Bills WR David Nelson had been around Patriots head coach Bill Belichick long before he had made his way to the NFL. With Belichick and now former University of Florida head coach Urban Meyer close friends, the Patriots sideline boss would drop in from time to time.
During the pre-draft process he also met with some of the Gators’ top talent on a one-on-one basis. Belichick outlined how much time he spent with David Nelson in a conference call with the Boston media on Tuesday.
“Yeah, absolutely,” said Belichick. “I spent a lot of time with David down there and the other receiver, [Riley] Cooper – I think he went to Philadelphia. So, yeah, those guys, [Aaron] Hernandez, [Tim] Tebow, I spent a lot of time with those offensive players – [Maurkice] Pouncey – and I think what we saw in the workout down there and the time I spent with him, what he did with Florida is pretty much what he’s doing with Buffalo in this league. He’s a big target. He’s got great range. He can get to a lot of balls, [has] excellent hands. He’s not the fastest receiver, but he’s deceptive and he’s got a good burst and good quickness.”
Nelson, however, doesn’t remember their time together being all that lengthy.
“He was good friends with coach Meyer and he would come out a lot and watch practice,” said Nelson of Belichick. “Coach Meyer had him address the team a couple of times. In the draft process he’d come down and have some of our guys work out. I was a part of that in the private workout. Individually though, we never talked individually.”
According to Nelson he was a last minute addition for the on field workout serving as an extra wideout so Tim Tebow could throw, and never was part of the two hour meeting that Belichick had with a few choice members of last year’s Florida squad.
“I was technically not invited to that whole deal,” Nelson said. “Really (Riley) Cooper, (Maurkice) Pouncey and (Tim) Tebow were in there and watching film and talking over plays and watching plays and drawing some plays on the board with him. They were talking football for about two hours and I wasn’t invited to that.”
“I was sitting at home and Tebow called me because he wanted another receiver to throw to because all he had was Cooper so he called me to see if I could come down for him to throw to me. So I wasn’t really invited to the Patriots private workout. I was just an extra body that was out there.”
As familiar as Belichick was with Nelson’s game he had trouble remembering some of his fellow undrafted rookie receivers during Wednesday’s conference call with the Buffalo media.
“Buffalo’s receivers they have several different types of guys whether it’s (Steve) Johnson or (Josh) Reed or (Roscoe) Parrish or (David) Nelson,” said Belichick. “All different guys that have played for them this year, they’re not all the same, but they’re all effective and they all have their own way of getting open and catching the ball and running with it after the catch.”
Belichick slipped up in mentioning Josh Reed, who was not re-signed by the team last offseason and is not on the Bills roster. He gets a pass on mentioning Parrish because it was in the context of saying they’ve had all different kinds of receivers play for them this year. So even though Parrish has been on injured reserve for a month and a half, he didn’t indicate that he thought he was active.
What Belichick did do was fail to mention Donald Jones and Naaman Roosevelt, who both played a lot of snaps in Buffalo’s most recent game tape against Miami last week, and the week before against Cleveland. Jones even had a big five-catch, 70-yard and one touchdown performance against Cincinnati, but no mention.
Nelson didn’t take kindly to it.
“What he said was very disrespectful,” said Nelson. “He didn’t even know our names.”
While he did mention Nelson the other half of the Bills top four receivers were not named. That’s unusual for Belichick on conference calls as he sometimes mentions so many names where reporters wonder if he’s going to tab every player as great on the opposing roster. No such laundry list this time.
It might seem flimsy to some, but Nelson and his teammates will be using it as extra fuel on Sunday.
“That’s definitely motivation,” Nelson said.
That combined with being snubbed by the Patriots in the private workout they held at Florida last spring will apparently be more than enough for Nelson.
Tags: David Nelson
Posted in Inside the Bills