After wrapping up their mandatory minicamp last Thursday, the New England Patriots were scheduled to Gillette Stadium today for the first of two practices this week. As the team announced earlier today, however, the two organized team activity sessions have been cancelled by head coach Bill Belichick. As a result, the team will head into its summer break early — and not return to the practice fields until training camp opens.
Cancelling the voluntary OTA sessions is nothing new in New England, despite Belichick’s well-known ‘no days off’ rally cry. Last year, for example, the Patriots’ head coach also decided to erase his team’s final two spring practices from the schedule to send players and coaches home early. Apparently, Belichick was happy with his team’s progress up to that point — and it looks as if he feels similarly this year.
As a result, the Patriots’ offseason workout résumé looks as follows: the reigning world champions held eight practices, with five of them OTAs and three mandatory minicamp sessions that also saw players like Tom Brady and Michael Bennett join their teammates after sitting out the voluntary portions of the offseason. They, and the rest of New England’s roster will be back at work in late July: the Patriots are expected to start their training camp on July 25, with rookies reporting on July 21 and veterans two days later.