With team minicamps getting started on Tuesday, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick met with the media to discuss the current state of his football team.
During his time with the media, he was asked Brian Waters' future with the team, Chad Ochocinco's release from the squad, Wes Welker's contract situation, and various injured players that continue to rehab on the sidelines during practice. All of which, Belichick had little to nothing to say about! Ah, gotta love him..
Some of the things that he was able to elaborate on was tight end Rob Gronkowski's new contract six-year contract extension that was agreed upon last Thursday. While he didn't specifically name Gronkowski, he seems pleased with the outcome of the negotiations.
"Of course. Any player that we sign, we're glad to sign them, that's always what you want to do with contracts. That goes without saying."
After not playing nearly the entire 2011 season, veteran defensive end/outside linebacker Jermaine Cunningham has worked hard this offseason to try and get back into football shape. Apparently he's done enough to catch the attention of his coach, as Belichick says that he's been impressed with him up to this point.
"Yeah, Jermaine has had a great offseason; he's really worked hard. He looks good."
When asked what he thought slowed Cunningham's development, Belchick had this to say:
"I don't know. I'm sure it was a combination of things, but whatever happened last year with any of our players - good, bad or indifferent, whatever it was - is really not that important at this point. We're really trying to move forward and evaluate the team on a current basis and give everybody an opportunity out there to show where they're at and show what they can do. We're not really focused on what happened last year; we're trying to get ready for this year."
While he didn't have any individual player updates to offer us, Belichick did go into some detail about what injuries mean in terms of the possible development of younger, less experienced players.
The players that are out there have another opportunity to get more reps and learn and progress and the ones that aren't out there don't and I know they're working hard to get back out there as soon as they can. Whichever ones are out there, they will get the reps and that will help them. That's what we'll get out of it. That's what we can get out of it, that's what we will get out of it, and that's what each individual player should get out of it. We have a lot of players out there. Not everybody can get all the reps, obviously; it's a lot of mental reps, just watching what's going on, going through your mind, going through your assignment and trying to take to the rep mentally even though you're not actually in there physically taking it. That's going on. We have almost 90 guys, 22 players, so that's a lot of guys that are taking mental reps. Some of them are injured, some of them aren't."
For the full Belichick interview transcript, visit this link