No Huddle: Belichick continues praise of Schiano

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No Huddle: Belichick continues praise of Schiano

Patriots coach Bill Belichick landed in Tampa with his team on Tuesday evening. The next morning he met with reporters before joint practice with the Buccaneers.

Not surprisingly, there was a lot of talk about former Rutgers, current Bucaneers coach Greg Schiano. Belichick gave a positive endorsement of Schiano when the Glazer family was doing its search for a new HC.

Here are a few hits from the press conference.

Can you talk about your recommendation on the Bucs coaching hire?

BB: "All I can do is just be honest. And I do, I think the world of Greg. I think hes a good coach. Hes got a good personality, he treats his players well, hes smart, hes tough. He did a great job with the Rutgers program without some of the opportunities that some other programs that he was going against had. But he competed really well in that conference and against those teams. Ive always been impressed with the way his teams performed. I have no problem saying that at all.

Belichick's son Stephen played one year of Rutgers football under Schiano as a backup long snapper. The relationship between coaches is older than that, however; New England has added more than a few Scarlet Knights to its roster in recent years.

What are some of the challenges moving from coaching in the NCAA to the NFL?

BB: "I dont know. I think Schiano's a very experienced guy. Hes won a lot of games, hes coached a lot of players. Hes coached NFL players, they just were in college, thats all. The Vince Wilforks, the Devin McCourtys, all the guys that hes coached, theyre NFL players, they just werent in the NFL yet. And hes coached in the NFL. So he knows what hes doing. Hell be fine.

Schiano had a 68-67 record in 11 seasons at Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights finished with just one season under .500 since 2005.

Is Tom Brady on, well, let's call it a "pitch count," during the preseason?

BB: "Everybodys got to re-establish himself this year every player, every coach and thats what training camp and the preseason games are for, to work our performance back up as high as we can and build on into the season. Weve all got a long way to go. I dont think anybodys even close to where we need to be, and that includes all of us coaches calling plays; players doing their jobs, working with new teammates, getting new timing; new opponent; different look. We havent even started the season yet. We have a long way to go."

Do you feel players are more stimulated during joint practices?

BB: "When you work against the same guy every day, you know what he can do, you respect it, but you know it. Maybe youre confident in certain things he can and cant do. When you go against a new opponent, you dont know how hard that jab is, how good his hook is, how quick he moves, what its like to go against him. It forces you to play your techniques better, to be as good as you can at your specific individual fundamental techniques. But then from a team standpoint, your recognition, your communication, really making sure that were all on the same page and we know exactly what were doing because were not as sure about what theyre doing as we are working against ourselves where we see it more frequently.

How good is to have Sebastian Vollmer and Daniel Fells back?

BB: Theyve both been making good progress and weve taken another small step. Each day is a small step but in the end all those steps end up covering a lot of ground, and those guys have done that. Taking them off PUP, this is a small step. Working them into practice gradually is a small step, and if they continue to progress then well continue to do more. If we need to back off a little bit, then well back off a little bit until theyre ready to resume that progress."

What do you think of One Bucaneer Place, the new Tampa Bay practice complex? Been here before?

BB: No, I was at the old facility many times. Its the first time Ive been here. It looks great. Im certainly impressed with this room and the podium, the media room. Theyre treating you guys pretty good. Spent a little time in the weight room this morning and the fields look good. Its great. Good operations, good facility theyve got a good program and like I said were excited to be here and working with Tampa. Its a great opportunity for our team and were going to try to make the most of it.

Belichick headlines big-name crowd in attendance at Ohio State pro day

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Belichick headlines big-name crowd in attendance at Ohio State pro day

Bill Belichick has counted both Urban Meyer and Greg Schiano among the list of coaches he trusts. On Thursday, the Patriots coach was in attendance at Ohio State's pro day to watch players who've been coached by both. 

Belichick has been closely tied to both Meyer and Schiano over the years, drafting multiple players from their programs when Meyer was at the University of Florida and Schiano was at Rutgers University. The Schiano connection has been particularly strong in recent years as Belichick's son, Steve, played for Schiano, and the Patriots had three key players in their secondary -- Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon and Logan Ryan -- for the last four seasons who studied under Schiano. 

Now the head coach and associate head coach/defensive coordinator, respectively, Meyer and Schiano have tutored some of this year's top draft prospects. Here's a quick breakdown of some of the top-tier talent hailing from Columbus this year . . . 

Malik Hooker, safety: The 6-foot-1, 206-pounder is expected to be the first true free safety off the board. His impressive ball skills made him a turnover waiting to happen in the Big Ten. 

Marshon Lattimore, corner: With a 38.5-inch vertical and a 4.36-second 40-yard dash time, Lattimore is one of the best draft-eligible athletes this year. He was hampered by hamstring injuries in college, but he's still projected to be one of the first defensive backs taken. 

Gareon Conley, corner: Among the draft's fastest risers after putting together a strong combine (4.44 40-yard dash, 6.68-second three-cone), Conley will give his next team good size (6-feet, 195 pounds) and length (33-inch arms). He may not be as polished as Lattimore, but still could very well be a first-round pick.

Pat Elflein, center: This smart, hard-working pivot may not have the world's best footwork, but he should be among the first players taken at his position. Elflein (6-foot-3, 300 pounds) is a former wrestler who has experience at both center and guard. 

Curtis Samuel, receiver: A true all-purpose threat in college (AP All-American, first-team All-Big Ten), he could have trouble adapting to life as a full-time receiver in the NFL. At 5-11, 196 pounds that's probably where he'll end up.

Raekwon McMillan, linebacker: At 6-2, 240 pounds McMillan was a second-team All-American and a first-team All-Big Ten choice. He's instinctive, but there's some concern as to whether or not he has the strength to hold up inside at the next level. The Patriots, as we've noted, have been looking at the linebacker position throughout the pre-draft process.

FBI returns Brady Super Bowl jerseys to Gillette

FBI returns Brady Super Bowl jerseys to Gillette

The FBI returned Tom Brady’s Super Bowl XLIX and Super Bowl LI jerseys to Gillete Stadium Thursday, days after recovering the stolen items. 

After the FBI’s visit, Robert Kraft issued the following statement:  

"We want to thank the FBI, the Mexican authorities and the many different local agencies that were involved in the investigation and ultimate recovery of Tom Brady's Super Bowl LI jersey. Working along with the Patriots and NFL security, those agencies collectively coordinated an investigation that also led to the recovery of Tom’s missing Super Bowl XLIX jersey. It was great to have both jerseys returned to Gillette Stadium today. I don’t know that any agency could have accomplished this independently, but collectively multiple agencies -- both in the U.S. and in Mexico -- worked together to achieve the goal of retrieving the stolen property. It is another example of the importance of teamwork and what can be accomplished when everyone works together. We appreciate the effort of everyone involved and look forward to returning these jerseys to Tom when he gets back to New England."

Brady’s jersey was reported missing shortly after the Patriots’ Super Bowl LI victory over the Falcons, with it being learned in recent days that Martin Mauricio Ortega Camberos of Mexican newspaper La Prensa was the culprit. Video emerged Tuesday of Ortega illegally entering the Patriots’ locker room and leaving with the jersey.