Just two days before they open up the preseason against the New Orleans Saints, the Patriots held their second consecutive practice with full pads. Director of player personnel Nick Caserio was the man at the podium today. Let's take a look at what he had to say to the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium:
On what he and others look at during the first preseason game:
"Well, really you can start to look at some of the new personnel that maybe they have on their team relative to what you saw last year during the regular season. We have that body of work in film from last year, all their games are on the system, so any changes that they've made, whether it's personnel wise, there may or may not be some things schematically with the new defensive coordinator, Steve Spagnuolo in there, so some of the things that he's doing relative to what maybe they did last year. Any film that you have is good information and it just starts the process just to look at their team, their personnel, what they're doing, etc."
On possibly shifting center Dan Koppen around the offensive line
"Sure. Bill has talked about the Light example. Really, since Dan has been in the program, he's basically played center since day one. [Since] he came here he's been on the field in that position and he plays that position well. We work a lot of guys at different spots, [but] that's where Dan's comfort level is and that's what he has the most experience doing. Could he bump over and play guard if necessary? I don't know, I mean, if we had to put him in that situation we'd see how it goes. But he's been a good player at that center position for a long time."
On whether he's seen growth in the Tom Brady-Brandon Lloyd chemistry
"I think since Brandon's been here day one he's done a great job. And any new player, whether it's a veteran or a rookie, they're all starting essentially from the same point. It's a new system to a degree, even if you've played in this offense; you're really starting from the same spot. So he's come in, he's worked hard, he's done the things we've asked him to do. It takes time. That's why you go out there to practice, you go watch the film, you have communications, whether it's the receiver position, the tight end position, the running back position. It's hard to simulate every look that you're going to see in a game, but you try to work at it as much as you can and make sure there's a constant dialogue back and forth."
On whether he sees left tackle Nate Solder as 'ahead of the curve'
"We thought Nate was a good football player when we drafted him and he's come in and you know he had a decent first year. The most important thing with any player is you're just trying to continue to improve on a day-to-day basis and become a more consistent player, whether it's your techniques, your fundaments or whatever it may be. Our expectations are the same for any player that comes in here: drafted, undrafted, veteran or free agent; it doesn't really change."
"Both of those players were productive players. Brandon was pretty productive at Ole' Miss against good people. Had some injuries a little bit his senior year, but he was a productive player: big, strong, caught the ball well, a good runner. Justin was a pretty versatile player. They actually played him as a three-technique and he actually played a little one-technique, kind of played inside defensive tackle and he played some on the perimeter as well and the line of scrimmage. [He's] a disruptive player who played a hundred miles an hour with a non-stop motor. There are cases like that every year and you just kind of scratch your head and say, ‘Well, how come he didn't get drafted?' I don't know, that's just the way it goes sometimes. I think you can find players just about anywhere: through the draft, any round, not drafted. That's just the way - with personnel and scouting - that's just the way it goes."