,” he continued. “I know everyone is real excited when a guy catches a pass, but when the defense doesn’t jam him because we don’t want heavy contact out there, then it’s not quite the same when that’s all going on. I’m not taking anything away from the receivers or anybody, but it is what it is. The competitive level out there is not what it’s going to be starting tomorrow.”
Belichick’s sarcasm was just getting warmed up.
“To evaluate players competitively when they’re not on a competitive level, I have a hard time with that. But I know a lot of the people are real good at that and can make a lot more out of it than I can, and I respect that. But due to my personal limitations and my personal inability to make those evaluations, I don’t make them,” he added.
The evaluations will come later, but chances are you won’t get them out of the coach at that point either.