FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — If Bill Belichick’s message wasn’t heard on Wednesday, he made it perfectly clear on Thursday: Don’t ask him about last year’s Super Bowl, the weather, Deflategate, Tom Brady’s suspension or any appeals.

In his 14-minute morning press conference before the New England Patriots’ first practice of the preseason – before a standing-room-only crowd – he only wanted to talk about practice, practice and more practice.

“We’re not living in the past or dreaming about something in the future,” he said. “We’re trying to do a good job today. And that’s what our players should be doing as well, making the most of this opportunity that’s right in front of us because that’s the only thing we can do anything about.”

Asked if that will become the team’s mantra to overcome the possible distraction of Brady’s appeal of his four-game suspension, Belichick said, “Look, I’ve been coaching in this league for a long time, I’ve been a head coach for a lot of years, this is the way we go about it in every training camp.”

Brady was greeted by the large crowd with loud chants of “Brady, Brady, Brady” as he took the field and he waved to the fans.

The Patriots were practicing without pads, names or numbers on their jerseys, something Belichick started doing in the off-season workouts. That also makes it difficult to know who is not practicing as several players are still recovering from off-season surgeries.


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