FOXBORO, Mass. — From the jet to the Jets, the Patriots had no choice Monday but to quickly turn it around and gear up for their Week 5 showdown against their division rivals.
After beating the Raiders, the Pats landed at 3 a.m. Monday, arrived at Gillette Stadium at 4 a.m. and then went home for a nap. They had to report back to the facility in time for a 12:30 p.m. team meeting, but many — if not all — showed up earlier to work out.
Rookie running back Stevan Ridley, who rushed for a career-high 97 yards Sunday, might have been the first player through the doors. He showed up at 7 a.m.
"You have to do it," Ridley said. "It's work. That's my job. We have to come in here and prepare every day, no matter if we get in here late or early or whatever. We're expected to be in here the next day and get right back onto the next team. That's all we can do. The sleep has to wait."
The Patriots had their film sessions and positional meetings before departing Monday afternoon. They won't start their official preparations for the Jets until Wednesday, but many of them said they would watch Jets film on their own Monday night.
"It makes it a short week," linebacker Dane Fletcher said of the late arrival. "So any kind of edge you can get, whatever it is to watch film [Monday night] or on your day off [Tuesday], you need to do that."
The Patriots have actually gotten used to these quick turnarounds this season. They had two night games on the road in the preseason, and they opened the regular season on Monday Night Football in Miami. But even though this was the fourth time they've gotten back to the stadium in the early morning hours, Monday marked the first day after one of those trips when they were required to report to Gillette for a meeting.
There were a lot of heavy eyes in the locker room, but they dealt with it just fine. They know they can't cut corners during Jets week.
"I got about seven hours [of sleep], so that's not bad at all," said an excited Rob Gronkowski, who slept on the flight. "You can't complain about that."