The Patriots launched their mandatory minicamp on Tuesday. Coach Bill Belichick made himself available to reporters, who wanted to talk more about the non-mandatory workouts that players like Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski had skipped.
The questions were creative, aimed at getting something more than the usual nothing that Belichick offers. He still managed to say nothing, or close to it.
Question: “Did the absence of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski slow down your progress at all? How did that affect what you’ve been trying to do?”
Answer: “The OTA system is voluntary.”
Question: “Did it affect the progress of what you’re trying to do at all? Did it have any effect at all?”
Answer: “It’s a voluntary program.”
Follow-up: “That’s not what I asked.”
Bellichick: “Well, that’s the answer.”
As it relates to Brady, Belichick eventually said that the quarterback had missed OTAs in past years.
“If you go back a few years,” Belichick said, “there was times when he wasn’t — I mean look, again, it’s a voluntary program. So that’s what it is. You’ll have to ask him about it.”
Oh, Belichick almost came close to actually saying something. But, once again, nothing. Which still says something about his overall irritation level when it comes to this topic.