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#pounditFriday, January 22, 2021

Bill Belichick not seeing any ‘substantial difference’ with training camp

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has been around NFL training camps for more than four decades now, but the 2020 offseason is one unlike any other. Even with coronavirus protocols in place, however, Belichick says things do not feel much different with Week 1 rapidly approaching.

Belichick spoke with reporters on Friday about the health and safety protocols that are in place at Gillette Stadium and elsewhere. He joked that the plexiglass bill must be “pretty high” for teams, but he said practices have seemed fairly normal.

“Yesterday was the first day that we had a walk-through with both the offense and defense on the field at the same time, so prior to yesterday we were defense against defense, offense against offense,” Belichick said, per Ryan Hannable of “Yesterday was our first chance to do that. I would say it looked to me like all the coaches coached and the players played pretty much like we always do other than masks and some other modifications, things like that. No, I didn’t see any substantial difference.”

Belichick has never been one to make excuses, so his comments are hardly a surprise. All teams are dealing with the same unusual circumstances, which is why there is no sense focusing too much energy on them. That said, there have to be many significant differences with this offseason compared to past years.

We know of at least one quarterback who is finding it difficult to become familiar with his new teammates due COVID-19 restrictions, so other players and coaches must be feeling that as well. If anyone can navigate the unfamiliar territory, it’s Belichick.

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