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Notes from Robert Kraft's and Bill Belichick's Pre-Training Camp Press Conference

The Patriots' head coach took the podium today – with a special appearance by the team's owner.

Belichick and the mob.
Belichick and the mob.
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

As has been the case in years past, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick held a press conference today to talk about Tom Brady's suspension his team, which will start its 2015 training camp tomorrow. Due to yesterday's news that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell upheld Tom Brady's four game suspension, the house was packed.

Surprisingly, Patriots owner Robert Kraft took the stage before Belichick. He stated that this whole affair was "sad and disappointing"; he was surprised that Goodell did not exonerate Brady. Kraft went on to strongly criticize the NFL's handling of the entire DeflateGate affair, be it in regards to the media leaks or the fact that the league has never found any hard evidence to conclude that a member of the Patriots tampered with footballs. Strong, strong words by one of the league's most influential owners.

Kraft went on to say that he regrets his decision to accept the penalties imposed by the NFL and that he "was wrong to put [his] faith in the league". Apparently, Kraft expected Brady to be exonerated by his acceptance of the league's unprecedented penalties. Furthermore, Kraft apologized to Brady and the Patriots' fans.

Without taking any questions, the Patriots' owner left the podium.

Next up: Bill Belichick.

Belichick, as was expected, dodged every question about DeflateGate. It was beautiful, vintage Belichick. "This has already been addressed" was his go-to phrase today. The coach routinely said that his team was part of a process and he and his staff are looking to prepare the team for the upcoming season.

Unfortunately, with the press room filled by a hungry mob, there were almost no real football-related points addressed. The only ones that came close were Belichick's opening statement about getting everybody back to shape for camp as well as this: "Everyone gets reps. We evaluate the entire team." This quote was the answer to a question about the quarterbacks.

That was it. Belichick's half of the press conference lasted a little more than five minutes. What has been a pretty light-hearted affair in the past was dominated by DeflateGate and Belichick obviously did not like that.

EDIT I: Kraft's part of the press conference can now be watched on patriots.com. A transcript is also online.

EDIT II: Belichick's part of the press conference is also available on patriots.com now, both as video and as transcript.