Bill Belichick Calls on Team to ‘Suck It Up,’ Stay ‘Mentally Tough’ During Brutal Stretch of Preseason

Bill Belichick Calls on Team to 'Suck It Up,' Stay 'Mentally Tough' During Brutal Stretch of PreseasonThe Patriots have been fairly busy as of late.

The defending AFC champions have begun a rather treacherous schedule, starting with their Monday Night showdown in Foxboro with the Eagles. They're now in Tampa Bay for a pair of joint practices with the Buccaneers before another preseason tilt with the Bucs on Friday night. Their 10-game torture stretch gets wrapped up with the preseason finale on Wednesday against the Giants.

Then, of course, the regular season opens up shortly thereafter on Sept. 9 in Nashville against the Titans. There's no rest for the weary, and head coach Bill Belichick certainly isn't going to be fielding excuses from his players or staff.

"Look, it's training camp," he told reporters on Wednesday morning in Florida. "The coaches are tired, the players are tired, but we're going to have a short week during the season. We've got a Sunday-Thursday game during the season. That's what training camp is for, to suck it up.

"It's to be mentally tough and whatever situations you have — you're tired, you're sore, you didn't get enough sleep, you travel, whatever it is — you block that out and you focus on what you can control, which is your performance and effort."

Belichick is hoping that the training camp adversity is something that can benefit the club in the wrong run.

"You go out there and you work through it, as a team and individually," an unusually talkative Belichick told the assembled media. "That's the way it's going to be during the season. There's going to be plenty of weeks during the season that somebody's going to be tired or somebody's going to be sore or some positions are going to be a little short on numbers or whatever it is. You build your toughness and your resiliency and those types of things through training camp it serves you well during the season.

"Then you look back during the season and say, 'You know what? Maybe this is all right.' We went through a lot tougher stretch than this in camp.' You have the confidence you can do it."

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