Belichick goes light at AFC coaches breakfast


Belichick goes light at AFC coaches breakfast

PALM BEACH -- Bill Belichick generally doesn't seem to enjoy like being told where to go, how long to stay and who to talk to.

When he's told those things by NFL officials he likes it even less. And when those things include meeting with the media, he likes it least of all.

So the kinder, gentler, happier Bill Belichick we saw at the Super Bowl in Indianapolis was not in attendance at Tuesday's AFC Coaches Breakfast.

For most of his 45-minute sitdown, Belichick was cordial but curt. Specific questions on the Patriots' personnel moves, rules changes, moves around the AFC and other league issues were met with general responses.

He was ultimately more expansive on some historical topics toward the end of his session.

At one point, I asked Belichick if he would prefer toe surgery or the coaches breakfast.

"This is great," he deadpanned. "Chance to see everybody here, got a good turnout. You guys are pretty well represented."

Noting that Rex Ryan and John Fox were garnering the biggest audiences because of their quarterbacking moves recently, Belichick offered, "Sean (Payton) is out in the lobby if you need to talk to him."

A few nuggets on players . . .

Expectations for Chad Ochocinco in his second season with the team?
I think I have the same expectations for all our players, doesnt matter who they are, doesnt matter what year theyre in. Come in, work hard, be prepared, go out there and compete on the field. No difference for any player. First year, second year, theyre here to play football for us, then thats what they need to do.

On whether Anthony Gonzalez worked out for the Patriots?
Yeah, Im not going to get into specific guys. We go through the process of a lot of things, were comfortable with the player, whatever the process is then we sign him. Or, if hes comfortable with us, then he signs with us. Theres a lot of factors that go into it and kinda each ones different . . . We did a lot of work on him when he came out four years ago. Hes never been in our system, Ive never coached the player, so I dont know. Well have to see how it all goes.

On recently-signed pass rusher Trevor Scott?
Hes another guy who was, four years ago, we did work on him. Thats what we do. We scout the players coming out, evaluate them, some come to our teams, some go to other teams, and then our pro personnel department evaluates them through the course of their career, first, second, third year, whatever it is. Monitor their progress and if they become available later on, whether thats trade, release, free agency, whatever the process is, then we take the old evaluations, put them with the new evaluations and try to get a profile of the player and based on the other factors, our team, salary, contract, etc., all that, sometimes it comes together, sometimes it doesnt, so

Clayborn beats out Seymour, Vrabel to enter Patriots Hall of Fame


Clayborn beats out Seymour, Vrabel to enter Patriots Hall of Fame

Raymond Clayborn has been voted into the Patriots Hall of Fame, beating out both Mike Vrabel and Richard Seymour for the honor. The corner, who is tied for the franchise record for interceptions with Ty Law (36), will be the 26th person inducted to the Hall. 

Clayborn was a three-time Pro Bowler (1983, 1985, 1986) during his 13-year Patriots career from 1977 through 1989. He was drafted by the Patriots in the first round (16th overall) out of Texas in 1977, and chipped in both in the secondary and as a kick returner. As a rookie in the return game, he averaged 31 yards per return and brought back three for touchdowns. 

Clayborn reacted to the news on Twitter soon after the announcement was made. 

"I was fortunate to be a season ticket holder during Raymond's entire Patriots career," Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said in a statement. "For the first half of his career, he teamed with Michael Haynes to form one of the best corner tandems in league history. Throughout his career, Raymond was a physical, shutdown corner.

"One of my favorite memories was watching the 1985 team advance to the Super Bowl after Raymond helped us break the Orange Bowl curse when he stymied future Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino with a dominant performance against Pro Bowl receivers Mark Duper and Mark Clayton. Raymond had six passes defensed and an interception to help us claim our first conference title. It was the greatest upset victory in franchise history at the time and one the entire New England region celebrated. It is a well-deserved honor and I look forward to presenting him his hall of fame jacket."

Clayborn has been a finalist for each of the last four years but was not able to generate enough support in the annual online vote to beat out Ty Law (2014 inductee), Willie McGinest (2015) or Kevin Faulk (2016). Clayborn was eligible to be voted in by the senior committee since he's now been retired for 25 years, but he did not receive the requisite eight of 10 senior committee votes to be elected in that way. 

As it turns out, he didn't need to be. When Kraft called Clayborn with the news, he said Clayborn received over 40 percent of the vote to beat out the pair of three-time Super Bowl champs.