Belichick says team will have to 'suck it up'

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Belichick says team will have to 'suck it up'

TAMPA -- Even though a fleet of very important Patriots sat out Monday's preseason game with the Eagles, more than half the 90-man roster played.

But Bill Belichick seems eager to have his team tested by the late game-day after-breakdown-fly to Tampa-practice-practice-game-fly home schedule his team is facing.

"Look, it's training camp," said Belichick when asked if any allowances were being made for spent players. "Coaches are tired, players are tired but we're gonna have a short week during the season. We have a Sunday-Thursday game during the season. That's what training camp's for. It's to suck it up, it's to be mentally tough with whatever situations you have. You're tired, you're sore, you didn't get any sleep, you traveled. You have to block that out and focus on what you can control which is your performance and your effort. You go out there and work through it as a team and as individuals."

The turnaround Belichick is referring to during the season comes when the Patriots play the Colts on Sunday and then follow with the Jets on Thanksgiving. He sees this week as becoming a touchstone for the team when things inevitably get ugly later.

"That's the way it's gonna be during the season," Belichick pointed out. "There will be plenty of weeks during the season where somebody's gonna be tired, somebody's gonna be sore or some position's gonna be short on numbers or whatever it is. You build your toughness and resiliency through training camp and that serves you well during the season. You look back during the season and say, 'You know what, this isn't that bad, we went through a lot worse stretch than this in camp.' You have the confidence you can do it. I don't really worry about that. These guys came to camp in good condition, they've worked hard, they've had a good camp, they're ready for the challenge in front of them and I expect them to meet it."

BYU's Harvey Langi ready to prove why Patriots showed him the money

BYU's Harvey Langi ready to prove why Patriots showed him the money

FOXBORO -- Harvey Langi played multiple positions across multiple colleges. Bill Belichick made sure the undrafted linebacker’s next move was to New England. 

After the Patriots made just four draft picks, they gave the BYU product a contract that guaranteed $100,000 of his base salary along with a $15,000 signing bonus; by comparison, most of the Patriots’ undrafted free agent signings this offseason have gotten guarantees of around $20,000 or less. 

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Since the Patriots paid Langi like a draft pick -- basically like a fifth-rounder -- why didn’t they just draft him? They had the opportunity, as they entered the final two rounds with a sixth-round pick and a seventh remaining. They packaged both to move up in the sixth and take UCLA tackle Conor McDermott, ending their draft.

Seeing the Patriots finish picking early must have been disheartening for Langi, as New England had shown ample interest in him ahead of the draft. Then again, there’s more than one way to guarantee you get the player, and the Pats did that with Langi’s contract. 

“With all that, it’s in the past now,” Langi said this week. “They showed interest. I was, of course, interested in anyone and everyone, but when the Patriots were looking at me, I was super pumped because of the program that is run here. It was awesome.”

A native of South Jordan, Utah, Langi landed at BYU after beginning his college career as a running back for the University of Utah. While at Utah, Langi ran for 70 yards on 13 careers. Following his transfer to BYU, Langi moved around positionally, but was primarily a linebacker and defensive end. He continued to see reps as a running back, rushing for two touchdowns last season as a senior. 

As far as his candidacy for the NFL goes, the 6-foot-2, 251-pounder looks to be best cut-out for linebacker. Specifically, an NFC West scout said that BYU did him a “real disservice” by playing him on the edge and that he should be used at middle linebacker. As a senior, he had 57 tackles, five for a loss and two sacks.  

Langi will have company in the middle, but that’s where being an undrafted player comes in. There is no immediate pressure for him to be any sort of game-breaker, but if he can use his athleticism to make the 53-man roster as a special-teamer and one of Dont’a Hightower’s backups, he’ll have the opportunity to try to develop into someone worthy of defensive snaps. 

For now, it’s a new start for Langi, but one he feels could be the start of something promising. 

“Those first steps are just steps,” Langi said. “That’s what I’m trying to do, is just keep taking more steps. When I did take a step in the building, the feeling was just like, ‘Gosh.’ Ever since you’ve been a kid, this program and how coach runs his program and how everything is done here in New England, it was an amazing feeling walking through those doors, for sure. Surreal.”