Belichick Refuses To Answer Tough Questions At Press Conference
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked a wide range of questions during his press conference at Gillette Stadium Wednesday morning, everything from Malcolom Butler's benching in the Super Bowl to Julian Edelman's four-game PED suspension.
He refused to answer a number of questions during his first media availability at Patriots training camp, often saying he is focused only on training camp and the 2018-19 season.
That was the line given to reporters when asked about the absences of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski during the team's voluntary OTAs this summer.
"Right now, we're getting ready for the start of training camp, so everything that happened last year, in the spring and all that, I'm not focused on any of that," Belichick said. "I'm focused on what we need to do in training camp."
When asked if there was any news on the contracts of Brady and Gronkowski, Belichick said "There's never any contract news. We don't talk about contracts, personal matters."
Belichick also avoided answering questions about former Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who was traded to San Francisco last October for a second-round draft pick.
The Patriots coach was asked specifically about a Sports Illustrated report that he sent congratulatory text messages to Garoppolo after each of his starts for the 49ers last season.
"I'm not going to engage in stuff that's happened eight months ago. I mean, we can talk about a million things that happened 20 years ago. I'm not there."
Belichick didn't veer off course when Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe asked him about the benching of former Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler in Super Bowl LII, initially saying "Yeah, we've talked about that. That's multiple months ago."
Belichick appeared to grow irritated as Shaughnessy continued to press him on the issue.
"It's important for me to have a good season in 2018. I'm going to do everything I can to do that - do the best that I can for our football team. That's my job and that's my responsibility. That's what I'm going to try to do. Hopefully you can respect that, but maybe not."
The Patriots coach did open up a little about Edelman's suspension, telling reporters "We're all disappointed." Belichick said the situation "is what it is," and the team will move forward with the players that are available.
Veterans were required to report to camp on Wednesday. The team will hold its first practice Thursday morning.