Monday, April 29, 2013

Belichick discusses Patriots' pipeline from Rutgers


The New England Patriots' roster is Rutgers-heavy, but coach Bill Belichick won't say it's by design. At least not completely.

Thanks to their recent drafting three Rutgers players -- linebacker Steve Beauharnais and defensive backs Logan Ryan and Duron Harmon -- New England currently employs five Scarlet Knights.

All five are defensive players, as fourth-year defensive back Devin McCourty and second-year defensive lineman Justin Francis also done the red, white and blue. (photo: Peter Roan, Flickr)

"I think certainly it's coincidental to a degree," Belichick said Saturday, via "But I just would say that the players – I mean, I've known Coach [Greg] Schiano for quite a while. I'd say the players he recruits and the program he runs is in a lot of ways similar to what we do.

"So the fact that he's recruited those kids four to five years ahead of when they come into this league and they've been in a program that's, in a lot of ways, probably similar to ours, then it's probably not that surprising that we would like some of the kids he's produced, both talent-wise and total makeup."

Belichick then elaborated on what intrigues him about this year's Rutgers-to-Foxborough class.

"I would say certainly with this group, these three guys, they're all very bright," he said. "Football is important to them. They've all been productive. They're unselfish players. They work hard for the team. They do a lot of little things in the game like communication and special teams and all those types of things.

"So there's a common thread: they're football guys that work hard at it, that have had good careers there and that continue to get better because it's important to them. And they're smart, instinctive players."

It's also worth noting that Belichick made a draft-day trade with his old buddy Schiano, who took over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a stout career coaching at Rutgers, that had tailback LeGarrette Blount going to Foxborough in exchange for Jeff Demps.

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