FOXBORO - Kony Ealy doesn’t want to talk about what he can’t do, only what he can.
“I can’t just pick one part of my game out,” he told reporters after Wednesday’s practice. “You don’t do that as an athlete. Try to pick everything you’re good at, [then] you try to perfect it even more. That’s what I’m trying to do...Not worried about anything else or anyone else.”
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Patriots defensive end has had a curious start to his career in Foxboro since being acquired from Carolina. He left a mini-camp practice back on June 8 and we didn’t see him in a uniform again until July 28, a day after training camp started. When asked where he was that day, Ealy provided a curious answer.
“You have to ask Coach Bill," Ealy said. "Me and him had something going or whatever."
When Bill Belichick was asked about Ealy that morning, he wouldn’t get into details, other to say Ealy was in Foxboro. Earlier this week, the Pats coach seemed like he was okay with how the defensive end was adapting to his new surroundings and new program.
“He’s a smart kid, he works hard, and he’s building his versatility,” he said. “We’ll see how far that goes, but he’s got the ability to play inside, to play outside on the end of the line, to play in some coverage situations, to have a role in the kicking game…”
“We’ve asked him to do some new things, and we’ll evaluate those as we go through camp and see how it goes.”
Belichick pointed to the number of different responsibilities they’ve presented to Ealy, including working in the kicking game and also asking the former Missouri standout to drop into pass coverage.
“It’s just a learning curve. That’s fair to say," Ealy said. “Within the scheme of the defense, I’m learning, studying, picking things up every day. I had a natural ability to cover and do everything they ask me to do in the drop game so I don’t have a problem with it.”
That doesn’t seem to jibe with what Belichick and the coaching staff are feeling at this juncture, and while Ealy showed more Wednesday than he had any day prior, including making a couple of plays in the running game, most of his time was spent with the second and third units.
“[You’re] asking way too many questions with that one,” he said when asked about an expanded role. “You have to ask Coach Belichick. Right now, I’m just in the phase of study, put back to back practices together and get better.”