Belichick on oddity of coaching a longtime rival like Harrison: This is the NFL


FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick relied on a familiar refrain the day after his team signed James Harrison: "We'll see how it goes." Now that Harrison has been in the building with the Patriots for meetings and two practices, Belichick was asked for an update.


"He's worked hard," Belichick said. "He has a lot of information to process, but he's working at it. Keep stringing them together and see how it goes."

While Harrison's been coming to grips with his new surroundings and a new defense, the conversation outside Gillette Stadium has largely focused on Harrison's choice to sign with a longtime rival. 

When Belichick was asked if it was at all strange to have someone in the Patriots locker room after years and years of that person trying to do whatever he could to beat the Patriots . . . the answer was predictable. 

"This," Belichick said, "is the National Football League."

Belichick has little time for the this-guy-is-on-this-team-but-he-used-to-be-on-this-other-team storylines. They pop up at press conferences fairly frequently, and they could pop up every week. Belichick's answers to those questions are pretty consistent, and while on Wednesday he stayed on message, he delved a little deeper than he typically does.

"Look at any team. This is the National Football League," he said. "Players change teams. We have David Harris. It's not some kind of unprecedented event. That's just not what it is. We face somebody that's been on our team every week that's on their team. They have somebody on our team that was with another team that we play against. That's the way it is every week.

"This is the National Football League. We're not talking about college now where players don't change teams. This is professional football. Like that every year. Like that every week. Like that on every team. I don't see it as some big historical event."

Harrison is expected to meet with reporters at Gillette Stadium for the first time Friday afternoon.

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