If you’re a frequent listener of Bill Belichick press conferences, you know when the Patriots head coach is genuinely impressed with someone.
Belichick’s non-answers aren’t always veiled dismay with a given player’s performance. He is someone with numerous ulterior motives, and sometimes he’s just in one of those moods.
What he said Monday morning about newcomer Matt Judon likely indicates that Belichick truly has enjoyed what he’s seen from the former Raven.
Judon, whom New England signed to a four-year, $56 million contract during the offseason, played in a variety of different roles as a linebacker in Baltimore. Obviously, positional versatility is something Belichick values, as is the ability of a player to handle whatever is thrown at them.
All indications are that Judon hit the ground running in his first training camp with the Patriots.
“I think Matthew’s done a good job coming in, picking things up,” Belichick told reporters. “He’s a smart player. He’s an instinctive player. He’s done probably everything that we’ve asked him to do earlier in his career. Just kind of putting it into the way it fits into our defense or the translating terms and so forth, but I don’t think we’re doing too much that he hasn’t done before. But we’re early. It’s a handful of days really that most of all has been in the red area, end of the spring and then the start of training camp. Start working in some other situations and we’ve hit a little bit on third down, but that’ll pick up as we go as well. We’ll see.”
Belichick added: “I’m glad we have him. Good player. Has a lot of skill. Smart guy. Instinctive, understands things, picks things up pretty easily and quickly so, it’s been good.”
By the way: The feeling apparently is mutual. Judon thus far has offered nothing but glowing praise for his new head coach.
The Patriots gave Judon a lot of money this offseason, so simply looking the part during the early days of training camp won’t be enough. New England needs the 28-year-old to perform as an impact player on a retooled, expensive defense.
We’ll see how that goes. For now, Judon apparently has given Belichick what he signed up for.