Friday, July 29, 2011
Quick hits from Belichick
By Chris Forsberg
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A few quick hits from Bill Belichick's news conference to kick off Day 2 of training camp at Gillette Stadium:
* Tight-lipped on trade acquisitions: Belichick opened his conference by noting he still couldn't say much on the trades that are expected to bring Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco to New England.
"We are in the process of working through the trades with Albert and Chad," said Belichick. "They still haven’t officially been completed yet, so there’s really nothing I can comment on them. We're working through the process and when it's complete -- if it's complete -- we can talk about it then. It was good to get on the field yesterday, good to see the team actually come out of the huddle, line up in a formation, run some plays -- start getting underway. We obviously have a long, long, long way to go. But all thing considered, I thought the players had some recall, tried to do what we asked them to do, but we just got a lot of work to do. We’ll take it one step at a time, try to get better each time we step onto the field, each time we come out of a meeting. We'll try to take advantage of all of them. Day 2 here, we’re one step further than we were [Thursday], which isn’t very far, but it’s a step in the right direction.”
Pressed on the trades, Belichick noted, "As it relates to Albert or Chad, any comment would be premature. We are in the process [of finalizing those deals], no doubt about it. But they are not officially on our team and, until they are, I don’t think it's appropriate to talk about it as if they are."
* New acquisitions might have to wait to practice: Maybe the most noteworthy aspect of Belichick's morning Q&A was that he noted how players who restructure their contracts -- as could be the case with both Haynesworth and Ochocinco -- cannot practice with the team until the official start of the league year (no later than Thursday, Aug. 4.)
"Rookies are rookies, but any player that's not a rookie, if they sign a contract this year, any veteran player, or any player that's not a rookie who signs a contract, and comes to the team as of tonight at 6 p.m., they cannot participate physically until [Aug. 4]," said Belichick. "It includes any new contract that is signed. So a player that signed a tender would be under those, yes, would be under those rules, like [Logan] Mankins for example. If a contract was restructured, that would constitute a new contract and that would put that player into [the not-able-to-practice] category."
Later, Belichick clarified that those players with restructured deals can still observe practices before Aug. 4.
"They can't physically participate, but they can watch practice," he said.
* No update on Cannon: Belichick noted that the team had been in contact with fifth-round draft pick Marcus Cannon, but didn't have an update on his health.
"We have been in touch; Since we were permitted to talk to Marcus, we have been in touch," said Belichick. "I don’t have any update on his physical condition, but we have been in contact with him. When we have something definitive to say, we’ll say it. But, yes, we have talked."
Cannon, an offensive lineman tabbed with the 138th overall pick in April's draft, was scheduled to finish treatments for non-Hodgkins lymphoma earlier this month and had expressed optimism about potentially being on the field by August.
(Forsberg's note: Updated to clarify the Belichick quote that stated Mankins would be in the category of players that would be unable to participate based on signing a tender.)