FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick shared a few thoughts before saying goodbye to the media (happily) for the summer. Joke was on us; he ended up canceling mini-camp's Day 3 session just an hour later.
Mini-camp is just over a month away, but the players won't get to take their playbooks home and study in the meantime. But there is a reason why.
"We'll make some revisions to it based on some of the things that happen over the week, weeks -- make some modifications to it. The way the playbook's set up, we make some modifications to it every year based on the installation schedule."
Did Belichick really fax Saints interim coach Joe Vitt about joint practice? Yes. Once you get beyond the faxing-as-primary-mode-of-communication part, it's easy to hold interest in the idea. The teams meet in a preseason game on August 9, but just imagine the kind of media response a practice prior to that date would have. Unfortunately, the logistics might be too complicated. The Saints play in the Hall of Fame game on August 5, so fitting a practice somewhere in between would be tough. Still . . .
"It's a possibility. Right now we're really just trying got focus on getting through this mini-camp here." Belichick added they could practice against a different team.
The coach confirmed injured tight end Jake Ballard did make it to Gillette on Wednesday.
"He was here yesterday afternoon. I talked to him and we'll move along with his rehab. We'll see how that goes. He seems to be doing relatively well for where he's at when he had the surgery. "
How about that AFC Championship bling?!
"Bittersweet," Belichick said of the recently received rings. "Whatever it was last year, it was. So it's time to move on." Okay, then.
Of the guys digging in for receiver competition this offseason, you probably don't have Britt Davis high on your watch list. But keep him in mind. The first-year player -- at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds -- has caught the attention of reporters during mini-camp and Belichick said the study is warranted.
"He's been an interesting guy to work with. One of our bigger receivers. He has good size. He's had some experience in our system through former Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels, some familiarity. I think he's adapted well and put himself a good position for training camp."
Even if the Patriots wanted to bring back free agent defensive end Andre Carter, there's currently one issue . . .
"Um . . . We'll see. There isn't a spot now," Belichick said. "Somebody would have to move off." Good point.
We were reminded again of how much higher the stakes are during training camp. Belichick said the players, now left to their own devices, will be counted on to get in shape for the late July practices.
"I think overall these guys are in pretty good shape, but I don't think they're in training camp shape -- real football shape. That will come over the next few weeks -- getting back to their offseason training -- lifting and conditioning and doing things that really get them prepared for the football season from a conditioning standpoint.