Bill Belichick can be so helpful. Unless, of course, he chooses not to be.
Belichick batted down suggestions that the Patriots could be looking at signing former Ravens and Texans safety Ed Reed on Wednesday, but not without giving reporters a nice, long explanation of how the Patriots keep tabs on players around the league throughout the year.
Belichick spent 421 words describing how the Patriots evaluate players continuously to make sure the team isn’t caught off guard if a player becomes available. Then, when asked a follow-up question specifically about Reed, he stayed true to his usual form and said he would not comment players not on New England’s roster.
Check out Belichick’s full comments below.
Q: One of the big stories [Tuesday] was the release of Texans safety Ed Reed. When something like that happens, what is the process that you go through as an organization to decide if you want to make a move on that player?
Belichick: Well, first of all, there’s usually, not always, but there’s usually an indication of things like that — there’s usually an indication that they could happen. Not saying they’re going to happen, but that they could happen, and that’s one of the things that our personnel department, pro personnel department, does a real good job of, is they stay on top of that. So when you have players who are — whatever their situation is — that we think could potentially become available, then we start working on them ahead of time, so that when it happens — or if it happens — we’re not sitting there trying to scramble around and find out the information and evaluate the player on film and so forth.
Most of the time you have a little bit of a lead-in on that if you’re paying attention to things that are going on, whether it be some type of internal problem, or maybe it’s a player that’s had decreased playing time, or maybe there’s a contract issue that you can see coming to a head, or you have some indication from whoever that it’s going to happen. I’d say most of the time we have a little bit of a head start on that, and then if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen, and we evaluated the player and the situation anyway. If it doesn’t come up then there’s no, obviously, action to take on it, but often times it does, and so we try to stay ahead of that. And of course that depends on what our situation is. I mean, there’s a lot of players that could be available out there, but if it’s a situation where you have a need at a certain position or it’s a fit, then you’re more interested and more apt to do something than if the player is out there and you have something going on at another position, but not that position, and that could affect what type of decision you would make there. It could be the same player, but it’s more sometimes about timing than it is about the player that’s available or the situation that you’re dealing with on your team at that point in time, which there is always something, whether it’s injuries or the type of scheme that you’re getting ready to face or that you want to use, and where your depth is at different positions, how to put all that together. I’d say that’s kind of the overall process.
Q: Do you actually have any interest in Ed Reed?
Belichick: I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to comment on players who aren’t on our team.