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Belichick, Patriots will learn from Hernandez case
Belichick said he was out of the United States when he learned of the criminal investigation and was “shocked and disappointed.” He didn’t say, in response to a question, if he had talked with Hernandez since the player’s name was linked to it.
“This case involves an individual who happened to be a New England Patriot, and we certainly do not condone unacceptable behavior and this does not in any way represent the way that the New England Patriots want to do things,” he said. “As the coach of the team, I’m primarily responsible for the people that we bring into the football operation.”
Hernandez dropped to the fourth round in the 2010 NFL draft because of character issues. Several teams took him off their draft board.
“We look at every player’s history from the moment we start discussing it,” he said, “going back to his family, where he grew up, what his lifestyle was like, high school, college experiences. We evaluate his performance, his intelligence, his work ethic, his motivation, his maturity, his improvement and we try to project that into our organization on a going-forward basis.
“We’ll continue to evaluate the way that we do things, the way that we evaluate our players and we’ll do it on a regular basis, not just at the beginning when they come in.”
Asked if the Patriots will focus more on off-field issues when scouting college players, he said, “We have a process in place. Can it be improved? Can it be modified? It possibly can. We’ll certainly look at it.”
Belichick wouldn’t answer a question about starting cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, who was charged with first-offense drunken driving after being pulled over in his car on July 11 in Lincoln, Neb., while on probation. He remains on the team.
Players are evaluated on “a case-by-case basis,” Belichick said. “Whatever the circumstances are on any one individual, you’ll have to make the decision based on an individual basis.
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