Players will officially return to work on Tuesday, which gives the Patriots (5-3), coming off their bye, an extra day to prepare for Sunday’s home game against the Bills (3-5).
From a media perspective, Monday was a day in which Belichick, defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels held conference calls with reporters.
While this was the first time the coaches had been available since the Patriots acquired cornerback Aqib Talib, there was little interest in sharing much insight on what he brings to the team.
“Right now, really, our focus is on the Bills, and the players that will be preparing for the game, and the players that are here at this time,” Belichick said when asked about Talib. “So we’ll take that as it comes. When he gets here, we’ll deal with it.”
Talib isn’t eligible to play in Sunday’s game against the Bills, as it marks the fourth game of his four-game suspension.
Asked when Talib can officially join the team, Belichick said simply, “When the league allows him to.”
Later, Belichick was asked what he saw from Talib that made him want to acquire him.
“I think he’s a good player,” he answered, adding that research from the 2008 draft and 2012 joint practices with the Buccaneers was part of the decision-making process. "I think he can help our football team. That's why we traded for him."
Patricia, the defensive coordinator, echoed those thoughts.
“I think we’re obviously going to focus on Buffalo and who’s on the team right now, but he’s a good player and when we do get a chance to work with him, we’ll address those issues at the time,” he said.
Meanwhile, McDaniels reflected on the 2012 preseason and how the Patriots played the Buccaneers after two days of joint practices.
“He practiced hard and I thought was very competitive in our practices,” he said, adding that he didn’t have a deep background on Talib.