- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Three topics that stood out from Bill Belichick’s Friday morning news conference with reporters:
1. Collins will start his work at linebacker. The team’s top draft choice, Jamie Collins, will begin his work at the linebacker position. Collins has versatility from having played off the line as a linebacker and on the line as a defensive end, so there was some question as to where he might fit in the team’s 4-3 scheme – linebacker or end. “He’s done different things and eventually as we go through the spring we’ll look at him in different spots, and see how it goes with him, and also see how it goes with him relative to other players we have and what kind of groupings, and how the team breaks up, where he might be able to help us,” Belichick said. “Not sure exactly how it’s going to turn out.”
2. Armstead will participate in rookie minicamp. Canadian Football League import Armond Armstead is listed at 6-foot-5 and 298 pounds, and Belichick touched on some of his versatility along the defensive line. Armstead has played 3-technique (outside shade on guard) and 1-technique (shaded on the center) at defensive tackle and also at defensive end. “We’ll see how it goes,” Belichick said of Armstead’s best fit.
3. Sizable rookie free-agent class. With 19 rookie free-agent signings, the Patriots have a bigger class than the norm, although Belichick said it wasn’t the largest in his time with the team. Belichick cited the roster expansion to 90 players as one reason for the increase, while adding “it’s a little bit of a commentary on the youth of the team.” Belichick said with more players in rookie minicamp, it offers more opportunity to do more group and team work.