Belichick wants draft pushed back to April

Belichick wants draft pushed back to April
June 17, 2014, 10:00 am
(USA Today Sports Images)

FOXBORO -- Ink-stained wretches aren’t the only ones who want the NFL draft to return to it’s more traditional late April setup. Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick is onboard as well.

“Yeah, of course," Belichick said, "the sooner you have your players, the easier it is to start not only getting them integrated into your team but also building your team.”

Belichick has long valued this time of the year, repeatedly saying this is when you start laying the foundation for a successful campaign. But with this year’s draft held May 8th-10th, it changed the way all franchises did their business, some ditching the rookie mini-camp entirely or others, like the Patriots, holding rookie practices for a week before letting the kids get on the same field with the vets.

“That couple weeks there, that time was lost from when players could start preparing for their new team and, you know, being told what they need to do, what position they were going to play and all those kind of things," Belichick said.

Between the two weeks lost for the reasons Belichick illustrated, and then the pushing back of other team building aspect, Belichick did what he rarely does, openly campaign the league for change, or in this case, a return to normalcy.

“There’s certain things you get in the draft and then you have to fill in other areas of the team, whether it’s veteran players, college free agents or whatever," Belichick said. "That process is going on, you pick up the transactions and every team, not every team, but there’s probably 5 to 15 transactions on a daily basis and of course if you had the draft, you’d be able to move that whole process up, but whatever it is it is, it’s not my decision, but I would go for an earlier draft, absolutely.”