Bill Belichick scoffs at evaluating players before the pads are on

AP

Patriots coach Bill Belichick told reporters on Day 2 of training camp that asking him to evaluate players right now is a waste of time.

“You know, you guys are asking a lot of questions about what have we seen from ‘this’ guy, what are we seeing from ‘that’ guy. We’ve yet to put on pads, alright?” Belichick told reporters, before adding sarcastically, “I understand that this is 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.”

Belichick said that when the pads are on, that’s when camp begins.

“I would say real training camp starts tomorrow, we’ll continue for quite a while after that, including the preseason games, is when the real evaluations start,” Belichick said. “So 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, aren’t competing for contact at the end of the play then it’s not quite the same as when all of that’s going on. I’m not taking anything away from the receivers. I’m not taking anything away from anybody. I’m just saying it is what it is. The competitive level out there is not what it’s going to be starting tomorrow, so 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, 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’. 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 instruction and do what you’re asking them to do or can’t do it properly, you can evaluate that. But in some cases it’s hard to evaluate how they’re doing competitively against somebody else when it’s really not a competitive situation.”

Belichick said evaluating players’ on-field work without pads is about seeing if they know the playbook and can execute it on the field.

“I think you can evaluate what you’re teaching them to do,” Belichick said. “Do they understand the plays? Do they understand their assignments? Are they using the proper technique in their assignment? Can you evaluate whether a guy can power rush, or whether you can stop a power rush, or whether you can stop the physical play or block physical players in there? No, and we don’t want to evaluate that. That’s not what this is for. So yeah, I mean in terms of evaluation it’s definitely limited. What we do want is so that the players understand their assignments, their techniques, adjustments that they’re going to have to make so when we can evaluate it, they already know what to do and there’s not a lot of ‘Do I do this? Do I do that’ hesitation, which then nobody looks good doing that, and it’s hard to evaluate a player when he’s not confident or sure of what he’s doing. If he knows what to do and he’s sure how to do it and he goes out there and does it the best that he can and the guy on the other side of the ball does the same thing, then you can see what you have. But we’re not really at that stage yet. We just aren’t. We’re doing what we can do, which is productive. We’re making progress and soon we’ll be able to get into a different type of evaluation practice.”

Ultimately, Belichick said, the Patriots haven’t done any real football yet in camp.

“We’re not in pads,” he said. “We’re not tackling guys. We’re not jamming the receivers. We’re not blocking each other in the running game, or very infrequently. We’re not defeating run blocks. We’re not doing any of those things, so we don’t evaluate them.”

42 responses to “Bill Belichick scoffs at evaluating players before the pads are on

  1. Damn, I’m not sure he’s said that much in his entire career combined. Must’ve been in a good mood. lol

  2. Belichick is correct! You can’t evaluate a car without driving it down the road or a movie from just seeing trailers! If he was “sarcastic” in his reply, then what do you call the questions asked by the media? GO SEAHAWKS!

  3. I would have to say that they have come a long way from the days of Billy Sullivan firing Chuck Fairbanks with one game left in the season and appointing Ron Erhardt and Hank Bullough as co head coaches-then bringing Fairbanks back for the playoffs.

  4. He only said the obvious. I didn’t read about any new revelation worthy of leg humping him like you guys are doing.

  5. Those are words from the flat out greatest coach in football history and quite possibly the greatest in any sport…I know you all love to hate the guy but I also know you would kill to have him as the leader of your team.

  6. Come on you know the media and the fans are the experts. Just pick names out of a hat and move on.

  7. Coach obvious wasn’t just schooling the press because the message goes to all you leg humpers as well.

    As far as the greatest coach ever…..please great coaches don’t get fined for cheating. He is a good coach made great by a great QB, who was also punished for cheating. That aspect will always temper the greatest argument….and should.

  8. He reminds me of Noll.

    He disdained the media and would tell them their questions were meaningless and irrelevant. And won 4 SBs in 6 years.

  9. Maybe one day some real reporters will be intelligent enough to keep it real and not sensationalize everything. Is there not even one reporter who keeps it real like Bill. I would love to follow that reporter. We all know they report a bunch of crap at this time of year because that is the easy way to go-they don’t have to spend time ‘THINKING” intelligently.

