Bill Belichick & draft philosophy

April, 21, 2012
4/21/12
6:00
AM ET
In a video posted on NFL.com, Mike Lombardi shares some of the tips he learned from working with Bill Belichick when the two were with the Cleveland Browns in the early 1990s.

A few highlights:

1. Building a team, not collecting talent. "That's one of his favorite sayings. By that he means putting players in the right role, how they can contribute to the team, and defining that role."

2. Never fall in love with one player. "Bill is very analytical. Bill is all about not falling in love with a player. Bill is looking at value. He wants the correct definition of the player and the correct value of the player. When he determines that, then he understands where he can move around in the draft [with trades]. ... His whole approach is value -- 'if I trade down, I get better value.' But the key component as to why he's traded down all these years was the rising cost of rookie draft picks. He did not want to bring somebody into his locker room that was going to be in the top 5 payroll of his team."

3. Small draft room. "He's one of the best listeners that I've ever been around. The draft room will be very small. ... It will only be four people. Belichick's big thing is that he's not looking for more opinions, he's looking for right opinions. The scouts do their job, which is prepare him for the draft, then ... there is only one decision-maker in New England. He doesn't want any confusion on draft day."

4. Trade reputation is well-known. "People know it's one-stop shopping. All you have to do is make a phone call to him and he's easy to make a trade with. He's very good at sensing what is going to happen. I would say around the 15th pick in the draft this year, he'll have an idea of what player he's going to get, and if he'll have to move."

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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