Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Rutgers reunion in Foxborough
By Mike Reiss
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Patriots and Buccaneers are teaming up for joint practices at Gillette Stadium, and one notable storyline is that the teams have a combined 18 players from Rutgers on their rosters (nine apiece).
That led to a light moment at Bill Belichick's Tuesday morning news conference, when Belichick was asked if he's reached out to Rutgers-type alumni groups to attend the practices.
"They should be here," Belichick cracked. "Get them all at once, right? Get some alumni donations going. ... Not to mention all the coaching staff members from that school."
A few other quick-hits from Belichick:
Tim Tebow and new blocking schemes. Belichick was asked several questions about Tebow, and if there is a big change in blocking schemes when he is in the game and the Patriots turn to a run-based offense with option concepts. "I wouldn't say it's all exactly the same, but there is certainly a lot of carry-over. There are only so many blocking schemes you can have," Belichick said. "We're not trying to revolutionize the game or anything."
Tim Tebow and scout-team quarterback. Asked how much value he puts on Tebow's ability to run the scout-team offense as an option-based quarterback, Belichick said, "We know we're going to have to face it. We faced it last week. We know we're going to see it."
Tim Tebow and a spot on the 53-man roster. There was a light-hearted exchange between Belichick and ESPN's Sal Paolantonio, when Paolantonio led off his question by saying, "I know this may be a difficult question to answer ..." At that point, Belichick responded with a smile, "I'm sure that's why you want to ask it, Sal." The question: If Tebow is healthy, do you plan to carry him on the 53-man roster? Turning serious, Belichick said it wasn't anything the team was ready to talk about at this time. "A lot of competition out there and we'll see how it all plays out," Belichick said, later adding that Tebow, as well as every player on the roster, has improved since training camp began.
LeGarrette Blount and the Tampa angle. With Tampa-based reporters in town, Belichick was asked about acquiring the former Buccaneer in a trade. "He's a big back who can catch and run. I think he showed those skills throughout the course of his career. The player we had [Jeff Demps], we weren't really able to get on the field. We felt that we would rather LeGarrette and he's done a good job for us. I don't think there is any question about his skills. They're pretty evident and they have been through the course of his career. Tampa has a great back [Doug Martin], I certainly understand their situation, a Pro Bowl back last year as a rookie. I have a lot of respect LeGarrette and what he's done throughout his career. He's has a good spring for us and a good training camp for us. I think he helps us."