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.