Belichick sarcastically praises media's ability to evaluate talent before padded practices

Belichick sarcastically praises media's ability to evaluate talent before padded practices

FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick took some time during Friday's press conference to remind reporters, and anyone else listening, that now isn't exactly the time for evaluations. Players are still in their shorts. Pads have yet to be introduced. 

In essence, pump the brakes. 

During his almost three-minute spiel, he made a few sarcastic quips about the talent "evaluators" in the media, and asked them to try to understand that what they are looking at for the first two days of training camp isn't REAL training camp. 

After fielding a few questions about subjects like the pass-catching ability of his running backs, the skill set of Brandin Cooks, and the versatility of undrafted rookie defensive back Kenny Moore, here's how Belichick made his point. 

"You know, you guys are asking a lot of questions about what we've seen from this guy, what we've seen from that guy," he started. "We've yet to put on pads. I understand that, you know, there's a pretty talented group of evaluators in this room but in all honesty our evaluations come more in training camp when we actually practice and we can fully execute the techniques and the plays that we're trying to do.

"The main thing we try to get done in the spring, and the main thing we're trying to get done in these two days is to teach the players what to do, to give them the most fundamental instruction that we can given the restraints that we have on practice. And then when padded practices, and I would say real training camp starts tomorrow, and will continue for quite a while after that including preseason games, is when the real evaluations start.

"I know everybody's all excited when a guy catches a pass, but when the defense doesn't jam him or they're not allowed to really because we don't want heavy contact out there, [they] aren't competing through contact at the end of the play, then it's not quite the same as when all that's going on. I'm not taking anything away from the receiverss. I'm not taking anything away from anybody. I'm just saying it is what it is. The competitive level out there's not what it's gonna be starting tomorrow.

"To evaluate players competitively when they're not on a competitive level, I have a hard time with. But I know a lot of the people are real good at that, and they can make a lot more out of it than I can so I can respect that. But due to my personal limitations, and my personal inability to make those evaluations, I don't make them. We can keep asking about how everybody does on this and how everybody does on that, and the main thing for me is to see if they're doing the right thing, doing it properly, how we can correct that, and then there will be a point in time where everybody will be able to go out and do it to the best of their ability against very competitive players on the other side of the ball, and we'll see what happens.

"That's when the evaluations really start, other than if a person can't take the intstricution and do whatever you've asked him to do or do it properly, you can evaluate that. But in some cases it's hard to evaluate how they do them competitively against somebody else when it's not a competitive situation."

Jerry Jones, Cowboys kneel before national anthem against Cardinals

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Jerry Jones, Cowboys kneel before national anthem against Cardinals

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, so the speculation was that he would not allow his players to kneel during the national anthem.

The Cowboys and their owner did kneel, though not during the anthem.

Following a weekend of kneeling and protesting across the NFL, the Cowboys and their owner displayed their own version of unity Monday night, kneeling on the field before rising as a group before the playing of the national anthem.

The Cowboys went into the locker room and returned to the field for the anthem, lining up between the sideline and the yard markers on the field.

Arm-in-arm, they dropped to a knee as a giant flag was carried onto the field, with Jones and his family in the middle near the 50-yard line.

Numerous boos rang out across University of Phoenix Stadium as the Cowboys kneeled and continued as the players rose, still arm-in-arm, and stepped back to the sideline as the flag was unfurled across the field. They remained connected as Jordin Sparks sang the national anthem.

The Arizona Cardinals had their own symbol of unity after a weekend of protests in the NFL, gathering along the goal line arm-in-arm during the national anthem. They were joined by owner Michael Bidwell, his family and general manager Steve Keim.

More than 200 NFL players kneeled, sat or prayed during the national anthem on Sunday after President Trump said any player who does not stand for the national anthem should be fired.

Three teams did not take the field for the national anthem and numerous NFL owners came out against Trump's statements.

EX-PATS PODCAST: Brown and Koppen in-depth conversation on national anthem protest

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EX-PATS PODCAST: Brown and Koppen in-depth conversation on national anthem protest

Former Patriots wide receiver Troy Brown joins Mike Giardi and Dan Koppen in this week’s episode of “The Ex-Pats Podcast” to discuss the protests from around the league and Donald Trump’s comments on Friday night. Troy spoke critically of the President on CSN’s Postgame Live show on Sunday, and the two former players react to what former teammate Matt Light said Monday morning on Toucher & Rich.

Also, the guys talk about the thrilling win for the Patriots against Houston, including whether Brandin Cooks has found his way into Tom Brady’s “trust tree” (24:40), Rob Gronkowski playing a monster role in the passing AND blocking game against Houston (29:00), and how concerning the defense has looked in the first three weeks of the season (32:30).