Leftover Belichick bites: Wilson brings more size

Leftover Belichick bites: Wilson brings more size
March 19, 2013, 8:15 pm
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PHOENIX – Bill Belichick wasn’t that bad Tuesday morning in Arizona.
 
Sitting for nearly an hour with the media at the AFC Coaches Breakfast, was a helluva sentence for the taciturn coach.
 
But he plowed through all the necessary questions, treating a few – Wes Welker’s departure and Rob Gronkowski’s wrestling skills – as radioactive while providing insight on a few others.
 
Here’s a collection of the pertinent items covered Tuesday.
 
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Asked about recently acquired strong safety Adrian Wilson, Belichick said, “He’s been very productive in the league. Look forward to working with him. We’ll see how it goes.”
 
Belichick did allow that the 6-3, 220-pound Wilson brings more size to the back end of the defense.
 
“Clearly, he is a different style of player than other players. That’s true of everybody. Each player has their own unique style. What their role ends up being on our team will be determined by how they perform, how other players perform, and how we can get our best football team out there on the field. I don’t know what that’s going to be. He’s been a productive player and I look forward to working with him.”
 
Can Wilson make a contribution similar to the one made by Rodney Harrison when Harrison joined the team in 2003?
 
“Rodney Harrison’s one of the greatest players ever to play for the New England Patriots, one of the greatest players, I think, to play his position in the National Football League,” warned Belichick. “Pretty high comparison. I’m not saying [Wilson] isn’t, but you’re talking about a great player [in Harrison].”
 
Can there even be safeties that alter games with their physicality anymore?
 
“Time will tell. It’s a great question,” said Belichick. “I don’t think you can take it out of the game, but it may not be able to be what it was.”
 
Along the same lines, Belichick noted that the proposed rule banning runners from dipping their heads in the open field to initiate contact is going to be hard to enforce if it passes.
 
“I think the game is pretty hard to officiate as it is,” said Belichick. “I think this is a real hard rule to officiate. Let’s start with that. I guess we’ll talk more about it in the next couple days.”
 
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Belichick expressed optimism that Aqib Talib, with a full Patriots training camp under his belt – can be better in 2013.
 
“Obviously, he’s a talented player, a good teammate,” said Belichick. “I think he has a lot of things that we wanted to work with as a team. I thought in the opportunities he had last year, he worked hard and gave us his best. Hopefully he’ll be able to build on that year with the offseason program, training camp, and full season. We’ll see how it goes.”
 
Talib signed for one year and $5 million. Coupling his salary with that of Adrian Wilson ($1 million in 2013), the players are getting two good players for the low, low price of $6 million.
 
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Belichick also expressed optimism over re-signed slot corner Kyle Arrington.
 
“He’s been a good player for us on defense and in the kicking game. He’s had versatility, playing outside and inside on defense. He’s been very durable, tough, good teammate, works hard. Nobody works harder than Kyle. Glad to have him back.”
 
He was a little less positive about Patrick Chung who left to sign with the Eagles. Asked why Chung’s production slipped, Belichick said, “The bottom line is, it did. I think there were a number of circumstances, but we had other players that were able to produce more.”
 
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A number of Eagles writers probed Belichick for info on their newly hired head coach Chip Kelly. He and Belichick have been friends and have exchanged some coaching notes. But Belichick seemed to make a point to say the Patriots are not emulating the hurry-up offense Kelly made a sensation while in the college ranks.
 
“Chip’s a good friend,” said Belichick. “I have a lot of respect for Chip. We’ve had dialogue on a number of occasions, but I would say that . . . from a strategic or football standpoint . . . it’s been very limited. But, you know, we’ve talked football and stuff like that. But as far as us running his offense or him running ours . . . I think that’s . . . couldn’t be anything further than what it is.”
 
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Belichick proclaimed the future of Alfonzo Dennard, who awaits sentencing in Nebraska as “out of our control.”
 
“We’ll deal with (the circumstances) once that’s determined, April 11, or whenever it is,” said the head coach.
 
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Belichick didn’t seem enthused at the prospect of Jeff Demps stated desire to run track in addition to playing running back and return man for the Patriots.