Bill Belichick Is Back, and Grumpy as Ever

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is back - and he's already in midseason form.

Belichick took the podium on Wednesday morning to kick off the start of training camp and responded to reporters' questions with even less enthusiasm than usual, if that's possible.

He may not have shown it, but Belichick said he's happy to be back.

"It's always good to get started," he said. "A new year, starting all over again, a lot of new challenges. There's some great competition out there. You'll see it all through training camp... It will be a long haul, but I think we're all excited to get started.

"We have a lot of decisions to make. A lot of those will be made for us by the performance of the players and the team. It's good to get going."

Belichick dismissed many questions with a quick grunt, "I don't know," or a shoulder shrug, but he did open up when asked about new addition David Harris and recently retired offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer.

"David's played a lot of football, he's got a lot of experience," Belichick said of Harris, a linebacker who last played for the New York Jets. "We'll see how it goes. He's had a very productive career. Hopefully, he'll be able to help us."

On Vollmer, Belichick said the team is already used to playing without him since he missed last season, but called him a great player and teammate.

"Yes, we miss him, but we understand that's the way it is in this game. He's moved on and we wish him well and appreciate everything he's done for us."

Some are already speculating that the Patriots could go 19-0 this season, but Belichick said he's not thinking about that.

"Honestly, I don't pay any attention to it," he said of the high expectations.

Belichick was also asked about the Boston University study released Tuesday that showed that 99 percent of deceased NFL players who were tested had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.

"Obviously, it's an important area," he said, "and it's being given a lot of attention, as it should. There are a lot of studies out there. I'm not a medical expert. That's not my field. I think I'll leave that to the people that are doing it."

The players are scheduled to report on Wednesday, with the first day of practice scheduled for Thursday.

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