Bill Belichick broke with his personal tradition and held a press conference at the NFL Combine on Thursday.
Bill Belichick honored his personal tradition and spoke in easily-digestible generalities before leaving the podium at Lucas Oil Stadium.
A few nuggets were included in his opening remarks.
First, Belichick acknowledged there’s significant work ahead of his staff with the number of underclassmen declaring eligible.
“We’re just getting started . . . obviously a pretty good looking group of players,” said Belichick. “We’ve got a long way to go in the evaluation. I’m nowhere close to being able to give you any type of analysis or evaluation of what this draft is or isn’t.
“I’ve spent only the time since the end of the season -- the Senior Bowl and film -- but it certainly looks like there will be a lot of interesting players and certainly a lot of guys we have to do work on,” he added. “This is . . . the heaviest underclass group that’s come out. A lot of those players weren’t surprises but -- because of the large number of them -- plenty of them were. We have a lot of catching up to do in that area.”
The Patriots travel with a large contingent from their personnel department as well as some assistant coaches. The medical and training staff, however, fill the biggest role in Indy, Belichick said.
“Probably the biggest thing that we get out of this is to have the physical examinations and have them all done at one time,” Belichick pointed out. “We have the rechecks later on in the spring. But just to get through all the physicals and no thave to fly guys back and forth like we had to do a couple decades ago. The medical part is huge. Having some interaction with the players personally is good for me since I’ve had almost zero over the course of the years and just being able to see them in person.”