  10. .
    Belichick was referencing the local media which was reporting ” Cooks beats Rowe for TD” and ” Gilmore intercepts Brady” as if they were meaningful events.

    He’s just saying that teams are in the two hand touch portion of camp and actual camp hasn’t even begun yet.
    .

  11. abninf says:
    Jul 29, 2017 9:15 AM
    He only said the obvious. I didn’t read about any new revelation worthy of leg humping him like you guys are doing.
    _______________

    If you knew anything about the Boston sports media you’d understand why we enjoy these Belichick moments. Now go get your cowgirls knee pads and shinebox wth that cute little star on the side.

  12. jr4real says:
    Jul 29, 2017 10:39 AM
    He reminds me of Noll.

    He disdained the media and would tell them their questions were meaningless and irrelevant. And won 4 SBs in 6 years.
    ____________

    While it’s true that Noll won 4 SB’s in 6 years with the Steelers, it’s also true he won 4 in his 23 years coaching them.

  13. Even as a Dolphins fan I recognize that this is a fact.

    You definitely can’t evaluate offensive and defensive linemen, and especially not running backs or linebackers, who crash the line. Since no one is wearing pads, no one is hitting the hole at 100. You don’t get to see how a player reacts to live contact until pads come on. I think route running and coverage however can be evaluated, but then again you can’t gauge if a receiver will hang onto the ball after a real hit.

    Basically, some aspects of skill position players can be evaluated, but you can’t put a number on heart till you see someone get the wind knocked out of them and see them get up and line up for the next play without batting an eye.

    That’s the difference between someone who can play football and a football player.

  14. IMO, it sounds like Belichick is simply trying to squash the pre-training camp hype machine.

    The reporters know that not much can be made of padless practice. And Belichick knows they know that. The reporters are simply looking for any sort of football story to hype up during this slow period of pro football. Lots of coaches will talk about some player in an effort to show excitement and support for a player publicly.

    I think Belichick’s answer was more of a clinical one…which is the way he thinks about football. I remember hearing him say to the Patriots (I think in the NFL Network Belichick bio show) that if he has to motivate you, you shouldn’t be here (with the Patriots). So he’s not going to give a rah-rah feel good answer to the reporters. He’s going to tell you what he sees and doesn’t see with padless practice.

  15. 700levelvet says:
    Jul 29, 2017 12:50 PM
    Mallett… That is all genius
    _______________

    So far this century Belichick has coached the Patriots to 5 more Super Bowl wins and 6 more playoff wins than the Eagles have in their entire 75 year history.
    That is all genius

  16. The record speaks for itself. He’s the greatest coach in NFL history. There will always be the whiners and excuse makers who can’t face reality.

  17. Just hand the trophy to the Pats and shut it down for the season. I believe in all these Pats fans calling for the perfect season. Who needs to actually play the games and risk more CTE?

  18. Reminds me of when I coached youth football. Every dad told me how great their son can throw a football or how he can really catch. It’s easy doing those things in a t-shirt & shorts in your backyard. We find out who can play football when we put the equipment on. It’s that simple.

  19. I will tell my grandchildren about watching him prowl the sideline. And probably yours.

  20. Best ever. He has proven he can win with anyone at QB. I mean Cassell, Garropolo, Brissette, really?

  21. Nofoolnodrool says:
    Jul 29, 2017 10:29 AM
    Coach obvious wasn’t just schooling the press because the message goes to all you leg humpers as well.

    As far as the greatest coach ever…..please great coaches don’t get fined for cheating. He is a good coach made great by a great QB, who was also punished for cheating. That aspect will always temper the greatest argument….and should.

    ——————–

    lol ‘cheaters never win’… BB is guilty of nothing more than what ever half decent coach has done… get tape and review it… if you wanna call that cheating go for it but every coach is a cheater then. so your statement loses its teeth at that point

  22. I’ll give credit where credit is due, but definitely not the best fans. There are some fans in KC and Seattle that can turn an outdoor stadium into a rock concert sound atmosphere and last I checked, Pats fans sit on their bums the whole game.

  23. Belichick is just stating the obvious. He is the best coach I’ve ever seen, but any coach that isn’t Rex Ryan knows that the work is done with pads on.

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