Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Quick hits from Belichick, Caserio, Pees
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, director of player personnel Nick Caserio and defensive coordinator Dean Pees held their weekly conference calls Tuesday.
Some quick hits:
Vollmer further along than anticipated. With Matt Light's right knee injury in mind, Belichick was asked about rookie Sebastian Vollmer, who is the team's top backup offensive tackle. "[He] still has a long way to go, but considering everything, he's probably a lot further along than what maybe what we thought he would be when he first got here," he said.
No update on Matt Light. Asked if there was an update on Matt Light's right knee injury, Belichick said no. ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted Wednesday that Light "has no significant ligament damage in his knee or ankle. But when he returns still is uncertain."
Focusing on change in return game. Rookie receiver Julian Edelman had two punt returns for 22 yards and four kickoffs for 93 yards (23.3-yard average.) Sunday against the Broncos, as the Patriots made a noticeable change in the return game by making him their primary returner. "It was more productive than it's been," Belichick said. "I think we blocked better and I thought Julian ran hard."
Team mum on Junior Seau report. When a reporter asked Belichick about Seau's signing becoming official, Belichick in turn asked a Patriots media relations assistant the following question: "Did I miss it?" It was a semi-humorous exchange, because Belichick never misses anything. Seau's signing was reported by Versus but Belichick, Caserio and Pees did not confirm the news. One reason the Patriots might be withholding comment is that they have yet to dot "i's" and cross "t's" on the corresponding move to make room for Seau.
Trade deadline coming. The NFL trade deadline is Oct. 20, but Caserio said discussions at this time of year aren't particularly high. He made a comparison to early September, when all teams are cutting down their rosters, and said the discussions are generally more intense at that time.
QB preparations at different extremes this week. One factor for the Patriots this week is the different extremes in preparing for Titans quarterbacks Kerry Collins and Vince Young. They have significantly different styles of play: Collins is more of a pure dropback passer, while Young can keep plays alive with his feet if necessary. The team's defensive plan could be tweaked depending on which quarterback is in the game. "Every week you prepare for the "what ifs"," Pees said.