Well, we were waiting to hear Bill Belichick’s thoughts about his new quarterback. On Tuesday morning, the Patriots coach took to the podium and was peppered with questions from a breathless media throng at the team facility.
We could just give you the complete transcript, but we’re going one step further. We’re giving you every question asked and every Belichick answer. Then we’ll follow that with Laces Out’s interpretation of each Belichick answer.
Drinking Game: Do a shot every time he says “I don’t know,” or “We’ll see how it goes.”
Bill Belichick: We’re rolling into our fourth week here of OTAs/minicamp. I feel like the team has been out there and they’ve done a pretty good job. We’ll have another day here of work in the elements. Hopefully by the end of this week we’ll be in decent position to go into training camp. We’ve installed a lot of information, a lot of our schemes and had a chance to execute – obviously without pads on, so there’s still a lot of work to do there. But I think for the most part we’ve gotten good cooperation from everybody; good work on the field. We’re definitely better than we were a few weeks ago and we still have a long, long way to go. We’ll just keep taking it one day at a time and hopefully we finish up well this week and put things in place to start off to a good training camp.
Laces Out Interpretation: Well, I’m standing here and getting mentally prepared for something that is really going to annoy me. Yes, we signed Tim Tebow but I’m going to stand up here and pretend that didn’t happen. Because I hate the media. What’s more, I hate all of you. This is a giant waste of time and I’d rather go back to my office and watch film. However, the NFL makes me talk to you morons, so that’s what I’m going to do. What I won’t do is cooperate or make your lives any easier. So, anyway, let’s get this circus started.
Question: What can you tell us about your decision to sign Tim Tebow? What is it about his personality or attitude that leads you to believe that he can contribute to the team?
BB: Anything we do is what we feel is in the best interests of the team. Tim is a talented player that is smart and works hard. We’ll see how it goes.
LOI: We took a look at our roster and decided we could do better than having Mike Kafka as our third-string quarterback. I don’t care a lick about Tebow’s personality, because I don’t care about anyone. I care about wins. So, since Tebow looks like he can also throw a block every now and again, we decided to bring him aboard.
Q: How much of a consideration was the attention that was going to come before making the decision to sign him?
BB: None, we try to do what’s best for the team.
LOI: You think crowds are going to intimidate me? We are the New England Patriots. We take media hype and eat it raw. This is the place that hype comes to die.
Q: How do you deal with a player coming in with all this fanfare and celebrity? Do you have to sit him down and talk to him?
BB: In all honesty, we’ve been in front of bigger crowds than this before. We’ll just keep doing what our job is. We’re going to try to get better as a football team, individually and collectively, and that’s what we’re going to do.
LOI: I brought Tim Tebow in and told him, “listen, we’re doing you a favor here. Come in, smile, lift weights, run sprints and do what we tell you. If you can’t, then there’s the door.”
Q: How do you plan to use him? What position?
BB: We’ll try to do what we think is best for our football team. I don’t know, we’ll see.
LOI: I’ve made a career out of duping the media. Don’t believe me? Check our weekly injury report: There isn’t one kernel of truth in those. What makes you think I’m going to stand up here and divulge my plans?
Q: Is it possible he could be used on special teams or defense in addition to offense?
BB: We’ll see, I don’t know.
LOI: Is it possible you’re a real reporter or just some blogger who rose out of some dank basement? We’ll see, I don’t know.
Q: Specific to his off-field traits, what are some things you liked about Tim Tebow when you evaluated him?
BB: He’s a talented guy, he’s smart, he works hard. We’ve all seen him play. He can do a lot of things – we’ve seen that.
LOI: Check the tape, dummy. You can literally see everything I see.
Q: Specific to that position though, do you have an ideal number depth-wise for the 53-man roster?
LOI: I don’t even understand your vague question. So here’s my stock answer: No.
Q: Can you talk about your relationship with Tim? You’ve known him a long time, obviously there are things you like.
BB: Yeah, I like Tim. I have a lot of respect for Tim.
LOI: Yeah, we take long walks on the beach and call each other at home. Come on, let’s keep this between the lines, OK? I don’t pry into your personal lives.
Q: Have you had a close relationship with him over the years?
BB: I’ve never coached him before so I wouldn’t … I’m certainly closer with a lot of the players that I’ve coached through my career.
LOI: Yeah, we’re “real” close. Closer than I am to my own family. Just shaddup.
Q: People around the league question his ability to play quarterback in the NFL. How do you feel about that?
BB: I’ve already said that.
LOI: People around the league can’t wash my jock. I AM THIS LEAGUE. My teams have played in five — FIVE — Super Bowls since the turn of century. Seriously, I take the league’s opinion and wipe my nose with it.
Q: I’m talking about specifically at quarterback.
BB: I’ve answered the question twice. He’s a talented player who is smart and works hard.
LOI: I’m talking about you specifically finding a new line of work. But not before you call your parents and tell them how they failed in raising you right.
Q: Will you discuss with him some of the ancillary stuff that seems to come with him? You know, the way his training camp was covered last year with the Jets and what he’ll be doing outside of football.
BB: We have a team full of players. Everybody has a job to do and I’m sure he’ll try to do it the best that he can. We’ll all try to do our jobs the best that we can.
LOI: Ooooh, “ancillary!” You’ve learned to talk posh, haven’t you? Did you go to graduate school? Is your name Ernie Hemingway? And the Jets suck. We’re not the Jets.
