Belichick says Patriots will learn from ‘terrible experience’ of Hernandez murder charge
Seattle Times news services
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — A grim-faced coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday the New England Patriots will learn from the “terrible experience” of Aaron Hernandez’s arrest on a murder charge and work to improve their player-evaluation process.
Speaking publicly for the first time since the tight end was arrested four weeks earlier, Belichick said he was “shocked and disappointed” to learn of the criminal investigation while he was out of the United States.
He also sought to minimize future attention on the case.
“My comments are certainly not in proportion to the unfortunate and sad situation that we have here, but I’ve been advised to address the subject once, and it’s time for the New England Patriots to move forward,” Belichick said. “Moving forward consists of what it’s always been here — to build a winning football team, to be a strong pillar in the community and be a team that our fans can be proud of.
“I’m not trying to make this story disappear, but I respect the judicial process and have been advised not to comment on ongoing legal proceedings. I’m advising our players to do the same things.”
Belichick took questions, but offered few insights as he insisted that he was limited by the ongoing criminal investigation.
Hernandez’s case was delayed until Aug. 22.
• Denver linebacker Von Miller offered no details about his pending drug case and possible four-game suspension, repeatedly invoking the NFL’s confidentiality clause to deflect questions during his session with reporters Wednesday.
The All-Pro pass rusher acknowledged his case is under appeal and promised he would provide some candid answers once the appeal is resolved.
• Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III declared he has “nothing left to prove” — at least physically — in his return from major knee surgery. Griffin said he likely won’t play in any exhibition games.
• Rookie cornerback Desmond Trufant, the former Husky, has signed a four-year deal with Atlanta. Trufant’s agent, Doug Hendrickson, said that the contract was for $8.16 million, with $4.3 million guaranteed.