By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Several times now during the Patriots’ offseason program, Bill Belichick has met with the media and answered questions about all sorts of topics. And on Wednesday morning, Belichick walked out to the practice fields at Gillette Stadium for the fourth time since May 22 for a pre-practice press conference.READ MORE: Veteran Sportscaster Bob Neumeier Dies
The reporters might have run out of new questions. And Belichick certainly seems to have run out of new answers.
Belichick was asked about how he and the team are adjusting to the new kickoff rules.
“We’ll see,” Belichick said. “We got a long way to go. We’ll experiment with things. Think there’s a long way to go. … We’ll see how much of a change there is or isn’t.”
He was asked about the work of newcomer Cordarrelle Patterson.
“All the players here have worked hard and made progress, and he’s certainly in that group,” Belichick said. “Glad we have him.”
Belichick was asked about the big story from Tuesday: How Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski looked in their first practice action of the preseason.
“Yeah I think every day is an opportunity to get in here and get in work and get ready to training camp, so that’s what we’ll continue to do,” the coach said.
OK, but did Brady and Gronkowski appear to be up to speed, despite having missed OTAs?
“Again, I think the players and the coaches, everybody that has been out there, each day you get an opportunity to do things. Different players are in different stages,” he explained. “It is what it is for each guy.”
Then, late in the chat with the media (about six minutes into it), Belichick was asked how different the Patriots are when Gronkowski and Julian Edelman are both healthy and on the field together. Belichick didn’t really entertain the notion.
“Yeah, I don’t know,” Belichick said. “That’s not really where we are right now. I mean we have a lot of different players working together. We’re just trying to get everybody a lot of information and install our system as a total team. We don’t have starters and stars and first teams and all that. That’s not really where we are right now.”READ MORE: Beverly Man Dies While Hiking On New Hampshire Trail
Belichick was then asked specifically how Edelman looked in Tuesday’s practice session. Belichick took a deep breath and then repeated — nearly word-for-word — the same answer he gave when asked how Brady and Gronkowski looked on the practice field.
“Again, I think each player has an opportunity to come out here every day and improve and work on the things that will help them be ready for training camp,” Belichick said. “That’s the same for every single player and every single coach that’s on the field.”
A seemingly flustered Belichick continued: “The answer is the same for everybody. I don’t know how else to state it.”
He appeared to be done answering the question, before adding: “Put whatever name you want in there. It’s all the same for all of us. We all have an opportunity and hopefully we’ll take as much advantage of it as we can to help us get better, to have a better day tomorrow, to be more prepared for training camp in July.”
With that question fully and firmly answered, Belichick was then asked about the referees who were making their way to the practice field. Might the Patriots be trying something new on this day?
“It’s another day for us to move forward. Each day we add things. Each day we do things,” Belichick said. “We review the things we’ve done and try to improve on those, but we move ahead and work on new things.”
And in the final question of the session, Belichick was asked if he ever looks back and evaluates where his team needs to improve specifically.
“What are you talking about?” Bill replied.
When the reporter offered a couple of examples, like “defense” or “running back,” Belichick went back to his trustworthy response about the Patriots’ not having any games scheduled in the spring.
“Right, well, we haven’t played a game this year,” Belichick said. “And there aren’t any scheduled for a while. So I don’t know what we have this year. We’ll see. See how we perform. I have no idea. We have a long way to go. Last year is last year. This is this year. We’re in 2018 now so it’s time to move on.”
That it is. Though the team won’t quite move on from minicamp without Belichick addressing the media one more time prior to Thursday’s practice session. Bill is probably hoping for some different questions.MORE NEWS: Candlelight Vigil Scheduled In Memory Of 5-Year-Old Elijah Lewis