NFL teams have a short window this summer to physically prepare for the 2020 NFL season.
The league amended the offseason schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lack of offseason training program workouts this spring. Training camp has been shortened to just 14 days, and there will be no preseason games.
The New England Patriots are willing to adjust on the fly without making excuses.
“I don’t make the rules, and I don’t know if it’s better or worse,” Patriots captain David Andrews said Sunday on a video conference call. “We’ll see. The thing we can do is use all 14 days to our best ability, right? Go out and take advantage of each day. That’s all we’ve got, so we might as well take advantage of it and try to get the most out of those days. Kind of the same mentality: Put your head down and go to work.”
Andrews made a good additional point. Improvement and acclimation don’t stop as soon as Week 1 rolls around and training camp ends.
“The preseason and training camp is not the end all be all,” Andrews said. “It’s not like we get through training camp and we’re like, ‘All right. Great work. Let’s just kind coast through the season.’ I think something we’ve done here for a while is progressively gotten better especially up front in the run game and just feeling better always practicing. You never go out there Week 1 and feel like it was your best game. Progressively, each week getting better. That’s natural. Take advantage of what we do have and then try to keep building on it throughout the year.”
The Patriots have almost used Week 1 as an extended preseason in the past. Back in 2014, for example, New England used an extended defensive rotation in its Week 1 matchup against the Dolphins in Miami. It usually takes a few weeks for the Patriots to actually look like the Patriots.