Bill Belichick dishes on Danny Etling's position change, N'Keal Harry, more of a role with defense

Ryan Hannable
July 29, 2019 - 5:24 pm
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There are a number of storylines with the Patriots as training camp gets underway on both sides of the ball, and even with the coaching staff.

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As part of its training camp tour, Sirius XM's Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller sat down with Bill Belichick over the weekend and touched on a number of subjects.

Here are some of the highlights.

On Ja'Whaun Bentley: “He had a great start to the year last year, got injured in the Detroit game and missed the rest of the year. He is a good football player and I think he’ll be a great addition to our defense this year. He was last year, but hopefully he will be able to play more. … Going back to Bentley, definitely excited to have Bentley out there and having him participate.”

On Danny Etling switching positions: “Well, we value versatility so in cases where players can play more than one spot on whatever side of the ball it is plus the kicking game, it just adds value to them for our football team. I think we saw Danny’s speed in the preseason game last year against the Giants. He ran about 85 yards on a quarterback keep. He out-ran some people. He is a good athlete and he is smart. He does have some different skills. We’ll see how all that works.”

On defensive coaching staff: “We have a good defensive staff. We interact with a lot of different players with the versatility of our defense. I would say everybody gets coached by everybody at some point along the way. My involvement is probably a little more than what it has been in the past, but I have always tried to stay involved in all facets of the game — offense, defense, special teams, our conditioning program. I try and be supportive of all the things that we do. I think it is important for the coach to be in those.”

On first-round pick N'Keal Harry: “N’Keal is a big kid who runs well. He has a good catch radius. He’s a very strong, physical receiver. Again, he has a long way to go like all rookies do. He has a lot to learn, but he has got better each day. He’s been dependable, durable, tough. Again, we’re just going to keep running days together and keep improving as we go from one route to another, one situation to another. … He’s got a long way to go, but he’s making good progress.”

Related: Rookie QB Jarrett Stidham reacts to first few days of up-and-down training camp