Bill Belichick virtually met with the media this morning. He took a slew of questions ranging from interesting to “why would you ask that”. The question about whether or not the coach has spoke to Tom Brady following his 7th Super Bowl win being put in the latter category. But among the plethora of questions, Belichick was asked to give an update on Stephon Gilmore and had this to say:
“I see him in here all the time and he’s doing other things while we’re practicing, so we don’t really see him on the practice field. But he’s been doing everything he can do, and the things he hasn’t been able to do, he hasn’t been able to do. I’d say it’s day-to-day.”
To me, this is very interesting and somewhat reassuring. The narrative going around Foxboro has been that Gilmore, while still somewhat rehabbing his injury, has been staying off the practice field due to a contract dispute. Gilmore is set to make just under $8 million this season and thinks he’s due for a well-deserved raise. But seeing Belichick say he “sees him all the time” continues to lend credence to the feeling that Gilly will be back with the team any time now.
In fact, Belichick saying it’s “day-to-day” may mean that we could be seeing the former Defensive Player of the Year ready to go for Week 1. Gilmore has been in this system for a few years now. It’s not like he would need a substantial amount of time to get back in the swing of things. As long as his body is ready, he should be ready to plug and play.
When asked again about Gilmore, Belichick said this:
“And if he’s not ready, then I don’t think him being out there is a smart decision for any of us. We’re not going to do that, nor should we do that. So we’ll take it as it comes.”
Again, the only thing holding Gilmore back is rehabbing his partially torn quad from last season. It’s obvious the All-Pro isn’t happy with his contract. But all signs point to that situation not preventing him from getting back on the field. The Patriots play their first game of the year September 12th against the Dolphins. So Gilly has some time to get back in the swing of things.
Regardless if we see Gilmore back this week or a couple days before Week 1, this seems promising. And when you couple Belichick’s comments with the comments of players like Devin McCourty almost dismissing any worries about his secondary-mate returning, all signs are pointing in the right direction. If Gilmore can come back and play like we know he can, he’ll solidify a top of the market contract. Not only that, but he’ll solidify the Patriots defense as a potential top unit in the NFL this season.
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-Mike Sullivan (@msully5433)
(Featured Photo Credit: clutchpoints.com)