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Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Quick hits from Bill Belichick

By Mike Reiss

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Quick hits from coach Bill Belichick’s news conference on Wednesday:

Likes attitude and work ethic of defense. Belichick was asked if it was too early to tell how the defense was coming together, and after noting there is a long way to go, he acknowledged “I like their attitude and work ethic.” Later, Belichick added that he feels like the confidence level of the team is good in all three phases – offense, defense and special teams.

Unaware of new footballs being used. Bill Belichick was asked about reports that the NFL is allowing teams to experiment with new footballs (synthetic laces instead of leather) in Week 2 of the preseason ( link here). “It’s news to me. That’s the first I’ve heard about it,” Belichick said. “Sorry.”

Expected result with Fletcher. Asked if he was happy to see linebacker Dane Fletcher clear waivers and land on injured reserve, Belichick said: “That’s what we expected.” Maybe a little zing there to media members who were surprised the team didn’t wait until the cut-down to 75 players to ensure there was no chance another team could have claimed Fletcher. Zing received.

Having some fun with injury talk. The toughness of offensive lineman Logan Mankins came up, specifically how he played in 2011 with a torn ACL after not undergoing an MRI until the end of the season. Belichick explained how he doesn’t get involved in medical issues, leaving that to the team’s athletic training/medical staff. “We have a deal. I don’t treat the patients, they don’t call plays. It’s a simple relationship. It works better that way," he cracked.

Technology and coach-to-QB system. Asked about a new digital coach-to-quarterback system, Belichick said, “Like most other things in technology, when it works, it’s great.” Then Belichick explained that he’s the wrong person to ask. Technology isn’t his thing. “I’m really pretty bad at that, when it comes to technology I’m probably the worst. The on-off switches, that’s challenging for me, or when you have the three remotes – one to turn it on, another to change the whatever, another for something else … just to get the right remote to get it on. I’m not the person to ask.”

Deflects question on Fanene. Defensive lineman Jonathan Fanene has been sidelined for a few weeks and Belichick deflected a question on whether he might be back soon. “Day to day,” he said of Fanene’s status.

Practice plan. The team is scheduled to continue working on specific situations and some “loose ends and installation.” That will carry into Thursday, before plans shift to preparations for Monday’s preseason game at home against the Eagles.