WEST PALM BEACH, FL – Bill Belichick wore a plain worn pullover, the one that was sent through the wash many times patriots The logo has fallen. Mac Jones He was wearing his usual red shirt. Devin McCurty He led high school through exercises.
From that perspective, all was normal in the Patriots’ training on Wednesday.
The rest was, well, weird.
As the Patriots prepare for their inaugural regular season on Sunday against dolphinsThey flew here on Tuesday to spend five days adjusting to the heat and humidity that comes with the area at this time of year in southern Florida. But as many of the football (and even high school) teams here are gearing up for their own games this weekend, the Patriots are left with limited training location options.
So the six-time Super Bowl champions, led by the greatest coach of the generation, spent Wednesday afternoons training on the football side courts at Division II Palm Beach Atlantic University. The school does not have a football program, so it does not have football fields. Instead, they moved on wheels in makeshift goalposts that were weighted with sandbags and secured to the ground with pegs.
So why exactly are the Patriots standing on these training grounds an hour north of Hard Rock Stadium in Miami?
“It just worked,” Belichick said. “We looked at several options and this one was the best.”
The New England Patriots train on the side soccer fields of the West Palm Beach Division II junior school.
They had to bring in temporary goal posts that were hung with sandbags and ropes. pic.twitter.com/J0hFDdkUEm
– ChadGraff 7 September 2022
With a few legitimate options that deserve housing in second place in terms of value NFL Franchise, this is where the Patriots turned.
Palm Beach Atlantic doesn’t have a dressing room that would fit a professional team, so the players put their full stands at their five-star hotel and took three buses. The police escorted the escorts to the fields, 25 minutes away.
They got off the buses directly to the side fields, where the PBAU football teams train. Rows of the football field remained above the burnt brown grass. There were no platforms. A buzz from the nearby Interstate 95 was only drowned out by huge planes that were circling the sky every few minutes on their way to Palm Beach International Airport.
A few hours after the Patriots finished practice, the boarding schools were scheduled to run in the adjacent fields of nearly 2,800 undergraduate students at this private school.
This isn’t the first time the Patriots have prepared for a game in the opposing team’s city, breaking the NFL’s usual trend of arriving at the destination the day before a game. But it is the first time they have practiced this and practiced in stadiums that were not intended for football.
“We’ve been away for a week during the season a few times in the last few years,” Belichick said. “So if it works, I think it could be a good experience. I think that would be.”
Thus begins an important season for the Patriots. In a best-case scenario, this could end up as another masterful play from Belichick, who has added huge responsibilities to offense while maintaining his outsized role in defense and elsewhere. If all that work was combined with an all-star slate of playoffs, it would be another great feat for Belichick and his company.
But this season could go very differently. Belichick is likely to extend Matt Patricia very sparingly with call-to-play and offensive line missions. This offensive turn is less than successful. The Patriots are struggling to achieve a losing record. All of that will be settled in the coming months.
On Wednesday, Belichick’s concern was assembling productive practices in three fields in a palm-lined neighborhood.
This isn’t the Patriots’ only extended season excursion. In December, the Patriots will stay west between their Monday night game in Arizona and their Sunday night game in Las Vegas. But the rationale for this was clear after three time zones in a short week.
This trip to West Palm Beach was a bit more…weird.
“Again, we looked at things and saw what our options were,” Belichick said. “This hasn’t been an obvious stay like the Arizona/Vegas situation with a Monday-Sunday night game. But here we are. It’s good.”
Wednesday’s rehearsals were the first of three at a small Christian school with a small campus and sports complex that’s easy to bypass.
Even those who have spent time in South Florida were unaware of where the Patriots are preparing for their first week.
“First I heard about it,” said a wide receiver. Devante Parkerwho spent the last seven seasons with dolphins.
But he must have heard of the university’s amulet – the Sailfish, which A quick Google search reveals A blue-gray fish with a large dorsal fin and a pointed beak.
“Nah,” Parker said. “I haven’t heard of that.”
(Photo: Chad Graff/ the athlete)