Bill Belichick: Patriots Linebacker Dont'a Hightower Doesn't Have Set Role Yet
Stew Milne-US PRESSWIRE
When asked about Hightower at a press conference on Friday, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick pointed out that his exact role may yet be undefined.
He's done a lot of different things at Alabama. He played primarily outside, a little bit outside and some defensive end in some of their nickel and four-man lines. What's he going to do here? I don't know, we'll see how he does. But he's had flexibility in college, and he played in a good program at a high level of competition. He's a smart guy, works hard. He's got some different skills and we'll see how it plays out.
Training camp will likely help the Patriots get a better idea for what he's capable of, and what he's best at, but Belichick still won't rush to judgment on pinning down a specific role for the first-round linebacker.
If you wait too long, then to move them or to try something else, then you're too far behind and it's hard to work out. If you throw it all in there at once, then sometimes it can be overwhelming and they don't get one thing right...you try to find that balance and take it at a pace that you think the player can handle. ...He's a smart kid, and he definitely understands football and football concepts. That comes pretty quickly to him.
Perhaps no tool at Hightower's disposal will be more important than the final one Belichick alludes to—his football intelligence.
Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless specified otherwise, all quotes obtained first-hand.
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