Belichick: Fleming is catching on quickly – ESPN (blog)
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Rookie offensive tackle Cameron Fleming had a later start than most to the Patriots’ offseason training regimen — as he was finishing up school. But, coach Bill Belichick has been impressed with Fleming’s ability to catch up to the rest of the players in a short time.
“I think Cam [Fleming] has done a real good job for us,” Belichick said. “One of the challenges for him and for us was him not really being here for much of the spring. Just being late in spring because of his commitments to school. We really didn’t have a great feel for him until training camp started.
“And he came here in really good condition. He ran well. He dropped some weight; he leaned up. He worked really hard between the beginning of June and the end of July. He was definitely ready to go, had a good camp, performed very well. And caught up to all the things we were doing in a short amount of time. The more time we spent around him, the more impressed we were.”
Fleming, a 6-foot-6, 325-pound tackle out of Stanford, was selected by the Patriots in the fourth round (140th overall). In the Patriots’ 30-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Fleming played 28 of 67 plays as a tight end, equaling tight end Rob Gronkowski‘s workload.
“When you draft a guy, I don’t think you draft a tackle to play tight end,” Belichick said. “We didn’t draft [Nate] Solder to play tight end but even in his rookie year he played a lot of that position. Sometimes it just works out that way one way or another depending on your team and a little bit on the player’s skills.”
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