Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 7/24/13
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick addressed the media for the first time since the arrest and subsequent murder charge against his former star tight end Aaron Hernandez. Belichick, talking from Patriots training camp in Foxborough, Mass., was his typical stone-cold self but addressed the issue at length. "I am personally disappointed and hurt in a situation like this," Belichick said. "We look at every player's history. We evaluate his performance, intelligence, work ethic and maturity. Obviously, this process is far from perfect. "Unfortunately, this most recent situation is not a good one on that record. "I always try to do what's best for the football team. We will learn from this terrible experience. I have been advised to not comment on ongoing legal proceedings. It's time for the New England Patriots to move forward." Belichick admitted that he was not in the U.S. when he first heard of the news. "When I was out the country, I learned of the ongoing criminal investigation with someone in our organization," he said. "After consultation with our ownership, we acted swiftly and decisively." He also would not comment when asked if he has spoken to Hernandez. He did shoulder some of the blame. "As the coach of the team, I'm primarily repsonsible for the people we bring into the organization," he said. The coach's comments come a day after quarterback Tom Brady first answered questions regarding Hernandez, who was also due in court on Wednesday. "I've seen a lot of things over 13 years, and what I have learned is that mental toughness and putting aside personal agendas for what's in the best interest of the team matters most," Brady told Sports Illustrated's Peter King. "My job is to play quarterback, and I'm going to do that the best way I know how, because I owe that to my teammates regardless of who is out there on the field with me. I have moved on." Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murder and gun charges in the fatal shooting of Odin Lloyd. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim and I extend my sympathy really to everyone who has been impacted," Belichick said. "A young man lost his life." Hernandez's lawyers argue the case against him is circumstantial and say he is eager to clear his name. A judge has denied bail for Hernandez, and he is being held in a Massachusetts jail. Police searched his home several times during the investigation. Lloyd, a semi-pro football player, was found slain on June 17 at an industrial park in North Attleborough not far from Hernandez's home. The relatives of Lloyd, who died at 27, say he was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee, and that the two men were friends. Prosecutors say Hernandez and two associates, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, drove with Lloyd to the industrial park. Authorities have not said who fired the shots, but documents filed in Florida -- and released since Hernandez's last court appearance -- paint the former Patriot as the triggerman. According to the records, Ortiz told police that Wallace said Hernandez fired the shots. Wallace and Ortiz also are facing charges. Wallace pleaded not guilty to a charge of being an accessory to murder after the fact. Ortiz has pleaded not guilty to a gun charge. Patriots owner Robert Kraft recently addressed the Hernandez issue, saying if the charges against the ex-TE are true, his organization has been "duped." "We've worked very hard together the past 14 years to put together a winning team that's a pillar in the community and I agree 100 percent with the comments that Robert has already made about the situation," Belichick said on Wednesday. The Patriots last year signed Hernandez to a five-year contract worth $40 million but released him the day of his arrest. "If this stuff is true, then I've been duped and our whole organization has been duped," Kraft said in a session with reporters from The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and ESPNBoston.com. "When he was in our building, we never saw anything where he was not polite. He was always respectful to me. We only know what's going on inside the building. We don't put private eyes on people." The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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