FOXBORO, Mass. — While delivering a soliloquy on fullbacks, Bill Belichick casually mentioned that some players, like New England Patriots center David Andrews and linebacker Elandon Roberts, have played the same positions their whole lives. Belichick was asked a follow-up if that’s a variable he looks for in players.
He shot down the notion, explained how many players often find their positions — and then took an unprompted shot at defenders.
“It is what it is. A lot of defensive players get moved (from) offense because they’re not good enough on offense,” Belichick said. “High school coaches, college coaches, if they’ve got somebody better and you have a better player at that position, instead of stacking them up you just move them somewhere where you can get them on the field quicker. If you’re a high school or college coach you’re not going to take your best running back and put him at — I mean, it would be rare. You’re not going to put him somewhere else, you’re going to give him the ball and let him be a productive scorer for you.
“Most of those guys do get moved and most of the offensive linemen get moved from defense because they don’t run well enough. If they ran well enough, they’d probably play on defense because those guys are hard to find. To see those players offensively that can run a 4.9, five-flat (40-yard dash) at those kind of weights, most of them are first-, second-round left tackles. That’s where most of them show up. That’s a premium position on offense. So, if you have that kind of athlete, you probably either play them on defense or play them at left tackle. That’s where they go. Do they get moved? I don’t think you move a defensive lineman to the offensive line unless you’re either going to move him to left tackle or, again, you have so many defensive linemen you can afford to move him. Usually you move them because they don’t run well enough. Offensively, you move them because there’s other guys who can catch the ball better or are more elusive runners or are more productive playmakers, and then they move. Sometimes some guys find their spot right away and they stay in it.
“That’s a general statement. It’s not made toward any specific player. Although I think most of the defensive players need to understand that the reason they don’t play offense is because they’re not good enough to play offense.”
So, for any Patriots defensive backs who were hoping to get moved to pull a Deion Sanders or Mike Vrabel and run a few offensive plays, this is Belichick telling you that’s an unlikely scenario.
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