The Patriots have struggled in recent years when they play in Miami. So they’re going five days early for their Week One visit to the Dolphins.
It’s a strange development. Like so many other things coach Bill Belichick does, if anyone else did them, many would criticize him relentlessly. Since it’s Six-Ring Bill (technically eight — so take that, Seven-Ring Tommy), no one says anything.
Belichick rarely says anything, too. He was asked on Sunday to explain the decision to travel to Miami on Tuesday instead of Saturday.
“I think there are a combination of factors, but in the end it all looks like it’s set up fairly well here,” Belichick said. “So, make the travel on Tuesday instead of on Saturday. We’ll already be down there. We’ll be able to just focus on the Dolphins.”
That’s assuming the players don’t get distracted by other things. The CBA likely prevents teams from keeping players on 24-hour confinement. And it seems very unreasonable to keep them tucked away in the hotel for five full days.
Then again, the Stepford Patriots vibe remains very strong within the organization. Those who want to get along will go along with the Patriot Way, or it inevitably will be the highway.