Well, what did you think he was going to do — come out and read a poem about how much he loves Tebow?
Everyone expecting a standard Bill Belichick news conference got exactly what they were hoping for when the Patriots coach spoke for the first time Tuesday since the signing of new backup quarterback Tim Tebow.
Belichick was so Belichickian, in fact, that his transcript reads like some kind of spoof on what it would be like if Belichick signed Tebow and then had to discuss it.
Yes, it really happened. Enjoy Belichick’s thoughts from the transcript below.
Bill Belichick: We’re rolling into our fourth week here of OTAs/minicamp. I feel like the team has been out there, and they’ve done a pretty good job. We’ll have another day here of work in the elements. Hopefully by the end of this week we’ll be in decent position to go into training camp. We’ve installed a lot of information, a lot of our schemes and had a chance to execute — obviously without pads on, so there’s still a lot of work to do there. But I think for the most part we’ve gotten good cooperation from everybody, good work on the field. We’re definitely better than we were a few weeks ago, and we still have a long, long way to go. We’ll just keep taking it one day at a time, and hopefully we finish up well this week and put things in place to start off to a good training camp.
Q: What can you tell us about your decision to sign Tim Tebow? What is it about his personality or attitude that leads you to believe that he can contribute to the team?
BB: Anything we do is what we feel is in the best interests of the team. Tim is a talented player that is smart and works hard. We’ll see how it goes.
Q: How much of a consideration was the attention that was going to come before making the decision to sign him?
BB: None. We try to do what’s best for the team.
Q: How do you deal with a player coming in with all this fanfare and celebrity? Do you have to sit him down and talk to him?
BB: In all honesty, we’ve been in front of bigger crowds than this before. We’ll just keep doing what our job is. We’re going to try to get better as a football team, individually and collectively, and that’s what we’re going to do.
Q: How do you plan to use him? What position?
BB: We’ll try to do what we think is best for our football team. I don’t know. We’ll see.
Q: Is it possible he could be used on special teams or defense in addition to offense?
BB: We’ll see. I don’t know.
Q: Specific to his off-field traits, what are some things you liked about Tim Tebow when you evaluated him?
BB: He’s a talented guy. He’s smart. He works hard. We’ve all seen him play. He can do a lot of things — we’ve seen that.
Q: Specific to that position though, do you have an ideal number depth-wise for the 53-man roster?
Q: Can you talk about your relationship with Tim? You’ve known him a long time. Obviously there are things you like.
BB: Yeah, I like Tim. I have a lot of respect for Tim.
Q: Have you had a close relationship with him over the years?
BB: I’ve never coached him before, so I wouldn’t … I’m certainly closer with a lot of the players that I’ve coached through my career.
Q: People around the league question his ability to play quarterback in the NFL. How do you feel about that?
BB: I’ve already said that.
Q: I’m talking about specifically at quarterback.
BB: I’ve answered the question twice. He’s a talented player who is smart and works hard.
Q: Will you discuss with him some of the ancillary stuff that seems to come with him? You know, the way his training camp was covered last year with the Jets and what he’ll be doing outside of football.
BB: We have a team full of players. Everybody has a job to do, and I’m sure he’ll try to do it the best that he can. We’ll all try to do our jobs the best that we can.
Q: From a team standpoint, you try to eliminate distractions. Are you worried this will cause a distraction? Just look at the number of people who are here.
BB: Hopefully there will be more than that at the games on Sundays.
Q: Will you have an objection to him kneeling down after a big play and “Tebowing” if you will?
BB: I think we’ve already talked enough about him. We’ll see how he does and just go from there.
Q: Can you answer that question? Will you care if he does it?
BB: I think I’ve covered it.
Q: How is Ryan Mallett’s offseason going?
BB: Good, solid. He’s improved every year he’s been here. He’s done a good job.
Q: Tim Tebow had a chance to work with Vinny Testaverde. Did that weigh into this decision at all?
BB: I haven’t talked to Vinny in a couple years.
Q: Is Ryan Mallett entrenched as the second quarterback, or do you see Tim Tebow coming in and competing for that spot?
BB: Right now, everybody is out there just trying to learn their position, learn their assignments, and we’ll let the competition go in training camp, like we usually do.
Q: How much does a player have to learn coming in at this part of the season to adapt to the system?
BB: I don’t know.
Q: Is it different with everyone?
BB: We’ve been in three weeks of OTAs, so whatever that is, that’s what it is. Four weeks, it’s four weeks. A week of training camp is a week of training camp. A regular-season game is a regular-season game. It all adds up every day. You do the math. I don’t know.
Q: Is Alfonzo Dennard good to go? Will he be out there today?
BB: He’ll do what he can do.
Q: How much have you stayed in touch with Rob Gronkowski over the last few weeks? Is there any concern about his availability for the start of the season?
BB: All of our players except one have been here regularly through the offseason up until this week. We see them all on a regular basis.
Q: Are all the players here in this camp?
BB: They are.
Q: Have you been thinking about this signing for awhile?
BB: We go through personnel in the league on a daily basis — the personnel department and we meet periodically from time to time, all throughout the year, all 365 days basically.
Q: You had some strong words in response to a report last week saying you didn’t like Tim Tebow as a player. Were you upset that something was being put out there on your behalf?
BB: I don’t have anything to add.
Q: Have you had any conversations with Urban Meyer in the last 48 hours?
BB: Whatever conversations I have with anybody would be between myself and that person anyways. I don’t think that’s anything that would be shared publicly.
Q: There’s the thought that Tim Tebow needs a few adjustments to thrive. Do you see it that way?
BB: We’ll see how it goes.
Q: How much does Josh McDaniels’ background with Tim Tebow help? How big a part was he in this decision?
BB: I don’t know.
Q: He drafted him. I would think he would be part of that decision.
BB: There are a lot of people in the organization that contributed in all decisions, like there usually are. I couldn’t put a percentage on it, if that’s what you’re looking for.
Q: What was the general reaction from Tebow’s camp after getting the call from you guys?
BB: I don’t know. You’d have to talk to them about that.
Q: You didn’t get a feel for it at all?
BB: You’d have to talk to them. I don’t want to represent what somebody else said or thought.
Q: Tim Tebow was available for five weeks. Could you have gotten him in earlier perhaps?
BB: There are a lot of things in the offseason – the timing is different for one reason or another. There are player transactions pretty much every day from the first day of free agency. They’ll be there all the way up until the end of training camp. I think each one is a little bit different. That’s just the way it is.