July 26, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick talks with the media during opening day of training camp at the team practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-US PRESSWIRE
After having a productive first day, Bill Belichick and his New England Patriots hit the soggy practice fields at Gillette Stadium for day two of training camp.
Before he joined his team out on the fields, Belichick met with the media for his daily press conference. Here are just a few subjects that were touched on:
On the progress of rookie Linebacker Dont'a Hightower
Belichick had a lot of good to say about the former Alabama linebacker. While he's been quoted in the past for making a comparison to him and veteran Jerod Mayo, he seemed to elaborate even more on Friday. Belichick highlighted Hightower's understanding for the game, and praised his versatility and flexibility as a player. "He's a smart kid. He definitely understands football and football concepts. That comes pretty quickly to him," said Belichick.
On Tom Brady's cliff diving adventures
Belichick was very mum on this subject. All that he would say, is that there are NFL rules, and there are team rules. He declined to say if he had spoken to Brady about his dangerous doings, saying that is between player and club. He quickly closed out the Brady discussion by saying: "Does anyone have any football questions?"
On second-year Cornerback Ras-I Dowling's progress following injury
When asked about Dowling, Belichick said that he was very impressed with what he's seen so far. He touched on the fact that this offseason was the first full offseason for the second-year players, with the lockout affecting their preparation last season. Belichick said of Dowling: "Hopefully he'll be able to do a lot more of it this year. He had a good spring. He was able to perform throughout the spring in our practice sessions, so that was good."
On Alfonzo Dennard's progress following his busy offseason
As usual, Belichick avoided the specific legal battle that Dennard is going through, but he did offer some praise for the rookie out of Nebraska. He said of Dennard: "Alfonzo's done a good job at picking things up. Things are a little bit different here than they were at Nebraska. He's worked hard. It's good to give him some extra coaching, but he seems to be doing all right."
On Donte Stallworth now, compared to the Donte Stallworth of 2007
Since leaving the Patriots in 2008, Donte Stallworth's career really turned for the worst. After he was forced to serve a one-year sentence for DUI-Manslaughter back in 2009, he really couldn't find his career until 2011 with the Redskins. Now that he's back with the Patriots, Stallworth has impressed a lot of people, including Bill Belichick. In evaluating the player he sees now, Belichick said: "Donte's really has matured a lot since he was here in 07'. He's been a very positive example and influence with what he does on a daily basis. He's shown a lot more leadership. He's been through a lot, but he handles himself very professionally. He's a great example example for all of us on a daily basis."