By Matt Noonan
Ahead of his team’s first training camp of the 2021 NFL season, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick met with the media this morning to discuss his team’s upcoming practices.
And as expected, the tenured coach did not have much to say.
“We all have a long way to go,” said Belichick.
Indeed, Belichick and the Patriots “have a long way to go” — the team produced just seven wins last season and missed the postseason for the first time since 2008. But many believe this year’s squad, specifically the defense, should be much better, thanks to some key offseason acquisitions that should help the Patriots contend for the top spot in the AFC East with the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins.
But as Belichick explained — and yes, it has been reported over the past few days (and weeks) — some members of the Patriots won’t be on the field tomorrow when camp begins at 9:45 a.m. And one of those players is cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who was nowhere to be found during the team’s mandatory minicamp.
Belichick didn’t budge when pressed about Gilmore’s contract. “I’m not going to talk about contracts and personal situations,” he said.
How Gilmore’s contract situation will play out remains a mystery, but for now, Belichick and his team will keep their focus on football going forward.
“From this point on, (I’m) focused on football and trying to get our team ready to go,” he said.
The team’s first practice will be open to the public — fans will also be able to see the team workout on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at Gillette Stadium.
Fans can learn more about the team’s upcoming training camp by visiting the Patriots’ website.
New England will compete three times next month, including once at home when they open their preseason slate against the Washington Football Team on Thursday, August 12 with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m.