FOXBORO, Mass. — Bill Belichick isn’t a man of many words, but he usually doesn’t struggle to get his point across.
Thursday marked the first day of training camp for the New England Patriots, so, Belichick understandably had a message for his squad.
Tight end Benjamin Watson, answering a question about why he decided to come out of retirement, relayed part of Belichick’s message to the media after practice, and it indeed was pretty simple and straightforward.
“Well, training camp — Bill talked about it today — training camp is not punishment; it’s preparation,” Watson said. “While training camp is tough mentally, physically, emotionally, it’s something that is a grind. It’s definitely a weeding out process, I would say. It’s necessary preparation if you individually are going to perform at your best, and if collectively as a team you’re going to perform at your best. That’s what it’s for. Obviously, as you get older, training camp becomes harder. Football, in general, is harder. It’s just tougher and tougher, but as a player you know that, hey, if I want to perform, I’ve got to get in there and I’ve got to make it through training camp.”
Most every Patriot echoed the sentiment that the page has been turned from last year. And judging by Belichick’s remarks to his team, he’s doing everything he can to make sure the slate is wiped clean.