Monday, March 22, 2010
One-on-one with Bill Belichick
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The New England Patriots won't have an offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator or special-teams coordinator in 2010.
Even so, head coach Bill Belichick doesn't plan on being any busier this year than he has in the past.
Belichick, in a one-on-one interview with ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss, addressed several topics and explained for the first time why he decided to drop coordinators from his staff.
"I'm not going to take on more workload," Belichick told Reiss at the NFL owners meetings. "It just might be distributed a little differently. That's the way it's been in the past. My workload hasn't changed in the last 10 years. It's been distributed differently, from year to year, or even within a year, within different time frames of the year -- between personnel and football, or offense, defense and special teams as it relates just to football."
Reiss reports Belichick will conduct the defensive meetings former defensive coordinator Dean Pees used to run. Quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien will remain influential on the offensive strategy.
Belichick also discussed the Patriots' approach to free agency. They concentrated on re-signing their players and didn't pursue much outside help.
"Some of the best players in free agency this year were Patriots," Belichick said. "We re-signed a number of them, and a couple we didn't. The players that we did re-sign are quality players, and I'm glad we have them."
Other topics Reiss asked Belichick about included the disappointment of 2009, the status of outside linebacker Adalius Thomas, the Patriots reportedly playing the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving and the organization's pre-draft evaluation process.