Q: From a team standpoint, you try to eliminate distractions. Are you worried this will cause a distraction? Just look at the number of people who are here.
BB: Hopefully there will be more than that at the games on Sundays.
LOI: Yeah, I’m not worried about distractions … I’m too busy WINNING.
Q: Will you have an objection to him kneeling down after a big play and ‘Tebowing’ if you will?
BB: I think we’ve already talked enough about him. We’ll see how he does and just go from there.
LOI: Shut up.
Q: Can you answer that question? Will you care if he does it?
BB: I think I’ve covered it.
LOI: I told you to SHUT UP!
Q: How is Ryan Mallett’s offseason going?
BB: Good, solid. He’s improved every year he’s been here. He’s done a good job.
LOI: Ryan Mallett? The name doesn’t sound familiar. Are we paying him? Hold on, I’ll fix that …. BOB!”
Q: Tim Tebow had a chance to work with Vinny Testaverde. Did that weigh into this decision at all?
BB: I haven’t talked to Vinny in a couple years.
LOI: I only care about people who are still relevant in the NFL. And he once played for the Jets and the Jets suck.
Q: Is Ryan Mallett entrenched as the second quarterback or do you see Tim Tebow coming in and competing for that spot?
BB: Right now, everybody is out there just trying to learn their position, learn their assignments and we’ll let the competition go in training camp, like we usually do.
LOI: Again with this Mallett person? Who is he? That name sounds fake.
Q: How much does a player have to learn coming in at this part of the season to adapt to the system?
BB: I don’t know.
LOI: Let’s just say it’s more knowledge than you’ve ever had crammed into your brain.
Q: Is it different with everyone?
BB: We’ve been in three weeks of OTAs so whatever that is, that’s what it is. Four weeks, it’s four weeks. A week of training camp is a week of training camp. A regular season game is a regular season game. It all adds up every day. You do the math, I don’t know.
LOI: And a horse is a horse. And a mole is a mole. And a phone is a phone. See the game I’m playing here.
Q: Is Alfonzo Dennard good to go? Will he be out there today?
BB: He’ll do what he can do.
LOI: Trying to throw me off the scent with a Dennard question, eh? I’m not falling for that garbage.
Q: How much have you stayed in touch with Rob Gronkowski over the last few weeks? Is there any concern about his availability for the start of the season?
BB: All of our players except one have been here regularly through the offseason up until this week. We see them all on a regular basis.
LOI: Yeah, I’ve seen Gronk. We hit up Buffalo Wild Wings last week. I had five Stellas and the Jamaican Jerk. Gronk had ice water. I like Gronk.
Q: Are all the players here in this camp?
BB: They are.
LOI: Is every media hack that has ever lived in this room? Yes? Great.
Q: Have you been thinking about this signing for awhile?
BB: We go through personnel in the league on a daily basis; the personnel department and we meet periodically from time to time, all throughout the year, all 365 days basically.
LOI: Duh. No, we don’t put any thought into personnel moves. We just shuffle papers around a desk for nine hours and then go home.
Q: You had some strong words in response to a report last week saying you didn’t like Tim Tebow as a player. Were you upset that something was being put out there on your behalf?
BB: I don’t have anything to add.
LOI: I hate you.
Q: Have you had any conversations with Urban Meyer in the last 48 hours?
BB: Whatever conversations I have with anybody would be between myself and that person anyways. I don’t think that’s anything that would be shared publicly.
LOI: Are you writing a book? If Urban Meyer wants to talk to me, he can set up a time with my secretary.
Q: There’s the thought that Tim Tebow needs a few adjustments to thrive. Do you see it that way?
BB: We’ll see how it goes.
LOI: We’ll just see if he makes the team. Then we’ll worry about his development.
Q: How much does Josh McDaniels’ background with Tim Tebow help? How big a part was he in this decision?
BB: I don’t know.
LOI: Josh McDaniels does what I say. He’s lucky he got a job after he mucked things up in Denver. Nice job taking Tebow with a first-round pick. We got him here on the cheap. That’s how it’s done.
Q: He drafted him, I would think he would be part of that decision.
BB: There are a lot of people in the organization that contributed in all decisions, like there usually are. I couldn’t put a percentage on it, if that’s what you’re looking for.
LOI: Are you telling me how things run on my coaching staff?!! Release the hounds!!!
Q: What was the general reaction from Tebow’s camp after getting the call from you guys?
BB: I don’t know, you’d have to talk to them about that.
LOI: I don’t care about Tebow’s “camp,” or his “friends,” or his “family,” or his “dog.” Just get your smiling butt in camp and get to work.
Q: You didn’t get a feel for it at all?
BB: You’d have to talk to them. I don’t want to represent what somebody else said or thought.
LOI: Are you deaf or just ignorant?
Q: Tim Tebow was available for five weeks. Could you have gotten him in earlier perhaps?
BB: There are a lot of things in the offseason – the timing is different for one reason or another. There are player transactions pretty much every day from the first day of free agency. They’ll be there all the way up until the end of training camp. I think each one is a little bit different. That’s just the way it is.
LOI: That’s it, I’m done. I’ll never get these few minutes of my life back. I’m going to my office now and count all of the ways I despise you. Imagine me, Bill Belichick, being forced to talk about “Tim Tebow.” Ain’t that a B …