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Bill Belichick opens Patriots training camp

FOXBOROUGH -- Patriots coach Bill Belichick would not address how the team plans to fill the various roles of former tight end Aaron Hernandez, choosing instead to say the team would evaluate the roster.

“We’re starting training camp today,” Belichick said Friday morning. “So we’ll go out there and start evaluating our team and players and see how it comes together.”

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Belichick also declined to put a timetable on how long it might take Rob Gronkowski to recover from back and forearm surgeries this offseason.

The coach fielded questions about Tim Tebow, but he declined to say whether the Patriots anticipate employing him at a position other than quarterback.

“Great work ethic,” Belichick said about Tebow.

All 90 players were present and participating, according to the coach, as the team took to the rainy practice fields. The first couple of practices, Belichick said, were going to be geared toward a continuation of the team’s spring practices.

It’s a part of the Patriots’ training camp goals.

“Get off to a good start and build on what we did in the spring,” Belichick said. “Add to it. First two practices are similar to our minicamp practices. On Sunday we’ll put on the pads, where we’ll work more on our running game and pass protection. ... But for these first two days, it’ll be a continuation of the spring. But building onto that.”

But the coach said the team isn’t looking too far ahead.

“Right now our goal is really just today. Go out there and take what we put in last night, what we talked about this morning. Go out there and execute it. Start the base, start the process, start laying the foundation brick by brick. Back in this afternoon, make the corrections from this morning and then move on and start preparing for tomorrow. Our long term goals right now are, say, within the next 12 hours.”

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