By Tom E. CurranFOXBORO - I understand - grudgingly - why Bill Belichick at times leans on his, "Just doing what's best for the football team..." crutch. To hold court on every personnel decision, to answer every question until all curiosity is exhausted holds no appeal for him. And if he does it once, well then, where's it end? Next thing, people will be asking if he understands the feelings of unsettledness the family's new guppy will experience when a player is let go. Makes my job harder. Makes the TV side's job harder. But I compreeeehend why he's Billy Tight Lips. But since last February, the Patriots have been in team-building mode through the draft, free agency, offseason workouts, minicamps and training camp. Interest in the team feels like it's at a crescendo. With the team people give a crap about now established after some hard decisions were made, "Just doing what's best for the football team..." is wholly unsatisfying. Belichick didn't want to give a little more during his first post-cut press conference. I asked him how Brian Hoyer did in his time with the team. Belichick's response? "Good."He eventually shared more. Not a lot. Not enough. But more."All the decisions we made were what we felt was best for the football team and that takes into consideration a lot of things," Belichick stated. "It takes into consideration some of the players that are involved and it also looks at other players on the team, where depth is or isn't. We'd be here all day talking about it. We do what's best for the team and there are several players that aren't on our team that are good football players. Nothing against them but in the end, we do what's best for the New England Patriots. It's not a negative commentary on anybody. It's a positive commentary on the players who've earned a position on the team. But more than usual. Here's a few scraps gathered. Belichick confirmed that right guard Brian Waters has not shown up yet. He would not bend on inquiries about players who might return that have been released (Deion Branch, Jabar Gaffney). The new IR rule was explained as it pertains to rookie Jeff Demps, mentioning that any player on the IR prior to this Tuesday is on IR for the year. For a player to be eligible for the reserve designation that would allow him to return, that player would have had to be on the Patriots' 53-man roster. Preparations for next Sunday's opponent, the Titans, began in the offseason according to Belichick. Specific work began after the final preseason game though. Sunday was a day for situational things and some specific "points of emphasis." On dealing for former Rams wideout Greg Salas, Belichick was curt. "Got some versatility, we put him out there, see how it goes. Lot of production, catches the ball well. He and (offensive coordinator) Josh (McDaniels) had some first-hand experience (from coaching Salas in St. Louis). We scouted him out of Hawaii. had a good feel for himbefore Josh was here."
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