No matter the city, the New England Patriots under head coach Bill Belichick have generally found success over the last two decades. There are a few exceptions, though, with Miami possibly being the most prominent: the Patriots are only 9-12 on the road against the Dolphins since Belichick took over as head coach in 2000.
The reasons for New England’s struggles are manifold, but the Florida climate is certainly high up on the list. In order to prepare his team for this week’s regular season finale against the Dolphins, Belichick has therefore gotten creative.
Instead of starting their on-field preparation on Wednesday on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium, the Patriots will move into the Socios.com Field House. Once there, they will crank up the heat to best simulate the temperatures they will face in Miami on Sunday.
This tactic is a notable change when compared to the Patriots’ usual preparatory process so far this season. However, it is not necessarily a new one; New England has moved inside in the past in an attempt to gain an advantage.
Back in 2012, for example, the team made the same move before its trip to Miami. At the time, Belichick had to say the following when asked about moving practice inside.
BB: Decided to take [Field Yates’] suggestion and go inside today; crank up the temperature. We’re trying to pull together our preparations and be ready to go on Sunday.
Q: Are you serious about that, going inside and turning up the temperature?
BB: Yeah, we’ll be in the bubble.
Q: Have you noticed in the past that that helps?
BB: It helps when you have a good team and you play well. That helps.
The Patriots ended up winning that particular game with a final score of 23-16. Whether or not they will also successfully make the transition from the Massachusetts cold to the South Beach heat this year remains to be seen. However, the team does have one small advantage: kickoff time for the contest has been set at 4:25 p.m. ET, allowing the Patriots to escape the sweltering midday heat at Hard Rock Stadium.
That said, temperatures are still projected in the mid to high 70s. Getting at least some preparatory work done in similar conditions is certainly no mistake, one would think.