When Bill Belichick
led the Patriots across the pond three years ago, the result was a 35-7 rout of
the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But Belichick admits that the transition wasn't as
easy as the final score might indicate.
This time around,
Belichick is much more aware of the situation, including the six hour
difference in time zones, and he's making sure the Patriots are better prepared
for the trip to London this time around.
"We're going to try to add a little bit extra time on
the back end to rest and kind of get adjusted and all that, rather than spend
it on game planning and that kind of thing," Belichick said to reporters
on Tuesday afternoon.
The adjustment will affect the Patriots' normal work week, as
each of the team's three scheduled practice days have now been moved up one day
to build in some needed travel flexibility.
"[We'll] kind of take Friday as a travel day and
obviously we're traveling Thursday night but the whole traveling Friday,
getting adjusted, getting settled and all that, we'll see how much we actually
get done that day," Belichick said. "I think that Friday is kind of
our transition day and hopefully today, Wednesday and Thursday would be our
regular Wednesday, Thursday, Friday-type preparation days."
Belichick held a walkthrough on Tuesday afternoon for only
the second time all season — the only other walkthrough was held last
Wednesday after the long trip back from Seattle. The more relaxed practice
atmosphere was probably as much a reaction to an intense overtime game with the
Jets as it was in preparation for the England visit. But, much like after the
West Coast trip, Belichick wanted to make sure his guys were well rested.
"The time change, the travel — that's certainly
different than most normal games. But, again, it's not anything we haven't
dealt with before," Belichick said. "We've traveled to the West
Coast, we're just going the other direction. Hopefully we'll be able to deal with
Aside from the travel, the Patriots will also experience
some interesting differences with the field and the fans overseas. Something
Belichick seems to appreciate but is still unable to fully comprehend.
"Every field is different, you get used to it. It's a
grass field. It's not the fastest field but we've played on plenty comparable
to that," Belichick added before delving into the expected atmosphere.
"It's a little different environment out there. They do the soccer cheers
and the rugby cheers and all that. It's a little less football-oriented and a
little more, I don't know, whatever you'd call that."
The experience will be completely new for a lot of the players
on this Patriots' roster, considering that only 15 guys remain from the last
time New England took an overseas trip back in 2009. The change will definitely
have an impact on the players, but hopefully the built in time will help
alleviate any jet lag for kickoff Sunday night (London time) against the