New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

Bill Belichick on Brady, Mankins, & more

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick opened his Sunday morning press conference by saying this is another big week for his team, his team has made a lot of progress since training camp opened two weeks ago, but there is still a long ways to go. Belichick also said that he is looking forward to heading down to Atlanta for two joint practices Tuesday, and the Patriots first road contest of the preseason on Thursday. Over the next twelve minutes, Belichick touched on quarterback Tom Brady’s injury situation, offensive lineman Logan Mankins situation, and a number of other hot training camp topics. Here are the highlights from Sunday’s press conference:

No worries about Brady’s reported injury

Belichick was asked about a Boston Herald report that Brady suffered an injury to a finger on his throwing hand in the preseason opener against New Orleans. Belichick smiled and replied, “I don’t think it’s life-threatening.” According to Belichick, Brady is fine, and there is nothing to worry about with the finger.

Belichick is certainly looking forward to the teams first official injury report of the season which comes out on Sept. 8th. “I’m looking forward to that one, its kind of like Christmas, I’m counting down the days till that injury report comes.”

When asked if the injury was game-threatening Belichick responded, “I can’t wait for that injury report to come out, its the highlight of my week.” If you’ve followed the Patriots comical injury reports over the past few years, expect Belichick to get creative and list Brady as probable with that chronic shoulder injury as well as a finger injury now.

Will Logan Mankins be placed on the roster exempt list?

Sunday is reportedly the deadline for teams to send a holdout player a letter informing him of their right to place him on the roster-exempt list. Belichick chose to stay away from the issue entirely responding to the question “Logan Mankins is not under contract.” At this point its anyones guess what happens with this mess. Mankins agent Frank Bauer told the Boston Globe his client hasn’t received any letter to this point (and went on to rip the Patriots), stay tuned to this situation as it develops.

Ron Brace remains “day-to-day”

With Ty Warren placed season ending injured reserve, the opportunity for second year defensive tackle Ron Brace to step up and become the impact player the Patriots envisioned him to be when they selected him in the second round last season is there. However, Brace has not passed his physical and remains on the reserve list. Belichick was asked if Brace might come off the list and begin practicing, to which he responded “We’ll see if he’s ready…I think its day-to-day.”

Classic Belichick on Burgess

Belichick was asked whether recently reinstated outside linebacker/defensive end Derrick Burgess has a lot of catching up to do, which drew this response from coach, “We’ll see.”

Alge Crumpler setting a good example for Pats rookies

Belichick praised veteran tight end Alge Crumpler saying, he’s “Very professional, he has a good understanding of professional football…he’s a good situational player…his attitude is very helpful with the younger players, Aaron (Hernandez) and Rob (Gronkowski)…He’s a great example for a younger player, or anybody on how to do his job.”

Terrence Wheatley ready to step up?

Belichick was asked to assess where third-year cornerback Terrence Wheatley is in his development at this point, and he said it’s a different-looking player than the team has previously seen. “I think he’s playing with good confidence and he’s made plays consistently on the practice field…Overall he’s playing with a lot of confidence…I definitely think he is way ahead of where he was last year at this time.”


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