With a winter storm hitting Massachusetts, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick made sure to give his players the “snow speech” on Thursday morning. The basic message was this: make sure you are on time regardless of the conditions.
Belichick addressed the entire team, but in particular those who have no prior experience with the New England weather. Among them is defensive tackle Davon Godchaux.
A Louisiana native who played college football at LSU before a four-year stint with the Miami Dolphins, Godchaux has not had a lot of snow days in his life before. That changes now, and the Patriots’ offseason addition knows he has to be prepared.
“I live in an apartment complex right now, so I’m sure they’ll have all that under control the morning when I wake up,” Godchaux said. “But I plan on waking up like an hour ahead and defrosting my windows and leaving early. I’ve never been in a snow drive on the way to the practice facility, so I look forward to seeing that.
“I’ve got to get up early and make sure I don’t be late to meetings and get in on time. He already gave us the snow speech, so I don’t want to be that guy.”
There have been multiple instances in the past of players getting sent home from the facility after arriving late. The most infamous example came in Dec. 2009, when four players failed to make an 8 a.m. meeting: Randy Moss, Adalius Thomas, Gary Guyton and Derrick Burgess all had to return home.
This year’s Patriots have been warned by Belichick, and they are taking all the necessary steps so that the snow will not disrupt their Week 18 preparation.
“I’ve just got to get in my car and drive and make sure I’m there,” said linebacker Matthew Judon. “Just set an alarm clock 30 minutes earlier so that you can warm your car up or whatever that is. The people from the southern states, they’ve got it lucky. They don’t get snow. But I’ve been kind of dealing with snow my whole life, so I think I’ll be all right.”
Judon played high school and college football in Michigan, and started his NFL career with the Baltimore Ravens. He has had his fair share of encounters with snow before.
Rookie running back Rhamondre Stevenson, meanwhile, is on the other end of the spectrum. He arrived in New England via California, Nevada and Oklahoma, but he was given some helpful advice by his teammates.
“Keep a snow shovel,” he said on Thursday.
The Patriots will hold their final practice of the week on Friday. They will travel to Miami one day later to take on the Dolphins on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET.