Friendship with Urban Meyer, familiarity with Gators no advantage, Bill Belichick says
Although he selected three Florida players in last weekend's NFL draft, and picked up another (Gerard Warren) as a free agent, New England Patriots' coach Bill Belichick said his close relationship with Florida coach Urban Meyer didn't provide any extra advantage during the draft process.
“I don’t think so,'' Belichick said during an interview this week on WEEI in Boston. "At the Pro Day down there in Florida, there were almost 140 to 150 people there from the NFL at the Pro Day. I don’t think those players are any big secret. We’ve scouted the Florida players since last spring, all Fall, all through the all-star games just like everybody else has. There have been plenty of drafts when we haven’t taken Florida players, we haven’t taken players from Coach (Nick) Saban’s program, Coach (Kirk) Ferentz’s program, , Coach (Greg) Schiano’s program, or anybody else’s.''
Belichick insisted he's impartial when it comes to which players he drafts without any allegiance to a particular school, but did acknowledge that some programs are more suited for the style he's looking for in a Patriots' player.
"We are not partial to any particular school, but I do think that players from some of those programs, because of the way they play, what they look for, what they look for in players age 18, 17, 19, whatever it is coming out of high school, that often there is that same correlation fit of the profile and the program that we are looking for,'' he said. "I don’t think that hurts those kids, but it’s certainly not a situation where we are drafting from those six schools… Do I think we have any inside information? Not really. I think everybody has seen the same games and watched as many practices and film and done as many interviews at the combine as everybody else does.”