Patriots’ Bill Belichick Explains Mindset Going Into Roster Cutdown Day

'Do you let the better player go, or do you let the player go and lack depth at a position?'

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August 20

Bill Belichick never is afraid to do what’s best for the Patriots, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t face “tough decisions” when it comes to cutdown day.

The New England head coach will need to trim his roster over the course of the next two weeks and the decisions certainly won’t be easy given how the Patriots’ depth chart looks. Come Aug. 30, 32 more players will be cut from the team.

So, how does Belichick go about doing as much?

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“The process is really simple, put together the best team that you can and that’s a lot of things can go into consideration there, but in the end, you just try to balance your team out and put the best group you can out there,” Belichick told reporters Saturday morning, per a team-provided transcript. “You have to consider all the — if it’s an offensive player all the offensive situations, his role in the kicking game, your depth at that position. A lot of times it comes down to you want to carry a player at a certain position for depth, to have a certain number of players at a particular position, but you have a player who’s just maybe has out performed as just a total football player which is an extra guy at another position that you — it’s an extra guy. But he’s played better than the player you’re considering at a position of numbers need and depth.

“So that’s always a tough decision. Do you let the better player go, or do you let the player go and lack depth at a position? So I’d say those are the tougher ones. But we’re not there yet. We’re a ways off from that. We’ll just be going down to 80 this week, so we still have more time to work through that.”

Lil’Jordan Humphrey is one player that certainly will give Belichick much to think about. He caught six passes for 62 yards and a touchdown in New England’s preseason game against the New York Giants last week and enjoyed even more success against the Carolina Panthers on Friday night with five catches for a team-leading 71 yards.

The Patriots will have a clearer look as to what their roster will look like in the coming weeks, and we’ll soon know if there will be any surprise cuts.

NESN.com’s coverage of New England Patriots preseason is presented by Cross Insurance, protecting your team since 1954.

Thumbnail photo via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images
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