Belichick: Owners' meetings are what they are


Belichick: Owners' meetings are what they are

By Tom E. Curran

NEW ORLEANS - Bill Belichick embraces the annual NFL Owners Meetings like a shirtless man hugs a cactus. Being told where to be, when, and for how long just doesn't float with him at this point. Nor does some of the back-slapping artifice you can routinely see at this event. (I, on the other hand, love it.) But Belichick did his duty and came to New Orleans. We caught up with him in a hallway at the Roosevelt. Belichick said at the start he wasn't delving into the CBA and, when asked about Brandon Meriweather, signaled he wasn't going there either. ("We're aware of it. We've got nothing to add.")Belichick was tight-lipped when asked about his players, likely not wanting to even give appearance that he may be keeping abreast of their progress during this lockout. "Our last meeting with them was at the end of the season, he said.Other than ripping into the proposed changes to kickoffs, Belichick provided mostly verbal shrugs to the questions posed. Asked about this work stoppage compared to others he's seen since 1975, Belichick said, I guess theyre all different. The other two were during the season. Maybe this will be too, I dont know. Theyre all different, but right now I dont have any control over that. Were just working on what we can work on, which is our draft preparation. He wouldn't weigh in on this year's draft class, or which teams may be better prepared personnel-wise to handle a lockout. Asked about trading picks, elevating Bill O'Brien to offensive coordinator and moving Matt Patricia to safeties coach, Belichick's answer can be distilled to, "Just doing what's good for the football team."

In short, he was short. And you knew he was kidding when asked finally what his favorite part of the offseason has been, "So far, Id say the owners meetings here in New Orleans.

Tom E. Curran can be reached at Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

Football is coming.

The Patriots announced on Thursday that veterans will report to training camp on Wednesday, July 26 and that the first public practice will take place the following day.

Each of the team's first four practices -- from July 27-30 -- are scheduled to take place on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium "in the nine o'clock hour," according to the Patriots. Updates to the training camp schedule, including more specific start times for practices, can be found at

The Patriots Hall of Fame will hold its induction ceremony for former corner Raymond Clayborn on Saturday, July 29 around midday following that morning's training camp practice. Held on the plaza outside the Hall at Patriot Place, the ceremony will be free and open to the public.

The Patriots will host the Jaguars for two days of joint practices open to the public on Monday, Aug. 7 and Tuesday, Aug. 8. The preseason opener for both clubs will take place at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 10.