Nate Solder, Patriots Ready for Weekend Off Before Returning Tuesday ‘Guns Blazing’


FOXBORO, Mass. — The Patriots have officially started their bye-week break.

They had meetings Friday from 9 a.m. until about 11:15 a.m. and were then set free. The players who arrived at Gillette Stadium before the meetings to complete their weightlifting program were out the door as fast as humanly possible. The rest lifted weights after the meetings wrapped up before breaking for the weekend.

The players are due back to the facility Tuesday for their first meeting and practice in preparation for their divisional round opponent.

“We’ve just got to keep our mind and enjoy our time off and be ready to come back,” Patriots center Nick McDonald said. “We had a good week of practice. We did a lot of things that we needed to work on. We just have to be ready. Everybody needs to be focused, be rested, ready to go and go full grind [next week].”

The Patriots held a full-team meeting before breaking off to “do a little bit of everything,” according to one player. They met with their positional units, watched a little film and tidied up everything from this week of work.

The message from Bill Belichick and the coaching staff: Be smart, use the time wisely, relax, watch some football and come back Tuesday ready to work.

“I’m excited to see some of these games,” rookie tackle Nate Solder said. “I’m looking forward to resting, recovering, being able to come in here guns blazing when we get going again.”

Have a question for Jeff Howe? Send it to him via Twitter at @jeffphowe or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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