INDIANAPOLIS — Since the Super Bowl turns into each team's longest road trip of the season, the players are forced to wrestle with a tough dynamic. They've got to figure out a way to maintain their excitement while keeping themselves from going stir crazy.
Since the Patriots arrived in Indianapolis on Sunday, they could be in town for as long as nine days, pending the outcome of Super Bowl XLVI, and that's a long time to be cooped up to think about the biggest game of their lives. It's one of the greatest challenges they'll face during the week leading up to the game.
"Staying on a routine [is important]," cornerback Devin McCourty said. "Even though we're in a hotel, you're not back at your house. I think the biggest thing now is, since we are in a hotel, guys are coming back, let's get together, let's go grab something to eat, since we're all in the hotel, let's go down and watch some extra film. It kind of helps in a way, especially if we can kind of stick together and stay in our little bubble rather than getting outside and being entertained by the circus of everything going on with the media and the fans and everything. Just staying in our bubble and ready to go."
The Patriots arrived in Indy a day earlier than the Giants, and head coach Bill Belichick said that was to help keep the team on a consistent routine of working Monday, taking off Tuesday and then getting fully engulfed Wednesday. The extra film work and a few more chances to bond as a team will also be key to staying on point over the course of the long week.
"You've got to contain it, try not to pay attention to it as the week goes along, and the closer we get to the game, we've got to shut it out," safety Patrick Chung said. "Early, have fun, don't get in trouble, but as soon as it starts boiling down, it's kind of game time. You've got to blank it out as much as you can."
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