Belichick on Wilson, Hightower & more

August, 26, 2013
8/26/13
3:30
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots coach Bill Belichick held a news conference before the team's Monday practice, and here were some of the notable topics:

1. Veteran safety Wilson adapts well. It’s been a season of change for safety Adrian Wilson, who after 12 seasons with the Cardinals is in his first with the Patriots. Belichick was asked how he feels Wilson has adjusted to the Patriots’ program. “I think he’s adapted well,” he answered. “He’s a smart guy, has a lot of experience. Really an intense player who focuses on his job; his preparation and work ethic is very professional.”

2. More responsibility for Hightower. Asked a general question on what type of offseason second-year linebacker Dont’a Hightower has had, Belichick was complimentary and noted that Hightower has been given more responsibility with the defense and handles them with few errors. “Versatile player, smart guy. Dependable player that is adjustable. Big guy who can run and do a lot of different things for us," he said.

3. Health of the roster in focus. Belichick added that the idea of giving players an extra day off over the weekend was geared toward the overall health of the roster in mind.

4. No decision on starters for preseason finale. Belichick said he hasn’t yet decided on how he plans to use his starters Thursday against the Giants.

5. Busy time for personnel and coaching staff. In his opening remarks, Belichick pointed out how there is “a lot of things going on” surrounding the team at this time – roster reductions Tuesday and Saturday; preparations for the preseason finale against the Giants on Thursday; ongoing personnel evaluations; looking ahead to the season opener against the Bills on Sept. 8; and even a look ahead to a Thursday night quick-turnaround Week 2 matchup against the New York Jets on Sept. 12. “A lot of moving parts,” Belichick said, before adding, “as always there is some conversations with other teams in the league relative to roster movement.” Belichick later said that an example of a conversation could be with a team that has a surplus at one position that matches up with a position where the Patriots might be thin. “Just trying to match them up, if there is a match,” he said. Defensive tackle and offensive line are two areas in which the Patriots might be exploring the possibility of reinforcements.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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