Quick hits from Bill Belichick

August, 2, 2012
8/02/12
3:00
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A few quick hits from Bill Belichick's news conference before Thursday's practice:

Safety Tavon Wilson keeping up with Xs and Os. The second-round draft choice from Illinois is keeping pace with the workload at this point. "Good, good," Belichick said when asked about how Wilson is handling the workload. "I think he's been on a steady course since he got here. Tavon works hard, he's very attentive, he asks good questions, he really pays attention, and he's a hard-working kid -- both on and off the field. Steady improvement, a long way to go, tough position to play, and a tough position to transition into because of all the different things in the passing game and formations and matchups and all those type of things that vereran safeties would recognize; where the advantage of the matchup is to the offense, and what we can do about it schematically, or in terms of anticipation, and by formation and so forth. I think he's coming along. As long as we can keep making progress, and keep heading in the right direction, I think it will eventually come together for a lot of these young guys."

Explaining Alex Silvestro's jersey/number change. Defensive end Alex Silvestro has switched from No. 69 to 49, which reflects the team's plans to play him at tight end in games. Belichick said it wasn't necessarily an official switch, but by making the change now, it makes it so Silvestro won't have to report/declare himself an eligible receiver to officials during games.

Officials coming in next week. Belichick said the team will work with officials on the field for the first time next week.

Praise for Dante Scarnecchia. Belichick was asked about some of the depth concerns and shuffling along the offensive line, which ultimately led to a question on veteran line coach Dante Scarnecchia. "He's awesome, a great coach on every level," Belichick said, before sharing more of his appreciation for Scarnecchia's work.

Cannon benefits from offseason work. Asked about second-year offensive lineman Marcus Cannon, Belichick discussed how much further along he is this year compared to last year. "He's gotten a lot out of it. He's improved in so many things from where he was at the end of the season, because he didn't have that base to build on last year," he said.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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