New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

Belichick touches on Saints, Schobel and injuries at Gillette

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick held his usual press conference this morning, and a couple of the highlights included the Patriots first pre-season exhibition versus New Orleans, the possibility of recently released Bills defensive end Aaron Schobel coming to New England, and the injury situation’s with defensive end Ty Warren and offensive lineman Nick Kaczur.

Belichick provided some details on how the joint practices will work with the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints this week. The similarities between this season and the 2001 season in which the Patriots won their first Super Bowl championship continue as this is the first time in nine years Belichick has brought in another team during camp to practice. The last time was in 2001 when he invited the New York Giants.

The teams will start on separate fields for warmups and individual-type drills, before coming together about one-third of the way through practice for the rest of the practice. The joint practices will take place on the two practice fields behind Gillette Stadium.

“It’s just part of the whole structure to get your team ready for the the season,” Belichick said. “I haven’t really thought about 2001 too much. We do it against each other and this will be a chance to do it against somebody else, their schemes and players are different than ours, so it just creates some different match-ups and we’ll see it again Thursday night. It gives us a chance to create some situations that may or may not come up during a game.”

Belichick was asked what free agent defensive end Aaron Schobel would bring to a team his response was, well classic Belichick (very vague).

“Nick [Caserio] and the personnel staff look at all the players that are out there,” Belichick said. “Any player that’s not on the roster, we’ve evaluated. He has some sort of status with us, whatever that category and there are a number of different categories but that’s what the personnel staff does, they look at all the players. The ones that are on other teams, we keep track of them and the ones that aren’t with any team, we keep track of them.

“I’m sure, depending on what his situation is, he would some value to different teams but again that’s all relative to a lot of other circumstances and that would vary from team to team. I can’t speak for other teams.”

On the injury front, Belichick confirmed that safety Josh Barrett, who was claimed off waviers from Denver last week, will have shoulder surgery. “We’ll see how it goes,” said Belichick.

Additionally Belichick addressed the status of injured defensive lineman Ty Warren and offensive lineman Nick Kaczur this morning.

“Ty and Nick both have missed a number of practices and they’re both being evaluated by our medical staff,” Belichick said. “We’ll see what comes of that. We’ll just have to wait until we get a little more information there.

“Otherwise, everybody is in a day-to-day situation. We got some guys back at the end of last week. Hopefully we’ll see more back this week, as we get closer to full strength.”

With both Kaczur (back) and Warren (hip) not falling into the day to day category, the injuries to both Patriots may be more serious than your garden variety training camp bumps and bruises. The situation is worth monitoring as training camp continues. One final injury note, backup defensive lineman Ron Brace who was expected to step up in his second season and carve out a role in the defensive line rotation, remains out on the physically unable to perform list.

The Patriots have a walkthrough practice this morning, followed by a full pads practice this afternoon at 3 p.m.


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