FOXBORO, Mass. — Zoltan Mesko fans might have gotten worked into a tizzy this week when a report surfaced that the Patriots worked out a handful of players at Gillette Stadium, including a punter.
Yet, there wasn?t all that much to it. Head coach Bill Belichick broke down the Patriots' regular-season scouting process Friday and said the team is constantly working out players. A simple workout could be conducted for a number of reasons, whether the Patriots are interested in signing the player immediately, scouting him in the event of an emergency at that position or simply trying to make sure the player has recovered well enough from an injury.
"That?s something we do every week," Belichick said. "Every week, we talk about just personnel, and we go through the players that on our roster, players that are on the practice squad, players that are available that are out on the street and aren?t with any team, players that are on other teams' practice squads, and anything that might have changed from the previous week."
Like last week at this time, the Patriots have to sign one more player before game time to fill out their roster. Last week's open spot came as a result of the Laurence Maroney trade, and this week's vacancy occurred because of Kevin Faulk's injury.
Belichick said there's no set formula for the scouting process — they might have five players on a short list at wide receiver, and none at tackle, he gave as an example — but they'll always have a short list of players they'd sign in the event of injury, poor performance or any other reason for a vacancy.
The scouting staff is also still breaking down preseason tape. If a certain player sticks out — last week, Belichick mentioned Pats practice squad running back Javarris James' nice preseason — the Patriots will look for more tape from previous years, whether it's in college or the NFL.
And they'll go from there.
"There's a number of options," Belichick said about this week's pending roster transaction. "Get through the week here, and there are a number of different ways we can go."